Bioengineering expert John Medina had just given a lecture to the National Governor’s Association, and a recognized lawmaker had a pressing question. “What can I do as a parent to help ensure that when my child grows up, recruiters from America’s elite institutions will line up at my door?”
Dr. Medina, a specialist in early brain development fixed his gaze on the man. “Do you want to know, do you really want to know?”
The politician’s eyes showed he could hardly wait for the scientifically informed answer.
“Okay, go home and love your wife.”
Cutting edge brain research increasingly leads us to that conclusion, says Medina, the founding director of Seattle’s Talaris Research Institute. Medina’s new venture teams up scientists and educators in an attempt to transform discoveries about the brain of children into practical tools for parents and teachers.
But does it really matter to a child’s brain if mom and dad are in a loving, married relationship?
“The best evidence we have suggests that one of the best predictors of cognitive success is a really odd thing,” Medina says. “It’s not buying your baby a mobile; it’s not even getting them to speak French by the age of one and a half. It actually has to do with the emotional stability of the home environment.”
Huddle up and ask your wife tonight: “Do we do a good job showing a healthy marital love in front of our children? Why or why not?”