This book aims to consolidate various factors that underlie
the functioning of the Brain, such as parental attributes and
socio-economic status of the family while analysing their
association with positive deviance in the developmental
status of children and young adolescents.
A child’s growth and development solely depends on the
synergies amongst the social environment, the economic
status of the family and the nutrition and health of the child.
India has the second-largest child population in the world,
so planning for children’s development mandates special
care. It should actually be viewed as part of national social
well-being. A large section of India’s population still suffers
from poverty, malnutrition, poor health and sanitation, sub
standard housing and poor education facilities. In addition
to these, poor quality childcare deters Brain development
from reaching the desired extent.
Earlier, the joint family system was the primary institution
responsible for childcare, in society. The child’s physical,
psychological, social and cognitive development was assured
by the resources and the surroundings created by the joint
family. The transition from the joint to the nuclear family
and the socio-economic status of these units has however,
brought about many changes in society. Owing to the new
constraints of a nuclear family, traditional care suffered
progressive attritions resulting in child neglect, abuse and
exploitation. It has been seen that parent participation in
early childcare and education not only improves children’s
development but also strengthens parenting skills through
sharing experiences with other families.
Most parents do a decent job of raising kids, but effective
parenting means not just relying on natural instincts but also
knowing what works exactly in the context of that particular
family and the socio-economic backdrop against which
children are brought up. Several inter-disciplinary factors
are involved in understanding the growth and development
of this vulnerable group.
A lot of research by psychologists and significant
contributions from social workers and educationists has
enabled attention to be focused on the importance of
a child’s Brain development. Early Brain development
establishes a child’s social competence, cognitive skills,
emotional well-being, behaviour pattern, language, literacy
skills and physical abilities towards overall competency and
Although a considerable effort by discerning parents,
social workers and interested groupshasled towards greater
investment in cognitive development of children, it is
necessary to understand the scientific basis of their Brain
The first eight years of a child’s life is the most sensitive
period when the wiring of the Brain for specific abilities is
established. A child’s inquisitiveness and creativity are the
biggest motivations that create new connections to acquire
new skills. It is for the parents to provide responsive,
nurturing and encouraging experiences to establish proper
wiring of the Brain connections. Children who are well-
nurtured physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually
develop a multitude of neural connections that serve them
well throughout their lifetime.
Children either develop the confidence to try new things
or they don’t—engagement in or withdrawal from new
activities depends on the type of support they receive from
their parents or older siblings. This is the stage when they
develop a healthy sense of eagerness to tackle new tasks
without the help of adults.
Alternatively, a strict vigil by parents may create guilt-
related feelings or a sense of incompetency in the minds of
the children or in their actions. It could result in marked
lack of self-confidence in the young minds later in their lives.
The interaction and conflict between instincts and socially-
influenced personality traits have a mixed effect on the
mental development of these children. A more encouraging
and nurturing environment created by parents however,
sets the stage for optimal Brain development.
Cognitive development of children follows a sequence,
but in the continuum of development, there are many
hurdles. Not all children belonging to the same age group
display the same development skills. Some children may
show some remarkable cognitive skills earlier than others.
Educational professionals together with psychologists can
monitor the child’s development over time through Brain
mapping through careful and regular observation.
One can maintain Brain health through regular physical
exercises and computer-aided Brain games that keep the
Neurons active and regenerate them. Over time, Neurons
that are not stimulated will fail to reconnect. Therefore, it
becomes important to start neuroplasticity exercises before _
the Neurons die. Recently, neuroscientists have discovered _
that the Brain can regenerate not only neural connections
but the Neurons themselves. Many Brain games are
being rebranded ‘neuroplasticity exercises,’ or vice versa.
Despite the many references to neuroplasticity exercises
on the internet, neuroscientists are still learning about and
approaching this new area of fitness with caution.
Children these days have full access to a wealth of
information on the internet. They can get the latest
information on world geography, cultures, traditions and
lifestyles of people in distant countries, planetary systems,
ecology, environment, information on extinct animals, etc.
while sitting in their living rooms. There is also a variety
of good quality and informative TV programmes, such as
animations and cartoons, sports and music that is available
round the clock. Parents should put these resources to use
and spend time discussing the contents of the programmes
with their children.
I am delighted to write the foreword for the first edition of
the book on Brain Development by Shri Venkateswar Pujari,
Chairman, iaitc. Outside the specialized world of neuroscience
and for most of the uses of daily life, the brain is more or less
an abstract entity.
The Neuroscience is not a discipline—a statement that
may come as a mild shock to some of its practitioners.
Neuroscience is, rather, away to approach specific
questions about the structure and function of the human
brain, whether in healthy development or when afflicted
with injury or disease. Such a topic taken for writing a useful
book by the non-medical professional, definitely justifies
the above statement.
The Mental health of an individual includes emotional,
psychological and social well-being. A sound mental health
is important in every stage of life right from the childhood.
The overall growth of an individual depends upon both
physical and mental well-being. Maximum development
of the brain and the central nervous system occurs during
The brain is active throughout every day, even as we sleep,
but we rarely, if ever, stop to consider that our thoughts,
actions, and perceptions are the outcome of several trillion
signals exchanged among nerve cells. The brain is such an
efficient processor of information that most of the time we
do not realize the magnitude of its task.
With all its intricate and powerful circuitry, the brain
does not work in isolation. Most parents’ do a decent job of
raising kids, but effective parenting means not Just relying
on natural instincts but also knowing what works exactly in
the context of that particular family and the socio-economic
backdrop against which children are brought up. Several
inter-disciplinary factors are involved in understanding the
growth and development of this vulnerable group. There is
a need for understanding the growth and development of
the brain in a child and parents should strive not only for
a healthy physical growth of their children but also their
Although educators are expected to bring about functional
changes in the brain (the organ of human learning) they
are given no formal training in the structure, function or
development of the brain in developing children as part of
their education. This book consists of 12 chapters which
deal with the need for awareness of brain development.
The second chapter impressively elucidates the human
brain anatomy and its working. The other chapters enliven
various ancient and modern methods which enhance the
mental and neurological working of the child’s brain.
This book has been written with a special emphasis on
inculcating ancient techniques like Yoga and Karate for
the development of the brain in early Stages. There is also
a mention of brain-related diseases to overcome several
myths and enlighten the readers about its implications
and further treatment. The fruitfulness of the approach
discussed in the book reaches far beyond the healthcare and
research professions in most people’s everyday lives. This
book is going to help all the parents, mentors and all others
who strive to build a healthy society by laying a foundation .
towards a child’s overall growth.
Overall, the book establishes the need for knowing the
power of the brain and its functionalities with the child's
development process. Reading across the content areas is
designed to be reader-friendly, so that literacy is achieved
by every non-medical people and can, indeed, become
lifelong learners with curiosity in their brain. It is my hope
and expectation that this book will provide an effective
‘earning experience and referenced resource for all health
professionals caring for infants and children, leading to
improved student and patient care.
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