What are the best brain Exercises for kids?
Many parents are looking for ways to improve their childrens' school and athletic performance and "brain training" is the latest fad, (and one that has merit if the tools actually train the brain). Often parents are looking to add tools but what they don't know is that sometimes it's not a matter of removing what interferes with performance.
What's bad for improving school performance?
Stress - in kids this includes periods of worrying, and asking questions about bad outcomes. Sometimes kids will not sleep well or loss interest in eating--possible signs that a child's brain is trying to problem-solving with the stress response, not what we want if we're trying to improve school performance! We want them to learn from a place of calm, being able to focus on work and to sleep well and wake up rested. (For more read Boulder Neurofeedback trainer, Joy Om's, comments on the stress response).
Stress-response in parents. If mom or dad operate in the above mode, that too, can signal to the child that they need to be in stress response mode. Childrens' nervous systems align themselves with their parents' like all pack animals! If mom or dad are stressed, the child can feel that energy. Read more
Lack of proper nutrition. Nutrition expert Dr. Mark Hyman: "Four out of ten kids are now overweight and one in seven kids has attention issues, often caused by a high-sugar, nutrient-poor diet." You will help the brain perform much better by cutting down on the family's sugar intake, and that includes white foods--breads, rice, pasta. Read more in our blog: What Food are Good and Bad for Our Brain.
Does Brain Training work for kids?
Great brain training practices
1. Neurofeedback. Unlike devices that add micro-currents or ones that say they are "brain training" but really are games, neurofeedback is actually teaching your brain learn more effectively. Kids respond well to neurofeedback and the results often last far beyond the training period.
2. Sleep More. Children need 10-13 hours of sleep per night, on the higher end when they are toddlers. Studies now show that during sleep the brain rids itself of the day's metabolic toxins, which is essential for brain health.
3. Eat foods for studying. Did you know that 60 percent of your brain is made up of DHA – an omega-3 fat that you get from algae and fish? Salmon, eggs rich in omega-3s, probiotics, and seaweed snacks are great for the brain!
4. Exercise that's fun. It increases oxygen flow to the brain, and the healthy production of neurotransmitters essential for cognitive and emotional well-being. Research has shown that exercise is linked with higher grades and over a lifetime, increases fitness of the brain areas essential for memory and cognitive functioning.
Schedule a sample session at one of our locations in NYC, LA, Portland, Boulder, Colorado or learn how you can rent the NeurOptimal Neurofeedback Home System.
Learn more about neurofeedback for performance anxiety