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How does the environment affect a child's brain development?

The process of pruning neurological connections is directly related to the environment to which a child is exposed. We prune connections that we don't use, as exemplified by the fact that we're not exposed to certain stimuli in our environment. (It's the old "use it or lose it" idea.) If a baby isn't spoken or read to, his brain might decide that he doesn't need those language neurons. The opposite is also true: We strengthen the connections that our brains deem important because of repeated exposure. That's why creating a routine is such an effective way to instill good habits in your child.

YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.