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>>Female presenter: Well, welcome today tothis AuthorsGoogle Talk with John Medina, who is returning. He was here in 2008, wherehe talked about his book Brain Rules, which is not this one. Welcome, also, to all theVC locations. We have seven different locations VC-ing in today. So, with that in mind, whenyou do ask your questions, here, locally, please use the microphone so that they canhear your questions, and also it will be recorded for YouTube. So, John who really doesn’t needmuch of an introduction, is on the faculty of The University of Washington School ofMedicine in the Bioengineering Department and is a director of The Brain Center of AppliedLearning Research at Seattle Pacific University. And he’s here today to talk about his bookBrain Rules. [inaudible.]Welcome John. [applause] >>John: Well, it’s a pleasure to be back hereagain. Vikki tells me that I can’t escape from this space, so that I can stay gluedto the monitor. If you’ve heard me speak before, you know I have a near-Pentecostal style ofteaching. So that will be very difficult to do, but if, Vikki, if I do wander for a second,just raise your hand and say, “Medina, would you get back in front of the camera.” AndI’ll do my best to stay there. In a minute, I’m going to reveal to you the number onequestion I am asked whenever I give lectures on in utero brain development for parents.I’m a Developmental Molecular Biologist by training. Most of my life has been spent primarilyas a private consultant; mostly to biotech and pharmaceutical industries. My specialtyis the Genetics of Psychiatric Disorders, so I’m very interested in what happens whenbrains develop in a womb at the level of gene and cell, and then when things screw up andyou can get a behavioral disorder. So, I spend a long time thinking about the distance betweena gene and a behavior; primarily as a glorified troubleshooter. I founded two brain researchinstitutes along the way and in one in particular, I would, because they would investigate howinfants process information at cellular, molecular and behavioral levels, that’s where sometimesI would give talks about in utero brain development to parents. Actually, the parents to be. Thisbook comes from a mistake I would make whenever I would introduce those audiences and talkto them about brain development. Cause I’d always start out, you guys, by saying somethinglike, “Behold, the differential gene transcription in the developing rhombancephalon.” “Takea look at neuronal cone migration and here some cells and tasty molecules.” And I wouldwatch my audiences just fade away from me and I could see a strong distance beginningto come and then at the very end, I could see how far I had missed my audiences simplyby the questions I would be asked by these parents, primarily parents to be; they hadjust found out they were pregnant, at the end of the talk. Quite literally, I wouldget the same five questions over and over again. Question like, “So, how do I get mykid into Harvard?” [laughter] Well, there’s nothing wrong with Stanford,or Berkeley and there’s nothing wrong with the University of Washington, so I think whatthey’re really asking is, “How is it, I get my kid to survive a tough, intellectual environment,given a knowledge-based economy?” I would get questions like, “Does my kid have an activemental life in the womb?” “How do I make it a happy child?” “What is having a baby goingto do with my primary relationship?” Primarily a marriage. “What’s the baby’s gonna, havinga baby gonna do to my marriage?” And the heartbreaker question almost always delivered by a grandmotherwho’d gotten custodial authority over her grandchild, because the daughter was a crackaddict, “Dr. Medina, how do I make a moral child?” That unexpected nature reminds meof something that’s very much with the heart and soul of Brain Rules for baby, and thatis the unexpected nature of what parenting looks like and brain development looks like.And that reminds me of a very interesting story about a clinical pediatrician who hasa four year old daughter. And the four year old daughter was in the back seat of a car.Good. Strapped into a car seat. And she’s a pediatrician on the clinical faculty ofa medical school. She’s driving, stopped at a light, she’s left her stethoscope in theback seat of the car and as she’s stopped at the light, she looks and sees the littlegirl’s hand moving over to the stethoscope and grabbing it. And the mother is going,”Oh, be still my beating heart. We’re going to have another pediatrician in the household.”And she sees the little girl actually grab the stethoscope and put it between her earsjust like she should, and now the mom is going, “Oh, we’re only 12 years and an MCAT awayfrom having a real, life physician in the household.” And she gets quickly disamusedof the attitude when the little girl grabs the bell of the stethoscope, puts it to herlips and shouts, “Welcome to McDonalds. [laughter]

brain teasers sentences[laughter] May I take your order, please?” So, I wrote the book Brain Rules for Babyin an attempt to address some of this unexpectedness, and I decided to take my audience’s seriously.I was given an Ivory Tower, they were asking for Ivory Soap. So, the Ivory Soap questionslook like this, and what produces the organization of the book. There’s an introduction, pregnancyconsiderations, relationship considerations, smart, happy, moral, and the questions thatthe book is organized around follow the same types of questions I always got whenever Isaw that my audiences really weren’t interested in the rhombancephalon. So, number one, “Doesmy baby have an active life in the womb?” “How will bringing this infant home affectmy marriage?” “How do I get my kid into Harvard?” “How do I raise a happy child?” “How do Iraise a moral child?” And the number one question I get whenever it is that I’m talking withaudiences, particularly college educated audiences and particularly technical, sophisticatedaudiences with lots of advanced degrees in the room, is that guy, “How do I get my kidinto Harvard?” “How do I create an intellectual environment at home that will allow them tobe intellectually successful later on in life?” And so, I’m gonna talk about that for thenext 45, 50 minutes or so and I’m gonna divide this lecture into an introduction and threeparts in order to be able to talk to you about it. So, I will introduce the “Grump Factor”and in part one we’ll talk about the fact that babies are active learners. Part two,”What to do before your child comes into the world,” and then in part three, “What to dobefore your child comes into a school.” We will emphasize an example in imitation, thenwe’ll look at the relational ecology of the home and then, finally, we’ll end it out witheffort versus IQ. Let’s start with an introduction, the grumpfactor. Hopefully, I’m a nice guy. I’m a pretty grumpy scientist. I don’t have a lot of tolerancefor uncontrollable variables and the first thing I’m going to say might sound surprisingto you. From the cognitive neurosciences, it’s probably the best academic unit for talkingabout parenting and brain science, but if you’ve heard me talk before, you already knowwhat I’m gonna say. I don’t think brain science has anything to do say to how we should raiseour children any more than it had when first book, Brain Rules, anything about what wecan say about how to educate our kids, or how to create a great business around it.There are three reasons for this skepticism and some of those will sound familiar to you,too. Reason number one has to do with ignorance. We don’t know very much about how the brainworks, regardless of what you may have heard. We do not know how you know how to pick upa glass of water and drink it. We don’t know how it is that you can sign your name. Wedon’t know why it takes two years for a child to decide whether they’re gonna be right-handedor left-handed. We don’t know squat about how the brain processes information. We don’tknow most of the basics. Number two: Individuality. This has to dowith the previous brain rule in Brain Rules, the book. Number three: Every brain is wireddifferently from every other brain and learns in ways unique to that wiring. Kids are extraordinarilyactive learners and they learn in actively wiring themselves differently and the upshotis, regardless of parenting advice books that might be out there, one size very seldom fitsall. And as a result of the balkanization of the individual wiring of the brain, youhave to be very careful, especially if you want the hard stuff, the neurosciences, toactually inform your parenting skills. There’s a few out there. We’re gonna talk about them,but there’s not very many. One size very seldom fits all. Number three: The data. I have some real problemsfrom the times that it has been researched. For example, most of the data about parentingand brains are associative in nature, rather than causal and that limits much of what youcan say. What I mean by associative is simply this: all bullies drink fluid. That does notmean drinking fluid leads to bullying. It’s just that they’re co-associated and a lotof the data in parenting world is a lot like that and so, you have to be careful with it.I would also argue this: I’m not sure how much of the data that’s out there, in thelast 30 years, is actually relevant to the real world of 2010-2011. For example, theAmerican family is changing in three very dramatic ways. Number one, you now have blendedfamilies is the norm. Forty percent of all American children under the age of 15 willexperience a parental break-up by the time they are 15. Forty percent of all babies bornin 2009 were born to single parent households. And the 2010 figure’s looking larger. Thereare gay households. One in five gay couples are starting a family, yet the data, suchas it exists, primarily has been done with heterosexual, married couples, most of whomwere white. Well, that’s where the data we’re

brain teasers sentencesheterosexual, married couples, most of whomwere white. Well, that’s where the data we’re gonna have to mine comes from, but with thosecaveats in mind, I can now get into the body of the talk, but it’s my grump factor andhopefully, you got a pretty good grump factor, too, and I wanna start that out. I did write Brain Rules for Baby. There aresome things you can say from the sciences, but you have to be darn careful with whatyou do before you get started. So, if you’re taking notes, and I see some of you are trying,you already now notice that I speak at the speed of light. If you still wanna keep yourpencils up, that will be the triumph of hope over experience, but I wish you well. [laughter]Take out your pencils. Part one: Babies are active learners. Talkingabout getting into Harvard, we’re gonna talk about imitation. They are extraordinarilysensitive to the adult behaviors that surround them and for that I wanna give you anotherexample that also comes from a pediatrician. She has a husband who is a principle investigatorbiochemist. Hot dog lab, boy, two NIH program projects, got lots of post-docs and graduatestudents. She’s a clinical pediatrician. They have a six year old daughter and he has atradition. Every year he invites, cause a lot of this post-docs are from South Asiaand the People’s Republic of China, he has a lot of folks who have no place to go forChristmas. He calls them Christmas orphans, so he is going to invite them all over fordinner, which he does. Very delighted. They have a very traditional marriage, and that’sgonna be important in this story in just a second. But, the mom who also has a careerand who also has lots of things she’s doing, because it’s a traditional marriage, eventhough it’s his laboratory, guess who has to do the dinner? She does. She’s cookingthe dinner and I will tell you she gets increasingly pissed off by this as the years have goneby cause the guys are all talking science in the den and she’s having to do all thepreparations. And the six year old daughter is observing this anger on the part of “thewife, mom.” And so, it happens and they cook the dinner and they sit down for table andshe turns to the daughter just before they all get ready to eat and says, “Honey, sixyear old daughter, will you mind saying the blessing for dinner?” And she goes, “No, Mom,I do mind. I don’t wanna do it.” And Mom goes, “Well, why not, honey” “I’m already stressedenough,” she’s thinking to herself, I think. Daughter goes, “Well, I wouldn’t know whatto say.” And Mom gets a relaxed look on her face and says, “That’s ok, dear. You justsay what you hear Mommy say.” [laughter] Little girl gets this wicked look on her face,apparently, closes her eyes and says, “Oh, Lord, why did my husband invite all thesejerks to dinner?” [laughter] So, they are very sensitive to the adult behaviorssurrounding. That’s an example of a six year old. Believe it or not, we can see this, whatis a very strong form of imitative instincts, 42 minutes after a child has been born. Thatimitative behavior, sometimes called reflective behavior, that imitative behavior can be measureddirectly after birth, so we think it may be innate insofar as post-birth, preloaded softwarein a kid is innate. Andy Meltzoff did it. He had the guts to do this. He had the guts,at 42 minutes of age, to stick his tongue out at a baby and then wait. Now that experimenthad probably done before. Philosophically, in experimental psychology, we used to thinkthat babies were tabula rasas. What’s a tabula rasa? Blank slate and that you can just paintyour self portrait, as a parent, on the kid’s brain anytime you wanted, probably thoughtby a bunch of underfunded experimental psychologists, none of whom had kids. Because if you havekids, you realize they come with all kinds of pre-loaded software and Andy was the firstto really show how sophisticated and active a learner a baby is just after birth. Forty-twominutes of age, he sticks his tongue out at a baby and the waits. And finds a miracle.The baby sticks its tongue back out at Andy. Now, that’s amazing. Why is that amazing?Has the baby ever seen a tongue before? No. Has it ever seen its tongue before? No. Hasit ever seen your tongue, or Andy’s tongue, before? The answer is no. What’s it seen forthe last nine months? A pink gauze watery environment that was increasingly uncomfortableand it wanted to leave. But knows that after you’ve cleaned him up and got the APGAR andyou’re looking at him, knows that it has a tongue, knows that Andy has a tongue and knowsthat if it sequences the right amount of neurons in the right amount of space innervating notall of the body, but just down through the lower jaw, will, in fact, stick it’s tongueback out at Andy. That’s pre-loaded software. Now, it takes some time. It takes about 45seconds and this is an experiment you can

brain teasers sentences Now, it takes some time. It takes about 45seconds and this is an experiment you can

brain teasers sentencesNow, it takes some time. It takes about 45seconds and this is an experiment you can try at home. If you’re pregnant, if you’vegot, that’s the reason why you’re here, you’ve got small kids at home, you can try this athome. But it looks a little bit like , show my age, Joe Cocker at Woodstock, ok? It lookslike this. You go,”Bleh!” And the baby goes, “Bleh!” Sticks his tongue back out. [laughter] Ok? So, you have to wait. You actually haveto have a video tape to be getting it going. Once we understood that, you can actuallywatch this imitative experience begin to develop over time, and you realize how unbelievablysensitive that “jerks to dinner” story actually is. Kids are doing a tremendous amount ofimitation and they are imitating you, parent! They’ve got you in their gun sights. And that’swhere parenting begins to take on a very interesting complexion, simply because babies are suchactive sponges. Let me give you two examples of this active sponge business. It’s extraordinaryto actually watch. I’d advise you, if you’ve not gone on this, if you are pregnant or thinkingabout having children, get on T-R-U-U It will give youa very interesting active slice of American parenting. It’s essentially an online diary.You post anonymously and you can just share your impressions. I’ve got two impressionsto share with you about, I think one is a two year old and other is a, they’re both24 months old, to show you how actively these kids are already mapping; how sophisticatedand developed this tongue sticking out has actually gotten. Watch this. [reads]”My two year old daughter was so cute today. My husband was watching football and whenhis team made a touchdown, he got all excited and pretended to head butt me, except I didn’texpect it and moved so he ended up doing it for real. It hurt. While my husband was apologizingprofusely, my daughter brought me her special blanket she never lets go of and her pacifierand shoved the pacifier into my mouth– [laughter] and made me lie down on her blanket to makeme feel better, LOL.” [chuckles] Another example.[reads] “I have got to learn not to be so crude whenI get home. I was complaining to Shelley on the phone after work how much of a pain inthe butt my boss is. A few minutes later, I smelled diaper rash cream, then felt someonetrying to lift up my skirt. My dear two year old daughter had opened a tube of Desitinand was trying to smear it on my backside. I said, ‘What in the world are you doing?’She said, ‘Nothing, Mommy. It’s for the pain in your butt.’– [laughter] “I love this girl so much I could’ve squeezedher till she burst.” There, unbelievable behavioral mappers areinfants. They, you can see it at 42 minutes of age, you can see it at 24 months of age,you can see it at 72 months of age. They are unbelievably sensitive to their environmentand it is that kernel of an idea that I want to explore to you for some of the things wecan do, if you really are interested in getting your kid into Harvard. You have to take intoaccount this sensitivity very, very much and for that I’m getting into part two of ourdiscussion. What to do before your child comes into the world: The relational ecology ofthe home. I have three pieces of unexpected news. That’sa euphemism for bad news, by the way. I have three pieces of bad news for you expectantparents and one piece of really good news. And I want to explore all with you. We’regonna be talking about what to do before your child comes into the world. You found outyou were pregnant, what’s gonna happen to your marriage, what’s gonna happen to youwhen the pregnancy comes, and fine. Ok, number one piece of bad news. Marital conflict increasesin the transition to parenthood. I suggest you get ready for it. By the time the kidis six months of age, it either increases two-fold or nine-fold, depending on the study.There are several. You can say that it just increases dramatically. Number two, kids cansense the increase even as infants, because of that sensitivity we were talking about,and will rewire their nervous systems in response. Number three, this rewiring can interferewith their academic performance later in life. So, there’s three pieces of bad news, or unexpectednews. Now for the piece of good news. The effect does not have to be permanent. In fact,there are data that suggests that it’s actually not the amount of marital conflict, the amountof fighting between partners that actually rewires the kid’s nervous system; it’s theloss of the ability for the child to see resolving

brain teasers sentencesrewires the kid’s nervous system; it’s theloss of the ability for the child to see resolving behavior. Do you understand? You can actuallyfight all you want, but if you don’t resolve in front of your kids in a fashion they canactually see that everything is gonna be all right and you now have an asymmetric perceptionof the emotional ecology of the home, you will rewire that kids nervous system in away that does not aid and abet their progress into Harvard. So, the whole idea is don’thave that asymmetry. So, many couples will, maybe sometimes fights are like that. Youstart like a rock on a hill and it’s gonna roll down and the kid is there, and you don’tmean to, but you end up fighting and it’s 12 midnight before the resolution finallyoccurs, and you go to your spouse and you say, “Honey, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean todo that.” And you resolve and your relationship’s gonna be intact, which is fine, but the kidnever sees it. And it’s that asymmetry that is the killer. So, there’s good news; youdon’t have to have this. But, unpack everything I’ve just said, let’s take a look at thisand then we will discuss in some detail that important idea, ok? Number one, marital conflictincreases in the transition to parenthood. It does. Kids can sense the increase, evenas infants, and rewire their nervous systems in response. And number three, this rewiringcan interfere with their academic performance later in life and the turquoise says thatthis effect does not have to be permanent. So, let’s get into it. What does this do tothe kid and what kinds of conflict is available? Let’s take a look first at distress rates.Here’s a tasty reference for you. Alrighty, what we’re gonna take a look at in the transitionto parenthood is stable relationship. Here’s the birth of the baby. Here is the hostilityand it goes way, way up. Yup. By the time the baby is born, marital satisfaction yarooonway, way down. Folks, that’s relative instability. [laughter] But we had no idea how unstable things couldbe. It plummets anywhere from 67% to 90%, depending upon the study that you’re reading.I’m a conservative scientist, so we’ll go with the 67, but that does mean that two-thirdsof all couples are having some problems by the time their one and only has landed onthe planet. In such fashion, you can actually measure it, these things, through SPF Testsand a variety of hostility indices that we can measure in the laboratory. Let’s takea look at a non-distressed couple. Let’s take a look at a distressed couple in therapy,trying to save their relationship. And then let’s take a look at the hostility index ofa couple who has their first child and the child is now one year old. What do you seein terms of NHI? Well, this is what you see. There’s your non-distressed couple. There’syour distressed couple in trouble. And here’s a non-distressed couple who’s had their firstchild. Wow. If it’s going to come to you that this will happen, what will it do to the kid’snervous system if you don’t do something? We’re gonna talk about what to do. But, thisis what happens. Now, I realize that not all of you are molecular neurobiologists for sure,so let’s just make sure we’ve done some human anatomy to talk a little bit about what actuallyhappens. You can divide the nervous system into two parts; central or peripheral. Centralis brain and spinal column; peripheral nervous system is everything else. You can take theperipheral and further subdivide it into autonomic and somatic nervous system. Autonomic measuresstress, amongst other things, and the somatic system generally is innervating skeletal muscles.That’s not completely true. And then if you take and do this autonomic nervous system,see that word? For those of you who can’t read it, that word says stress, amongst otherthings. If you then take and ask the question, “What’s it doing to the nervous system?” Ihave to subdivide that guy into two parts, so I’m going to. The autonomic nervous systemcan be divided into the sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system.In, on average, the sympathetic nervous system stimulates many stress responses. The parasympatheticnervous system tells the sympathetic nervous system to shut up. All right? So, it’s gonnatry and regulate it. Now, that’s not completely true, there’s actually equilibrium betweenthese two, but there are some, not to take the nuances only for much, but you can thinkof this as something that stimulates and something that tries to tell it to shut up. So, you’regonna look for some emotional regulation and to do that, to understand the neurobiologyof that, I’ve gotta introduce to you one last term. How many of you have heard of cranialnerves before? Have you heard of cranial nerves before? Ok, we’re gonna talk, for those ofyou who have, we’re gonna talk about the tenth cranial nerve, called the vagus nerve, becausethe vagus nerve is going to take and respond and traffic between sympathetic and parasympatheticactually pretty well. So, we’re gonna take a look at it. Sympathetic nervous system andparasympathetic. Sympathetic is gonna mediate your stress responses, so it’s gonna be, regulateheart, respiration, appetite, cortisol, digestion and so on. And the parasympathetic is gonnatell it to shut up, or at least try to. It’s gonna have regulatory potentiometers, onlyby analogy, that you can look at. And the potentiometers are, in fact, the vagus nerveand it’s a very complex system, but we know a fair amount about it, so much so we canactually measure it. If the kid is going to be emotionally stable this interaction isgonna work beautifully. And if the kid is gonna be a basket case, he can’t tell hisstress responses to shut up. We call that vagal tone. You got high vagal tone; you gota kid who’s emotionally right on. You got a low vagal tone, you got a kid who does notregulate their own emotional responses very well and I’m here to tell you that if youhave lots of asymmetric combat in your household, you will create kids with lower vagal tone,statistically. In fact, the whole thing looks like this and I’ll give you a reference forit. [clears throat] Ok, here’s our tenth cranial nerve and whatwe’re going to be looking at, whoopsie, sorry, it’s this guy right here. Here we go. Alrighty.There’s our reference. What unresolved marital conflict does to a child’s nervous system.Alrighty. If you have unresolved marital conflict, there’s a greater incidence of pediatric depressionand anxiety disorders, greater prevalence of antisocial behavior in school, poor emotionalregulation, more infectious diseases, that’s because you’re collapsing part of the immuneresponse, poor executive function, which we’re gonna get into, that’s where it gets the poorestgrades and then you’ve got your vagal tone problems. You’ve got differences in parasympathetic/sympatheticinteractions, ok? Not so good news. Is there anything you can do about it? Theanswer is yes, depending upon the following. Researchers began to investigate this question.Well, if it’s so toxic, this marital conflict business, what do married couples fight about?And remember, I have to stay with the data, so I’m literally talking about married couples.What do married couples fight about in the transition to parenthood? Well, it falls ongender lines, believe it or not. And to do that, we have to enter into a whole thicketof psychosocial versus genetic issues. There are many more social, cultural influenceson gender specific behavior than there are genetic ones. In fact, I tend to map them.If you wanna see what I think are the social prejudices, there are social prejudices againstfemales, there’s social prejudices against males, and I decided to map them one time.Here are, is an FMRI of the social prejudices of the female brain. Here we go. Her instinctto use the ladies room, sense of direction particle, irrational thoughts, need to discussfeelings nucleus, argue and debate lobe, sex particle, chocolate center, weigh all optionsa hundred freaking times, need for commitment hemisphere, shopping and indecision. There’sthe social prejudices of the female brain. And so then I will ask my audiences, “Wouldyou like to see the male prejudices of the male brain?” Socialize, and then most of themtheysay, “Yes.” And so I say, “Ok, I would be happy to show them to you.” There it is. [laughter] So, we’re gonna be talking about gender linespecific behaviors, I actually call them in the book “the four grapes of wrath.” Theseare the four things, there are statistical clusters of behaviors, of things we know thatmarried couples fight about in the transition to parenthood. And here are the four grapesof wrath, and we’re gonna go through one of them, ok? I can’t go through all four; wewon’t have time. But we can certainly can go through one. Sleep loss, social isolation,prevalence of affective disorders and chore inequities. Good grief. Ok, sleep loss. Ihaven’t had a good night’s sleep in six months. That’s a very common behavior for those ofyou who are rookie parents; finding out that you’re pregnant and you’re gonna have a baby,ok? Social isolation. Where did all my friends go? Why don’t I have the energy to see them?Affective disorders. Sometimes, I sleep in my car, alone. Affective disorders are thingslike anxiety and depressive disorders. Depression skyrockets in many, both men and women, actually,with the birth of a baby. And then finally, chore inequities. My husband doesn’t wantto help me with the house or the baby; he just plays World of Warcraft all day. [laughter] All right? So, with these in mind, I’m gonnatalk about not all of these, but I’m gonna talk about one of them because it suggestssomething very practical to do and here’s a reference for you. If you are having a babyand you’re in the transition to parenthood, we’re gonna talk about chore inequities toshow that we have a very specific gender bias. The percent of all household chores, dishes,dirt, diapers, minor household repairs, car issues, food acquisition preparation, whethermom is working in the house or not, 1978 statistic and 2008 statistic. If you are a male, fastenyour seatbelts. [laughter] All right? Let’s take a look at chore disparities.1978 versus 2008. In 1978, it’s a 15 to 85 split, with mom doing it, even if she’s working,oddly enough. And in 2008, especially if she’s working, it’s gone up, but it’s a little better,but no one’s gonna call this even; it’s a 30, 70 split. And if you look particularly,I think, one of the most damning of the statistics is this. Having a husband around actuallycreates an extra seven hours of work per week for women [laughter] and a wife saves her husband about one hourof work per week. Nobody, it’s nice that it’s improving, nobody’s gonna call that equaland if we can hear from our friends, once again, from, we get thefollowing. [reads] “If my husband tells me one more time thathe needs to rest because he quote, ‘worked all day,’ I will throw all of his clotheson the front lawn, kick his car into neutral and watch it roll away and I’ll sell all ofhis precious sports stuff on eBay for a dollar and then I’ll kill him.” [laughter] “He seriously doesn’t get it. Yeah, he workedall day, but he worked with English speaking, potty trained adults.” [laughter] “He didn’t have to change their diapers, givethem naps and clean their lunch from the wall. He didn’t have to count to ten to calm himself.He didn’t have to watch Barney 30 million, three hundred and 24 thousand freaking timesand he didn’t have to pop his boob out six times a day to feed a hungry baby and I knowhe didn’t have peanut butter and jelly crust for lunch.” If you are going to have a baby, and thatis a part of your household, then statistically, in the United States, it is, I have a suggestionfor you. Besides learning how to resolve in front of your children, make two lists beforethe baby comes. List A, everything wife does in the house. List B, everything husband doesin the house. If those are unequal, you change your behavior and make it equal before theycome. And it’s the oddest thing to say that that’s one of the biggest sources of maritalconflict that exists in the transition to parenthood and if you can rewire a kid’s nervoussystem, based on the amount of unresolved conflict that’s there, you come to an astonishingand odd conclusion. You wanna get your kid into Harvard, guys? Learn how to clean thetoilet. [laughter] Ok, well. Here’s our chore solution righthere. Ok, here’s our two lists. Here’s your household or your apartment or your dwellingplace, your domicile. List A, all the chores wife does. List B, all the chores the husbanddoes. And that says, “If list A does not equal list B, then equalize it before the baby comes.”All right. That’s what cognitive neuroscience has to say. [laughter] Not exactly a 4A transform off a 4 Tesla fMRI,is it? Part three, what to do when your child comes into a school.[coughs] Excuse me. And the subtitles you might rememberis effort versus IQ, right? Effort versus IQ. This is what you do before the kid ispregnant; learn how to fight friendly and learn how to clean up around the house, butwhat do you do before the kid goes in the school system? The book really does transitbetween zero and five years of age, and so I would like to talk a little bit about that.To talk about effort versus IQ. I wanna give you an example of what I mean by effort. Mymom, a 4th grade teacher, was a specialist in effort. She loved to give her budding scientistchild brain teasers, but she would never give me the answer, darn it. She had me do effort.So, she really never, ever gave me the answers and I never knew whether she couldn’t getthe answers, which wasn’t likely, she’s really smart, or whether she had something of a veryinteresting insight. I’ll give you an example of a puzzle she gave me, and because she’sa teacher, she actually had access to certain psychometric tests. This is actually a testyou can use in the laboratory. It’s called Gist and detail test as a function of resolution.It’s measuring what we call fluid intelligence of a sort. I’ll give it to you. You guys canfigure this out in ten seconds. It took me about a minute, but here it is. Go ahead andtackle that for a second. I think you can probably see this, but I’ll read it to youfor those of you in the back who might not read it. [reads from screen] “There are are three things wrong wrong withthis sentence. Can you find them?” Ok. Go ahead. “There are are three thingswrong wrong with this sentence. Can you find them?” Ok? And I, as a little boy, would lookat that. It didn’t take me all that long for this one. It takes amount of effort, but Ididn’t get it instantly. Ok? I would look at it and say, “Hmmm.” How many of you foundthe, you can find two of them easy enough, you found the third one alright? Yeah? Ok,maybe a quarter of you. Ok. All right. I’ll go through this. “There are are three thingswrong wrong with this sentence.” Well, the hint is in the Gist versus detail; 40 thousandfoot view versus the 10 micron view. What are you gonna take a look at? Well, I cansee two, I would reason. I could see two things wrong with this because they’re repeatingtwo words. “There are are,” that’s one error. “Three things wrong wrong,” that’s a seconderror with the sentence and then all of a sudden it would hit me by effort. Wow. Thereare two things wrong with the sentence, but the sentence says there are three things wrongwith this sentence. There are not three things wrong with this sentence. There are only twothings wrong with this sentence. The whole freaking sentence is wrong. [laughter] And I would look at that and I would say,”Mom, you son of a gun.” Effort versus IQ. And then she’d give me a chaser, you guys.She’s a gentle soul, after all. And it’s my favorite book of all time, this is a game,book says, “Games you can’t lose,” so these require no efforts and she just gave thisto me, I think, as a chaser just to make sure I wouldn’t be defeated by, this is my favoritebook of all time. “Bobbing for water.” Well, that’s a game you can’t lose. “Can you helpFred find the pizza?” That’s a game you can’t lose. And my favorite, cause it’s so darnexistential, “Connect the dot.” [laughter] So, we’ve got effort versus IQ to talk about.And to talk about what to do before your kid enters the school in such fashion that ifHarvard is your option, or better to say an intellectually robust environment is, we haveto turn to, of all people, somebody who is, where is Stanford, please, from here? Justpoint. Is it just that way? It’s still somewhere that way? This is the land of Carol Dweck.How many of you are familiar with Carol Dweck? A few of you? All right. For those of youwho aren’t, you can try and sa-, she did not tackle the problem this way, but I’ll couchit this way and then bring up Carol’s terrific work. You know, let’s say you did your jobwell and your kid got into Harvard or Princeton or Stanford or wherever you think is a hotshot place, what you can see, I’m using Harvard as my metaphor here, what you can see is yousee two feeder types in the first year of Harvard life. Number one, some kids make itjust fine. They do very well, but that’s not true of all of the cohorts. Some get crushedby the experience, and they end up leaving before the first year is over. And they havehigh depressive disorders, maybe, sometimes anxiety disorders. They’re not doing verywell in intellectually tough environments and the question you can ask is, assuminga certain level of IQ, or a certain level of accomplishment at least, what’s up withthat? How come you got two and not one? Well, Carol thinks she’s got a good answer for it,and boy, I agree with her. Here it is. She was able to show that over the arching periodof your parenting skill, 15 to 20 year period, it fully depended on how you praised or faultedyour child’s intellectual accomplishment. And I’m gonna go over that in some detail.And then I’ll be done and then I’ll take questions. It fully depended on how you, as a parent,reacted to your kid’s intellectual successes and failures. Here’s what you shouldn’t do.It’s a cluster of behavior that is so robust and available; she’s actually it with a name.It’s called FMS, fixed mindset behaviors, if you wanna look this up, ok? I’ll providea reference in a second. Fixed mindset behaviors. You really wanna get your kid crushed by Harvard?Do this: little Johnny gets an A. You’ll say three things. Little Johnny comes in and youfound he’s got an A. “Little Johnny, you got an A. I’m so proud of you. You’re so smart.”That sounds lovely. That sounds encouraging. It is, in fact, toxic. Here’s why. What happensover the course of a multi-year period is this. The kid gets it that I get good gradesbecause I’m so smart, but what is smart? Well, even in the laboratory for us, we have noidea what intelligence is. Like I said, we don’t even know how you know how to writeyour name. Its ephemeral, it’s amorphous; we don’t know what intelligence is. LittleJohnny doesn’t know what it is, but you know, I get an A because I’m smart. Well, what happenswhen Little Johnny gets a C? If I got an A cause I am so smart, I got a C because I amstupid. Yeah. And over the course of years, you see an extraordinary reaction in householdswhere kids are constantly being fed fixed mindset behaviors, which is what she callsthem, FMS. They get an astonishing lack of tenacity. They wilt in the face of challengingproblems. They don’t do very well at all because they can’t control it. Well, I got an A causeI’m smart, but sometimes I get these Cs and I don’t know why I get these Cs. I must bereally stupid. I think I’m gonna go away and hide. In my experience, this is not Carol’swork, this is just John Medina’s comment on it, I have seen many fixed mindset householdsover the years since Carol’s published this and you know what I see? I see a lot of parentstreat their kids as if they were merit badges. Do you know what I mean by merit badge? Wherebyyour, their intellectual success is a direct reflection on you. They’re not even in thepicture. The kid doesn’t even matter. It’s just a reflection of who you are. And parentsin those households track their kid’s GPAs like they watch their stock portfolios, andwatch what happens when they do. In a fixed mindset household, we know what they do. Hereis an initial reaction to a hard problem, reaction to failure and the depth of theirunderstanding or lack thereof understanding. Excuse me a second while I go to standardview for a second. Here we go. Fixed mindset behaviors. Right here. They panic in reactionto a hard problem. In their reaction to failure, they see errors as personal failings. Of course,they were told they were, are smart, or were dumb. So, they ruminate on them over and overagain. The depth of understanding is superficial; the goal appears to be pleasing an authorityfigure with a depth of knowledge. They’re not tenacious; they give up much more easilyand that’s probably the reason why they get crushed at Harvard. Not only do they haveno idea what to do, they have every idea that it could cast dispersion on them. They’venever learned to focus and drill down hard. They are a product of fixed mindset behavior.You wanna get your kid to flunk out of Harvard? By all means, tell them they’re smart. [pause] Now, there is good news here. You’ll noticeI got a little yellow up there with the reference. It says, “GMS- growth mindset behaviors.”Carol was also able to show something else. That investigating the type of kids who didmake it very well in intellectually challenging environments, who did very well, had parentswho constantly deployed over a multi-year period growth mindset behaviors. And thesegrowth mindset behaviors ended up being pretty good. This is what you should do if you wannaget your kid to survive an intellectually challenging environments. It’s the dangdestthing. I’ll give you the example of kids growing up in what I’ll call the secret sauce of Harvard,ok? Growth mindset behavior. Little Johnny gets an A. “Little Johnny, you got an A. I’mso proud of you. You must have studied really hard.” [pause] You see the difference? They’re not even inthe same emotional universe, are they? “I studied really hard. That’s why I got an A.”Deploy that over a long period of time and what you’ll see is this. They get it thatI got an A because I studied really hard, well, when they get a C, if I got an A causeI studied really hard, if I get a C, it’s because I what? Didn’t study hard enough.And parents in growth mindset households and my experience, now this is not Carol’s work,this is John’s comment on it again, I have seen that parents in these households actuallyteach their kids how to focus, and they almost ignore their GPAs. It’s the dangdest thing.They don’t really care about how their kid’s do as a function of some benchmark; they careif their kids are applying effort. And when you do that, you will generate the type ofstudent that will be welcome in my laboratory any day because their attitude towards a challengingproblem is, “Yippee! Let’s go find out.” And they do not panic simply because they havefaced a goliath. Looks like this. In the GMS households that are available, growth mindset,they are relaxed. Often feels delighted with a challenge in response to a hard problem.Their reaction to failure? Well, they perceive errors as problems to be solved, not as personalproblems; not some cancer that’s somehow in them. Their depth of understanding, this iswhy I want them in my laboratory, they aren’t, they go deep. Their goal appears to be focusedon solving problems, not impressing authority figures. They are tenacious; they don’t giveup readily. That’s why I want them around, mostly been a consultant most of my life andI’m consulting with lots of labs and I can almost pick out the graduate students thatare, that have been grown up in fixed mindset households versus those that have grown upin growth mindset households. You grow up in growth mindset households, you are fundamentallycurious about learning. You grow up in a fixed mindset household, in my opinion, you don’tcare about learning; you care about pleasing. [pause] All of a sudden, we not only have things inthe cognitive neurosciences to say about cleaning the toilet and fighting fair in front of kids,but in what to do if you really want them to survive in the coming economies in thenext decades. You don’t tell them they’re smart, you guys. You tell them they work hard.Now, I’m closing, I’ll take some questions. I’m no parenting expert. I’m a brain jock,a consultant. I probably can’t take individual questions about your child, so it’s my wayof abdicating anything that I can’t figure out. I consider parenting to be an amateursport. Let me read to you the last page of the book and then I’m gonna take some questions.And apparently, you’ll need to go to the microphones for that. Ok, here it is. It’s my summarystatement of parenting all in fact. Well, even though I’ve been cloning genes out ofbrains for a couple of decades now. [reads] “In the messy world of child rearing, it canbe startling how profoundly a two-way street a parent/child social contract really is.You may think that grown-ups create children. The reality is that children create grown-ups.They become their own person and so do you. Children give a lot more than they take. Thishit me one night when my wife and I were snuggling with our younger pre-schooler, putting himto bed. My wife hugged him and thought he felt like soft bread dough. She said to him,’Oh, Noah, you’re just so squeezable and soft and delicious.’ ” Sounds like a Charmin commercial, doesn’tit? ” ‘Oh, Noah, you’re just so squeezable andsoft and delicious. I could almost take a bite out of you. You’re so yummy.’ Noah responded,’I know, Mommy. I’ve really got to lower my carbs.’ [laughter] “We laughed till we cried. Seeing his personalityblossom was such a gift. This is the message I would like to leave with you as I close.” Now, this is at the back of the book, butI think it’s relevant here, too. [reads] “As a parent, you may feel sometimes thatall children do is take from you, but it’s just a form of giving in disguise. Kids presentyou with an ear infection, but what they are really giving you is patience. They presentyou with a tantrum, but they are really giving you the exquisite experience, challengingexperience, hardest experience in the world, of witnessing a developing personality. Inthe twinkling of an eye, you realize the great privilege it is to be the temporary stewardof another life. Before you know it, you’ve raised up another human being where therewas once only a point of view. I said that parenting is all about developing human brains.” Which is something I say a lot in the book. “But my aim was inches too high. Parentingis all about developing human hearts. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter ifyour kids get into Harvard because parenting isn’t a matter of celebrating report cards.It is a matter of celebrating relationships. There is no idea in this book, or this talk,more important than that one.” Thank you very much. [applause] Ok, I’ll take question-, woah, sorry Vikki.I’ll take questions and comments till 2, and then you guys are outta here at 2 o’clock,so you may need to use the microphone. So, if there are any questions or comments I cantake, fire away. [pause] >>female staff: There’s one question online. >>John: Ok. >>female staff: The person, M, asks, “Doesconstant positive reinforcement impact our kids positively or negatively?” >>John: Yeah, it’s a great question. The questionis about constant reinforcement, positive reinforcement. Constant positive reinforcementis a very good thing, but I would also argue that it is not the only tool kit you needto have in your parenting supply. There is a great researcher by the name of Diana Baumrind,came up with what she says is the ultimate style of parenting and she actually callsit authoritative parenting. It is a deep supply of positive empathy and it’s got [inaudible]in it in lots of places. But, if you look at households where they have high functioning,emotionally regulated kids doing very, very well, who actually get very good grades andfewer infectious diseases; there are very clear rules and expectations in the household.Do you know that? So, it isn’t just about positive reinforcement, it’s also abilityto produce boundaries. I think of them a lot like the banks of a river; the boundariesthat you give your kids. If you have the banks of a river, you can give them guidance andwhatnot. Those banks in these households are made out of titanium. They’re almost not moveable.So, you have this interesting balance between warmth and praise, as the question suggests,and it’s strong there, but also the strong sense that you know, we’ve got some ruleshere in the family and you can’t violate them. And we’re gonna get them strong enough thatthere will be both rewards and punishments for it if you either exceeded the rule orfail a rule. Those produce the best kids, statistically, according to Diana Baumrind.Yeah, go ahead. >>Male member #1: So, hello. So, I’ve gota, she’s almost one, at home, and I notice a lot of times she’ll do something and it’ssomething good and then she’ll look and she’s waiting for the praise. >>John: Uh-huh. >>Male member #1: How do I get her so she’s,she’s interested in doing things, good things, on her own and not doing it for the praise?That’s something I’ve been concerned with at home. >>John: I see. Well, I would not stop thepraise one iota. She’s looking for approval, she’s looking for safety, she’s looking forall kinds of things. Eventually, she will get recursive on her own. I think you knowwhat I mean by that, but for a period of time, particularly in the first year of life, they’restill working out safety issues and so there’s attachment things that are going on and theywanna look to you and see, “Is this ok that I still do this?” And if you say, “Yeah, it’sok that I still do this. Yeah, it’s still ok,” there is an envelope, not of dependencethat is growing, but of safety that is growing. So, I would argue, particularly in the firstyear of life, you pour it on. You’re not ready yet, the kid’ll go, if you will, self-independenton her own. Wait till you get, wait for a year from now– [laughter] when you get what’s something called the terribletwos. You will long for this day. [John laughs] It’ll be just fine. >>Male member #1: Ok, great. >>John: Yeah, you bet. >>Male member #2: I’m wondering about the,although it’s extreme as saying, “You did well cause you’re smart or you do well causeyou worked hard.” And if you say, “I’m really proud of you. You did well cause you workedhard,” the kid might know better. Its like, “I sailed through that. I didn’t have to dosquat.” >>John: Uh-huh[laughs] >>Male member #2: Yeah. >>John: Well, then they need to go to anotherschool. [laughter] It’s actually a very good point because therewill be a point, particularly, I call it the BS meter, or the authenticity meter mightbe a better way to say it, the, there will be a point when you’ll look at them and theywill say, “Oh, you’ve studied really hard,” and the kid goes, “No, I didn’t.” And if that’sthe case, the bar needs to go up. It does. The point of being able to see, or at leastif you want the assay to see this, you see this best in problems where they are challenged,and if they’re not challenged enough, then give them so their intellectual elbow greasecan really get started. So, I would actually argue that it’s gonna be a give and take andparts of those, that bar probably need to be raised. Yeah.Uh-huh, all right, folks. Have a great day. See you later. [applause]