“Since you've been practicing RBE with your baby, what are the changes you've noticed in him?”
I get this question a lot. Those who've asked it are aware that I've always given an honest answer- that I've not tested him and neither should they. With babies especially, parents wouldn't see a visible change for years at times. Until one fine day, they're awestruck by something miraculous that their child did. Only that it’s not a miracle-more and more studies on the brain are coming up and stating this one thing-
“The human brain is growing at an exponential rate in the first 6 years of a baby’s life. During this period, the child can absorb rapid amounts of information at a lightning fast speed.”
But why should we focus on giving all that input to the tiny baby? Why put so much stress on the little brain? Why talk about science and maths when the poor child doesn’t even know where his feet are!
Well, because the baby wants, rather craves for all that stimulation. Because his brain is in a state where it has produced an excess of neurons and these neurons are counting on his environment to give them the input so that they can form connections. If not, they are pruned away.
If you blindfold a baby for a certain period of time, the baby’s optic nerves will shrivel up and he will lose his vision. Similarly, speech therapists will tell you to talk a lot to your baby-as without speech, the brain’s speech related areas will not develop. The fact that babies pick up all languages they’re exposed to without being taught how to speak is a miracle in itself. Adults can never learn a language by just listening to it. Isn’t the baby’s brain far more superior to ours then?
Babies can learn to read just like they learn to speak-by being exposed to words big enough that they can read. The baby is not trying to memorize or apply logic to anything-the periodic table is as simple as the primary colors for him-only if he is presented with factual information in the right manner. The brain automatically finds patterns amongst this information. This stimulation then helps his brain to grow and develop strong connections; and these connections last a lifetime. Learning is never as effortless as it is in the first 6 years of life.
Coming back to the question, following are some of the things I’ve noticed in my baby so far-
I’ve never flashed these names he’s reading, but I have flashed a variety of phonics and word cards. He wasn't even looking at half of them. I was pleasantly surprised when my husband asked him these questions and he answered correctly(In the second video, he’s whispering ‘papa’). My husband’s logic was simple- “Of course babies can read! If a 6 yr old child can, why can’t a 3 or a 2 yr old?”
He has extraordinary observation and memory. To the extent that whenever either of us can’t find our phones, we ask him and he takes us to the exact place where the phone is kept-sometimes under a blanket, sometimes in the kitchen, etc. He remembers the minutest details of every scene he has looked at-and looks for the smallest of things that has gone missing or has gone awry.
I’ve handled zero tantrums and behavioral issues so far. And this, in my opinion, is the most underrated yet most valuable benefit of pursuing RBE-as it teaches you wonderful ways to connect with your child and to mold them into emotionally strong adults.
If you wish to know more about RBE, do give our blog a read. Have any questions to ask or experiences to share? Let me know in the comments below!