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Child's hands holding tender plant

The brain wires most effectively when GROWS elements are provided:

G for Guidance:
Children learn from adults.

R for Rest,
Respiration
and a
Reliable Supply of nutrients

O for Others:
The brain is at its best when it feels connection.

W
for Wiring:
The brain changes with experience.

S for Security:
The brain has a primal need to feel safe.

What does it mean to tend the garden of a child's mind?

Think of a garden.  The most important thing is to till the soil, add nutrients and supplements to create a foundation to support growth. Imagine then, adding 100 billion seeds.  With grace, a three pound, cranial universe of thoughts, dreams, talents, interests and abilities will grow to become a child’s mind.

Like any garden left untended, un-watered and undernourished, weeds will choke out the tender growth. Produce that could become ripe and sweet are hard and tart.  Blossoms that were destined to be vibrant and full droop and hang dull on their stems.

The brain, like a garden, requires tending.  As caring parents and adults, we need to know what to weed and what to water.  Through a process called neuroplasticity the brain garden can be molded positively — by consistency, connection and concern — or negatively, when left to chance through neglect, lack of knowledge or indifference.

As parents, educators, social workers and administrators, we have 50 trillion opportunities to wire a child’s brain for success.  This is a thoughtful process that we must capture and cultivate to build healthy young adult minds.  It can’t be left to chance.

So join me, Cheri Sheridan, and grab your tools and twine, some seeds and soil, and together we can tend the gardens of a new generation.