By ALYCIA LIM
Computers, television and video games are almost a part of nature for children growing up in this day and age, but if left unmoderated, exposure to these devices may endanger a child’s brain development.
While computer games may be good for the left brain development, parents need to know that it is important to strike a balance between their child’s right and left brains, said right brain education expert Pamela Sue Hickein.
Hickein, who is the founder of TweedleWink, a right brain education centre said: “There is a corpus callosum, which is a bridge linking the right and left brains and this is important because a person needs both the right and left brain to do things.”
She said that parents have a big role to play in contributing to a child’s brain development.
“If a child is gifted, it’s probably because the parent spends time with them.”
Emphasising the importance of a parent’s role, Hickein said that a young child has a very active right brain, and often there is no filter because the left brain is not yet active.
“This is why parents need to act as that filter, and make sure that only the positive things go in.”
She described the right brain as a sponge, with the ability to absorb everything the child sees or hears.
“The left brain only starts to develop when a child starts to talk. This is why toddlers and early pre-school children do matching, and they learn about shapes and colours. All these activities are developing the left brain.”
Using a right-to-left brain approach in educating children, Hickein said the classes at TweedleWink trained a child’s visual ability, vocabulary, geography and world customs education, music education, reading, maths, science and art.
As an example, Hickein said, “Art is a thought form that goes through the right brain, and is expressed by the left brain. So while artists need a very active right brain, they also need their left brain to express themselves, because without the left brain, their artistic thoughts cannot be processed.”
She said she also believed that it was important to find out what a child is interested in, and what their natural strengths are.
“It’s the same concept as work. If a child likes what they are learning, they will not feel like they are learning.”
After all, “All children have the potential to be gifted in something, they simply need to maximise their potential.”