Nathan Wallis’ Brain Development talks – all in one place!

Have you been hooked on Nathan Wallis’ brain development talks? I know I have! Nathan Wallis is considered an expert on child brain development and has lots of advice on how to raise children with this in mind. I have binge listened and watched heaps of different talks of his. Unfortunately it sometimes takes time to find those resources, so below I have put together as many of his talks and interviews as I could find. I have also categorised these to make it easier for you to find the information that you want.

Because the talks and videos were taken at different times and places if you do choose to listen to lots of talks at once you’ll quickly pick up on some repetition. Just giving you a heads up.

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Who is Nathan Mikaere Wallis?

Nathan is a well respected brain development communicator, or as RNZ puts it, commentator, researcher and educator here in New Zealand. He has worked at the University of Canterbury, has had his own children, as well as fostered children, and has worked with troubled teenagers. He is considered an expert when it comes to children’s brain development and is the director of X-Factor Education. Nathan Wallis’ brain development talks are currently being held all over the country.

It takes a Village

Before diving into brain development talks, I must mention that Kathryn Ryan, from Radio New Zealand (RNZ) has been doing a series called ‘It takes a Village‘. I mention this because if you’re wanting to find more information on different parenting topics, this is a great place to look, as she interviews experts on different parenting fields.

Lots of the talks below are from RNZ and others are from YouTube. Nathan also has a Facebook page where he shares the latest talks he is giving and has a few videos. Enjoy feeding your brain on knowledge about your child’s brain.

All Radio New Zealand talks are about 20 minutes long (unless stated otherwise) and 1 NEWS NOW videos are about 4 – 5 minutes long.

Talks and Videos by Nathan Wallis

Nathan Wallis’ YouTube Playlist – compiled by Nathan Wallis. These are a series of 12 YouTube videos discussing different brain development topics.

Child brain development talks by Nathan Wallis - Kiwi Style Mum - a family
Your first-born child gets more of your undivided attention than your subsequent children.
Photo credit: John-Mark Smith

Nathan Wallis’ brain development information on the first 1000 days

It’s becoming common knowledge (partly because of Nathan Wallis’ brain development talks) that the first 1000 days shape your brain for the rest of your life. You’re learning what parts of the brain you need to send more blood flow to. For the first 6 months (roughly) you’re seeking attachment. From there until 18 months you’re exploring your physical movements, learning to walk and so on.

Child development expert Nathan Wallis’ top tips for baby’s first 1000 days – by 1 News NOW on the 22nd July 2018.

Sleep training for infants and tips for older children – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on the 12th July 2018.
Don’t be put off by the title, he discusses whether it is harmful for children or not.

Parenting expert’s tips on getting your children to sleep – by 1 News NOW on the 6th March 2018. (Not by leaving them to cry!)

Related post: Am I the only one whose baby won’t sleep?

Nathan Mikaere-Wallis’ top tips for parents for the first 1000 days of their child’s life – by 1 News NOW on the 2nd March 2018.

Fostering intelligence and the first-born advantage – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on the 15th December 2016.

Brain development in the first 3 years of life – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on the 17th October 2013

Having trouble entertaining your toddler? Sign up below to get a free printable with lots of indoor activities that will keep your toddler entertained for days! Or read the blog post 40+ Indoor Activities for Toddlers.

Nathan Wallis’ brain development information in children (ages 3 – 7 and 7 – 12)

From 18 months until 7 years old you’re developing an attitude towards learning. Below is some general parenting advice (which can be summed up with less screen time, more interaction with you).

Childhood anxiety: Livestream with Nathan Wallis – by Attitude. Published 2nd October 2018.
An hour long YouTube video interview.
Childhood anxiety: An Anxious World Part 1 – by Attitude. Published 20th October 2018.
Childhood anxiety: An Anxious World Part 2 – by Attitude. Published 27th October 2018.
Both are YouTube video documentaries following the families of a school aged children with anxiety. Nathan Wallis gives some explanations as to why this is happening.

Parenting expert Nathan Wallis on keeping your kids happy during the holidays – by 1 News NOW on the 10th July 2018.

Child brain development talks - Kiwi style mum - Family with 2 kids
They grow up fast!
Photo credit: Julie Johnson

Kids with interpersonal skills come from homes where there are rich conversations – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on the 21st September 2017.

How to make your kids smart: play with them! – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on the 15th September 2016.

When to let kids make mistakes and when to step in – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on the 17th September 2015

The three best and worst ways to modify child behaviour – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on 26th March 2015.

Parenting with Nathan Wallis; Getting kids to behave – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on 4th December 2014.

Parenting with Nathan Wallis – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on 18th September 2014.

Children’s brain development and education

These talks are specifically addressing when to start teaching more academic skills, like reading, writing and arithmetic.

A way I have come to think about this, (which I think is in line with what Nathan teaches) is why rush children into being adults? Let them be kids, because it’s only until they’re 7. There’s plenty of time to learn facts and figures after that.

Before they’re 7 instilling a love of learning is better. This doesn’t mean they don’t learn anything, because how do you learn a love for learning if you’re not learning anything? I plan with my kids to get them listening to lots of audio books about ancient myths and legends, as well as getting them involved in gardening. Of course, if they want to learn to read I wouldn’t stop them! I just wouldn’t force a child into it before they are ready, and they will be one day.

When should a child learn to write? – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on the 8th March 2018.

What’s the ideal age children should be starting school? – by 1 News NOW on the 27th November 2017.

Does NZ education policy align with recognised research? – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on the 18th May 2017.

What 3 – 7 year olds need to learn – Nathan Mikaere Wallis – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on 8th May 2014.

Nathan Wallis' Child brain development talks - Kiwi Style Mum - Baby Sleeping holding hands
Parents seem to always worry about their children’s sleep, no matter what age!
Photo credit: Aditya Romansa

Nathan Wallis’ brain development information on the teenage brain (13 – … 32?)

So, at some point during this time the logical reasoning part of the brain shuts down. The emotional part takes over. Because of this you may find you’ll be referring back to techniques you used with your 3 year old, like validating their emotions first.

How to help your teenager get enough sleep – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on the 8th November 2018.

No one under 18 should drink alcohol, says child development expert Nathan Mikaere-Wallis – by 1 News NOW on the 16th Marth 2018.

Minimising the risk of suicide – what can parents do? – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on the 2nd November 2017.

Parenting an anxious teen – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on the 6th July 2017.

Teen girls and binge drinking – by RNZ. A discussion on The Panel with Jim Mora hosting on the 27th April 2017. It’s about 9 minutes long.

Nathan Mikaere-Wallis on teenage drinking – by RNZ with Lynn Freeman as the interviewer on the 12th May 2016.

Child brain development talks - Kiwi Style Mum
Alcohol
Teenagers and Alcohol are a bad combo.
Photo credit: Adam Wilson

Nathan Mikaere-Wallis – teenagers and the justice system – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on the 5th November 2015

Why punishing teenagers won’t work – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on the 2nd July 2015

Parenting with Nathan Mikaere Wallis – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on the 4th July 2013.

Healing your brain after trauma

When the Christchurch Earthquakes hit this was a big deal for parents. I was 19 – 20 at the time, and so didn’t realise the impact it would have on my own development. Nathan and a colleague of his, Miriam McCaleb posted a video on the 10th of March 2011 responding to any concerns anxious parents would have.

Neuroplasticity and healing childrens’ brains – by RNZ with Kathryn Ryan as the interviewer on the 14th July 2016.

Other resources

Nathan has co-written a book with Peter Alsop (primary author) called Nurture: The art of parenting. I borrowed it from Christchurch City Libraries and it seems like it would make a great annual calendar! Loads of quotes with pictures. The introduction bit is a little heavy going, just as a heads up.

I also found this online copy of notes taken at a talk of Nathan’s at Albany Senior High School on 25th November 2009. Worth a quick read if you can’t listen to talks for whatever reason.

At Christchurch City Libraries there are also 2 DVDs by Nathan Mikaere Wallis: One on Brain Development for Babies: An Introduction to Neuroscience and Infant Development : 0-3 Years and another on The Teenage Brain: Understanding and Working with the Changes: 13 – 19 years. Unfortunately I couldn’t find these for sale at online stores I frequent.

Nathan Wallis' child brain development talks - Kiwi Style Mum
Why not pin me on Pinterest?
Photo credit: Jesse Orrico

What to do with this wealth of information?

This is a lot of information to digest in one go! Go you for listening through some of these! Just by doing this you’ve become a better parent!

I will be trying to write well researched posts like this one. Please share this post or subscribe to updates on when other posts will pop up! I’ll also be sending out the occasional email with surveys to get a feel for what you would like to read (because writing about just what I’m interested in is dumb).