Curious Neuron – Nobody said that parenting and being a parent were easy. That’s especially so with first-time parents, because babies and children do not come with a set of instructions like a kitchen or home appliance.
Of course, you can get helpful advice from your local pediatrician, or friends and relatives who have gone through similar experiences. Then there’s the classic book on child rearing, Dr. Benjamin Spock’s seminal guide Baby and Child Care, which sold millions of copies and went through countless revisions.
But what if you come across a child-rearing dilemma that doesn’t give you the luxury of flipping through Dr. Spock’s book or you can’t locate your local pediatrician, so that you can get that much sought-out piece of information, and have it available in a quick and more concise, comprehensible format?
That’s where Dr. Cindy Hovington comes into the picture.
A native of Laval, Dr. Hovington graduated with a Ph.D. degree in neurosciences from McGill University. Building up a solid reputation as a researcher, she realized she also wanted to be a mom and raise kids of her own. But her career in medical research proved to be a bit of a roadblock towards that goal of building a family.
“I found my professional life quite busy, yet I wanted to have kids and a family life. I asked my supervisor if I could take a long leave of absence from research to stay home with my kids, and he highly discouraged this, since I was at the start of my academic career and he suggested I needed to make a choice about which I wanted to focus on,” she said in a recent phone interview. “However, while raising my three children, I realized that I missed doing scientific research and how that kind of information was increasingly relevant to the outside world. I knew that there was a lot of science about raising a child that was hidden behind the walls that parents didn’t know about. So as a hobby, I read a great deal of recent articles and research and other trusted resources on the subject, sifted through the information, and summarized them. As a result, the work I did created information that parents could use and was more applicable to them today, because I believed that Dr. Spock’s book was quite outdated. And then I took all that summarized information and shared it with other parents.”
That formed the genesis of Curious Neuron. Established in 2015, Curious Neuron is an online resource that is dedicated to empowering parents and guide them towards making informed decisions about their children’s environment, as well as promote healthy brain development, so that parents can thrive while raising and nurturing their children. With a stable of about 40-50 contributors ranging from nurses to psychiatrists to physicians, Curious Neuron always remains on top of the latest scientific trends, and offers parents answers to their many parenting questions through bite-sized nuggets of information that are both comprehensible and evidence-based.
“These days are a different environment for a parent who wants to be present with their child; there are no right or wrong answers,” said Dr. Hovington. “And as parents, we always make mistakes with how we learn about parenting, especially how we should repair those mistakes so that we can communicate effectively with our children. It’s important to realize that parents today have to let go of that idea of perfection, because there is too much stress that is placed upon them. We have to give a child the time to be a child.”
Dr. Hovington adds that besides the vast library of summarized, comprehensible parenting information, Curious Neuron also offers weekly virtual family meetings that focuses on a certain related topic each week and attracts up to 50 people per session (Dr. Hovington also added that there is a participant from India who wakes up every week at 6 a.m. like clockwork to join in on the meeting); there is a podcast that contains easily accessible information and as of this past February, has attracted up to 8000 listeners a month (it is also listed as a popular podcast on the iTunes chart); their Instagram page, which was established about three years ago, now has over 38,000 followers; and since Curious Neuron was officially launched as a company this past December, a parenting academy will be kicked off before the end of this year.
“Curious Neuron has changed the outlook on parenting, and has helped parents with creating boundaries and empathy in order to connect with their kids, and to create an environment so that a child can thrive towards being their very best,” she said. “This has become a valuable resource where all the answers are here; it’s a place where parents can quickly and easily get those answers towards being an effective parent and effectively raising their children.”
For more information about Curious Neuron and its resources and services, go to www.curiousneuron.com .