How Behaviors Are Created…..…And One Important Secret for Changing Them!
Humans have unfortunately been programming themselves over the centuries to point out the worst and focus on what’s “bad” or “not working ” as apposed to giving our full attention to what “is” working”. How does this impact our children?
If we predominantly focus on pointing out what our child is doing wrong, positive psychology and neuroscience has proven that it can have less than desirable effects on the wiring and programming of their brains and minds. Think about it, when we criticize and compare our children we’re essentially developing and building the neuro-circuitry that makes them feel and think “something is wrong with me ” or “I’m inadequate”. This can lead to feelings of stress , unworthiness, self esteem challenges, and much more.
When repeated over time, the circuitry thickens and the end result is a rapid reactive thought pattern that matches to whatever we’ve built up. In turn, this shapes our reality and “beliefs” about yourself or a situation. In other words, we become what we say and think…or in a child’s case, what they hear from parents or from their environment. The thicker we build up the neuro pathways through repetitious thought, the greater its stronghold on us.
This works both ways. You can also build your brain to respond to more optimistic thoughts and reactions. The benefit to thinking higher thoughts (love, peace, joy, kindness, compassion, understanding, etc.) is that it accesses and lights up the highest thinking centers of our brains, which is responsible for generating emotions and behaviors that we really want such as creativity, inspiration, compassion and joy! The approach of constantly reacting to stress or pointing out the flaws, judging or “guilting” a child is extremely counter productive to their brain programming. It also interferes with achieving what we really want, which is to raise happy, healthy, confident and loving children.
So where did we go wrong? That very question, once again, is the predominant mindset of looking for the “wrong” instead of looking at what we’ve got going on that’s “right”! You can only start from where you are right now, so playing the blame game is often wasted energy that programs the brain for reactivity and lower emotions.
According to neuroscience, what may be more helpful is to look at “what works well” and to begin by elevating the human being’s perception of themself. This in turn causes access to and building of circuitry in the higher thinking centers of the brain, which are responsible for reflection, joy, creativity, inspiration, stability, empathy and compassion. And who doesn’t want more of that for themselves or their children!
If you explore many ancient or native cultures across the globe that promote conscious ways of living you’ll discover something interesting. When a person is so called “lost”, “bad” or “struggling” they do something entirely opposite of our Western approach of criticizing or punishing one another. Rather, family, friends, and the community all come together to sing, dance and send love and positive intentions to this individual’s physical and nonphysical being. Essentially they’re using the mind, body and spirit to launch the highest and most positive human emotions, intentions and energy frequencies towards this struggling person so as to elevate their consciousness, physical self and mental capacity!
So next time you have a conversation with your child about being better in math or scolding them for being selfish, a more productive approach might be to point out what they are good at and try the brighter approach. Perhaps tell them that you can see that they know how to take care of their own needs (the bright side of selfishness) and then proceed to guide them by pointing out that others have needs too – and the importance of working cooperatively so that everyone benefits and can be happy…including them!
Think about it, if we can wire our children’s brains to make them feel crummy, stressed and uninspired, we can also wire them to feel motivated and connected with the highest and best expression of themselves too! The Mind Body Spirit Parenting Guidebook is a parent resource that can help you fortify your children and your life – forever!