I have been fascinated by neuroscience for several years now. In fact, learning about basic brain function and child development is why I chose to leave conventional parenting methods behind. I’m certainly no neuroscientist, and I still don’t understand the deep complexities of the brain, but I’ve come to understand the basics through No-Drama Discipline by Drs. Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne-Bryson.
Dr. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Bryson is a psychotherapist and the Executive Director for the Center for Connection. What they share in their book is huge, paradigm-shifting information that every parent needs to know. I’m going to share with you just a snippet that I feel is extremely important. Of course, I recommend adding their book to your library.
Let’s divide the brain into parts. The lower region of the brain is what Drs. Siegel and Bryson refer to as the “downstairs brain.” This is made up of the brainstem and the limbic region. The brainstem is our primitive “reptilian” brain and is responsible for operations such as breathing, digestion, and regulating sleep cycles. The limbic system houses our strong emotions. The downstairs brain is well developed at birth, so your child feels all of the strong emotions from the get-go, but managing those emotions is not a function of the lower brain.
Why does this change everything?
Does this excuse bad behavior? Do we just let it go since they can’t help it? ..Finish reading this article over at Creative Child
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