In this chapter, the authors brought in the idea of “Brain 3 ‘cs”.
- The brain is changing
- The brain is changeable
- The brain is complex
Many a times when children misbehave, their ‘downstairs brain’ are active. They are impulsive and angry. What this book encourages parents to do is to engage the children in their ‘upstairs brain’. That’s where the higher order of processing takes place. ie. better decision making, rationalising, self-control… Interestingly, the ‘upstairs brain’ will only be fully developed when one is in their mid-twenties.
The bottom line is that no matter how smart, responsible or conscientious your child is, it’s unfair to expect her to always handle herself well, or to always distinguish between a good choice and a bad one. That’s even impossible for adults to do all the time.” pp37
SO HOW NOW, Brown COW??? To sum up, its really about modeling for the children to show empathy towards others and helping them get in touch with their own emotions. To be emphatic. By choosing to connect with them before redirecting them (chp 1), we are building their mindsight. This way, we guide them toward insight, empathy and moral thinking.
Scenario: Just woke up from nap and was sharing yogurt with blueberries with me for tea. 3/4 way through the sharing…
KX: NO! Mama cannot eat.
Me: *Puzzled* But why? You have been sharing with Mama?
KX: No! Mama cannot eat …. *cry..CRY…CRYYYYYY*
Me: Ok, so you don’t want to share, then do you still want to eat?
Me: Ok since you are not eating… how about Mama finish it then?
KX: No…No… *cry..CRY…CRYYYYYY*
Me: So do you still want to eat or not?
Me: Then why can’t Mama eat?
KX: *cry..CRY…CRYYYYYY* decibel – Glass shattering
Me: *Getting a little impatient and losing it, Threatened* (Reflection: mistake made)
KX: *cried even louder* Ma ma carry.
Me: No! Mama is not going to carry you now. Let me clean up the bowl first. (Reflection: mistake made again)
KX: *cried even louder and insisting that I carry her*
Me: *remembering the lesson learnt in chp 1, practised ‘connecting’ again. I knelt next to her and asked if she wanted just to be close to me*
KX: *Nodded her head*
Me: *Put down my bowl, give my dirty hands a quick wipe* Come, let Mama hug a bit then we go to your bed and look at the floating clouds k?
What am I trying to illustrate here? I could only redirect and get her to apologise from throwing tantrum, explain to her that what she did was not necessary and wrong, after I connected with her.
The bible talks about empathy too…
…not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. – Phil 2:4
so much learning, unlearning to do… time to grow my own brains.