Understand the Brain

I know Summer is here, because I have officially “flipped my lid,” or at least I have wanted to every day since school has been out…sigh. On one hand I am truly grateful to have a career where I am able to spend every day with my boys, but on the other hand I’m counting the days until school starts again.

I think I’m not alone when saying that I had fantasies of a fun-filled active Summer full of swimming, play-dates, picnics at the park, practicing lots of baseball, walks in our neighborhood etc. But, lets also be realistic for a moment…in-between all those fun activities are trips to the grocery store, Target, daily housework, and a few other “boring” errands. At the end of the day I’m exhausted!

Therefore, it’s much easier for me to flip my lid.

For those who are reading this and are unfamiliar with “flipping your lid” I suggest you watch Daniel Seigels demonstration of Brain in the Palm of the Hand.

To sum it up, when you’ve flipped your lid—meaning you’ve completely lost your cool—your fight or flight mid-brain is exposed and rational thinking is not taking place. With two flipped lids face to face (yours and your child’s), how much helpful problem solving do you think is happening? Who is listening? When you and your child are in a “flipped lid” state, is this the time to teach or try to solve the conflict? When you understand the brain you realize that children cannot learn anything positive when they feel threatened. They are capable only of fight or flight—even though their fight or flight may be emotional withdrawal or thoughts of rebellion.

But all is not lost. There are many Positive Discipline tools that can help you and your children get back to rational thinking. ConnectionBefore Correction, Positive Time-Out and Hugs…to name just a few.

I often need to remind myself that, I cannot expect to control their behavior when I can’t even control my own. The good news is that “Mistakes are Wonderful Opportunities to Learn.” And thank goodness my children are so willing to forgive me.

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