So many grown ups can’t manage stress well. Because no one helped them enough with stress and distress in childhood, they never set up effective stress regulating systems in their brains.
Stress and distress in childhood? No, we are not limiting to the deprived children who has no families, or those who face serious kind of violence or abuse in early years. We, here talking about our little ones whom we claim to love, protect and being a good parent want best in life for them. Yes, we made such mistakes in day-to-day life so unknowingly.
Science has proven it is not just the matter of genes as to whether a child develops the higher human capacities of problem solving, self-awareness, the ability to react well under pressure, empathy and kindness. But there are styles of parenting that can dramatically influence these crucial developments.
The stress regulation system need to set up while the brain is in developing stage – childhood. People who are in close interaction with children play the key role here.
Before we proceed to understand how to set up the system we first need to know the brain of our little ones.
Meet the Brain
About 300 million years ago, reptiles had evolved on Earth, then came Mammals and finally Human followed much later.
We human might feel superior to other animals because we have the most developed higher thinking brain. But we are not superior in terms of the old reptilian and mammalian regions of our brain. yes, you read it right our brain still carrying those brains !
American physician and neuroscientist Paul D. MacLean gave the Triune Model. According to the model our brain can be divided in to three regions
(1) The deepest part of brain – Most ancient part of the human brain, largely, unchanged by evolution is very similar to reptilian brain. This region of brain activates instinctive behavior related to survival and controls essential bodily functions required for sustaining life.
(2) Our Emotional Brain- The lower brain or the limbic system, this region has almost the same chemical systems and structure as in the other mammals. It triggers strong emotions that need to be managed well by the rational brain that is not developed in animals.
(3) The Rational Brain- Also known as ‘frontal lobes’ or the ‘Neo cortex’. In evolutionary terms it is the newest part of brain amounting to about 85 % of the total brain mass and enveloping the ancient Mammalian and Reptilian parts. It is on the frontal lobes of a child’s brain that emotionally responsive parenting has a dramatically positive impact.
In the first few years of life, because your child’s higher rational brain is so unfinished, his lower brain will be in the driver’s seat.
It is important in parenting that we recognize exactly what this mean in reality. find it in next article –
Parenting Power : Design Your child’s Brain !