|Provide children regular access to the workings of your own mind
One of the most important and powerful things we as parents can
do for our children, is provide them with a regular, open
understanding of how thinking – the result of our heart, brain and
body processing energy and information from our inside
environment and our outside environment – leads to action.
Psychology offers a number of terms for this process. Theory of
Mind is one. Mindsight is another. Providing our children with
frequent access to the workings of our mind appears to support a
number of important developmental milestones.
One thing expressing what we think and feel appears to do is
substantially increase both the quantity and number of connections
of mirror neurons in our children’s developing brains. These
increased quantities and connections seem to be an important
element necessary for promoting growth in certain key brain areas
like the medial frontal cortex, the temporal lobes and the
temporoparietal junction – areas most responsible for the
cultivation of empathy in human beings. If we don’t teach our
children how what we say and do is affected by what we think and
feel, they won’t be able to understand how that process works in
themselves. And if they don’t understand it in themselves, they can’
t understand it in others. Without being able to understand what
might be going on in others, it becomes virtually impossible to
have empathy for them. Without the capacity for empathy, all kinds
of unskillful thoughts and actions become possible.
So how do we actually provide children access to the workings of
our own minds? First of all, we have to access an awareness and
understanding of its workings our self, obviously. If we as parents
aren’t able to make the connections between what we think and
how thoughts are connected to both feelings and our actual
behavior in the world, then it’s not only going to be difficult to
convey that awareness to our children, but it will likely also be a
challenge for us to fully understand it’s importance.
To explore the second Primary Parenting Practice click here.