Calming Your Child with Television or iPad May Backfire

The Post Parenting Toolbox Series #75

Television not only distracts a child from whatever may have caused the tantrum in the first place, but one hour of screen Toolbox 2016time  hinders the communication between parent and child, decreasing the likelihood the child will listen to their parent the next time an incident occurs. Pacifying difficult children with a device doesn’t treat their behavior and possibly worsens the problem." - Medical Daily

We all love calm children. In fact, we will do almost anything at times to calm them, including things that may cause more problems in the long run. But such is the way with things in our hustle and bustle world where we so often don’t seem to have the luxury of “time” to do the right things right now. But, as the man says, “you can pay me now or you can pay me later”, we will end up paying as will our children.

And for those of us who have children with disruptive behavior patterns, adopted, foster and diagnosed to deal with to begin with, the forthcoming high price can be almost unbearable. And, as you know from your work with The Post Institute, our job is to help lessen the ill effects of traditional parenting - and taking the easy way out so that we as parents and our precious children are spared from the high cost of mis-parenting. This can move us all toward NPT (New Paradigm Thinking) where love really is all we need once we understand what true love really is.

Here is some interesting research in an article by Samantha Olson writing for Medical Daily that shows just how seemingly innocuous everyday things such as television, iPads and smart phone can add to the already present turmoil of parenting. Hope you find some value here — David Durovy


"Many a parent has tried to pacify a tantrum-throwing toddler with the distracting glare of a tablet game, and according to a team of pediatricians from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan, some use it as a coping mechanism more than others. Their findings, published in JAMA Pediatrics, reveal parents have a tendency to hand their child a tablet or smartphone in certain situations to calm them down. The more difficult the child, the more parents hand over the screens.

"We know that parents of babies and toddlers with difficult behavior disproportionately use television and videos as calming tools," said the study’s lead author Dr. Jenny Radesky, a child behavior expert and pediatrics professor at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. “We wanted to explore whether the same might be true for... Learn More

Source: Medical Daily - The Grapevine

Have a calm and mindful day!
David

For more Love Based Family-Centered Parenting info, visit www.postinstitute.com

How to Change a Life: Your’s, Your Childs, Anyone’s, Easily: Brain Science 101

Neuroplasticity shows us that our mental tracks that get laid down in our brain can lead to habits, good or bad. If we develop poor posture for example, it becomes hard to correct. If we develop good habits, they also become solidified. Is it possible, once “tracks" or neural pathways have been laid down, to get out of those paths and onto different ones? Yes, according to researchers, but it is difficult because, once we have created those tracks, they become "really speedy" and very efficient at guiding us “down the hill” of past behaviors. To take a different path becomes increasingly difficult. A roadblock of some kind is necessary to help us change direction. (Source: The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge M.D.)

Changing your life is one of the easiest, simplest and no-brainer activities that anyone regardless of age, intelligence and maturity can engage in. In fact research has shown that even rats and monkeys can learn to move a cursor on a video screen, play video games and manipulate robotic arms all with their thoughts and imaginings. I know what this looks like as you read it — stupid, nonsense and easily disregarded. But what if it were not only true but replicatable, documented and as accepted scientific fact? Brace yourself—it is.

That being said, if we can teach rats and monkeys to do things that most of us don't believe could be taught, what might be possible in the realm of teaching our children and ourselves things that are beyond the reach of what we believe to be possible?

Changing a life is something that does not even require intention or any special skill or knowledge. In fact as you are reading this you are "changing your brain" and thus changing your life. It is a fact. Your thoughts change your brain and your brain affects your thoughts and behaviors. Your brain does not control you, in fact you control your brain, if you don't so choose.

Simply said, every thought you have changes the structure of your brain. Granted, There are critical periods where these changes occur with greater ease, such as early childhood for example. And as we age, this process slows down a bit, but never really stops until maybe your last breath. It might be said, that for every thought there is a corresponding neural circuit that is triggered or stimulated. If it agrees with the current tracks in your brain, the effect is "sameness or rigidity” which only enhances the current neural pathways making them even stronger — or changed to make them stronger and more rigid, but changed nonetheless). If the new thought is different from the current pathway, a new branch or synapse sprouts. Either way, nothing remains the same as it was and “life is changed".

So you see, you cannot ‘not change’ your life at any and every moment—and the same is true for your child. If you want the same behavior to continue or engrained even more strongly in your child, merely reinforce that through your reactions and responses. (**For info on to do this detrimentally to your child, see reference to Bryan Post's article below).

Bishop TD Jakes says "if you always do what you've always done you'll always get what you always got". The Bible says, “As you sow, so shall you reap". This is not so much philosophy or religion but in fact the way life is. You get to decide which direction, and that is the exciting part! This is not someone doing it to us, it is we doing it to us! ("We have met the enemy and he is us" — Pogo)Brain That Changes Itself

So, how do you change your life? Think. Think either the same thoughts or different thoughts. Your brain doesn't care. You on the other hand may care deeply whether your life becomes more rigid and the "same", or more flexible and different.

So think, dear parents, think carefully and deeply about what you want, who you want to be and where you want to go. Be mindful of what those careless images and thoughts that run through your mind, and the input you take in from books, movies, television and others. They are changing you, like it or not along with your children. Of course, this applies even more so for your children as they are likely in those critical periods where plasticity runs at a much quicker pace. And this is where we parents come in. Not so much to "teach" them, but to help them bring out the best their "selves" — and this may not be what "we" want for them.

So lets find out who are children are. Who they want to be. What they want to do. And as we connect with them in the true spirit of education (Latin meaning to draw forth or led out). In effect, this is what facilitates learning and long term memory by removing the stressors which can inhibit the learning process.  Remember that "stress causes confused and distorted thinking and short-term memory loss". (A.N. Shore 2003, Affect Regulation and the Disorders of the Self, WW Norton).

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Interesting, is it not?

If you have not devoured Norman Doidge M.D.'s book, The Brain That Changes Itself, get it on Amazon now. — David Durovy


**How Neurophysiologic Feedback Loops work in parenting, which when they arise unaware in your interactions with your child, can promote more of the same behaviors that we are trying so hard to eliminate.

The term “neurophysiologic” refers to both body and mind. We have body/mind feedback loops that are both positive and negative. Research has been able to determine that we communicate with one another and are connected to one another on a cellular level. In fact, every cell in our bodies contains a consciousness of sorts, along with all of our DNA. Is that a radical idea for you? I want you to begin to pay close attention to the dynamic when you and your child get into an interaction that involves negative words thrown back and forth. Look at how big the dynamic becomes.

Let me illustrate it through an exercise. Draw a small circle on a piece of paper right now. That’s your child saying, “No, I’m not going to do it.” Draw another little circle. That’s you saying, “Yes, you are!” The child says, “No, I’m not!” Then, you say, “Yes you are!” Draw the circles larger around each time. That’s the power of a negative feedback loop.” — Bryan Post

To read more of Bryan’s article on this topic read more here.

How To Never Get Angry: Secrets From Neuroscience

How to Not React with Anger Toward Your Child or Anyone Ever Again... 

angry dadHow To Never Get Angry: 3 New Secrets From Neuroscience
One of the most effective tools in a parent’s toolbox is anger. “Don’t make me get angry with you”! (As if they could make us…). We don’t like it when our children get angry, we don’t like it when our spouse or boss gets angry, and if you are like me, you don’t even like it when you get angry. So why do we do it? More importantly, how do we “not do it”?

Eric Barker, the guy behind the blog Barking Up the Wrong Tree (his site brings science-based answers and expert insight on how to be awesome at life and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Wired Magazine and Time Magazine) has done a wonderful job helping us find options, understanding and alternatives to our fits of anger that do more harm than good.

His article appeared in Oct 2015 and is worth spending some time reading and looking at the links he provides. His focus is research based information and he provides the footnotes to back it up. Make sure you watch the Marshmallow Test video - inspiring and entertaining.

Imagine realizing that anger and other emotions can be healing — and that by suppressing them we are actually doing damage to ourselves. Suppression works he says but, “The good news is suppression works. You can bottle up your feelings and not look angry. However…It’s almost always a bad idea. Yes, it prevents the anger from getting out, but when you fight your feelings they only get stronger.” Whoa!

And further, “What happens in the brain when you try to clamp down on that rage? A whole mess of bad stuff. Your ability to experience positive feelings goes down — but not negative feelings. Stress soars. And your amygdala (a part of the brain closely associated with emotions) starts working overtime.” Well, we know about this amygdala stuff — the fear center for freeze, flight or fight. Who wants more of this? Want to learn how to decrease the power of your reactive amygdala? Help is here.

And to make matter worse, Barker says, “And fighting your feelings uses a lot of willpower. So afterwards you have less control and that’s why you’re more likely to do things you regret after you’re angry”. No surprise here.

Eric give us plenty of science to show how destructive suppressing our emotions can be (and the same for our children) and offers some excellent help for learning to manage (stop venting and start reappraising and more) the darker side of ourselves. Read it all right here…

There Is a Better Way to Parent

Where in the World is Waldo is a Better Way?

A big problem is that we parents think we know how to parent. That it is a no-brainer. I mean, people haveOld-Way-Better-Way-Wood-s been doing this stuff for centuries. What is the big deal? True, but that does not mean there isn't a better way...

The Better Way:  Your paradigm is the way in which you see the world. It is the model by which you explain and understand all that is happening. It is metaphorically speaking the table cloth upon which all the table settings rest.

Most people are constantly re-arranging the "table settings" of their life in hopes of something better. Change the table cloth. Yes, just yank it out, then start rebuilding your assumptions about your life, your parenting and about everything. What we teach works best from an entirely different paradigm or model of how parenting works.

Sure, we can play around with this technique, that tip, or another approach or method. We can do this for years with few results. If it doesn't work, we do it louder, harder, more forcefully.

For a direct flight to love, keep in mind that both you and your child are completely innocent, both doing the best possible thing you know how to do. If either of you knew a better way, I guarantee you would do it in a heartbeat. If it doesn’t work, it is simply because there is a better way, not the “right way”. Think in terms of better, not right or wrong. There is always, always, always a better way.

Choose a better way,
— David

Make ’em, Break ’em or Love ’em

When you can create regulation within yourself in the midst of your child’s dysregulation, you become the true essence of a parent — a positive influence on the growth and development of your child. This is true parenting - influencing your child and allowing their own development to proceed as God intended. It is not our job to make or force our child - but to nurture who they are and who they choose to be. When parents are calm and loving, wonderful things can take place with less effort, less work, less disappointment and just, well… less. whew! More time for play, for enjoyment and for love. It doesn’t get any better than this parents.

Eight Components of a Peaceful Parent/Child Relationship Pt 8: Love

P.E.A.C.E.F.U.L: Eight Components of a Peaceful Parent/Child Relationship - Component #8 Love is the ribbon that ties patience, IMG_04231empathy, acceptance, compassion, encouragement, forgiveness, and understanding all together.

Love is not a feeling - it is an action.

Love does not just occur or present itself – it takes effort.

Love is not a noun – it is a verb!

Your child will not just feel loved because you say you love him.

He/She must feel it through your actions.

This may take the form of a hug, a smile, or a kiss; but it takes some action before love can be experienced.

It will do your child no good to talk about how much you love him if he does not experience your love through your actions.

All else pales in comparison to a child feeling loved.

Children need this love above anything else.

The practice of love is difficult.

The process of expressing love is displayed through the actions of showing patience, connecting in empathy, providing acceptance, approaching with compassion, offering encouragement, showering with forgiveness, and seeking to truly understand your child.

If you have enjoyed P.E.A.C.E.F.U.L., the eight components of a peaceful parent/child relationship, then I would like to know.
If this series has had a positive impact on your life, take a moment and send me an e-mail: info@postinstitute.com

Choose love,

-- B

Oxytocin and Emotion: Overcoming Fear

What Is Oxytocin?

To understand love is to understand the oxytocin response. Oxytocin is truly a miracle molecule. As the body’s chemical of rest, Oxy Parenting srelaxation and balance, it does all sorts of wonderful and important things. We’ll talk more about those later in this book. But the key thing you need to understand for healthy, happy parenting is that oxytocin is responsible for love.

That’s right. Oxytocin acting in your brain and your body creates the experience we know as love. That’s love in all its dimensions: friendship, the love between parent and child, and the love between you and your mate. It’s also responsible for most of the other positive feelings we have for other people, from the quick exchange of smiles with a stranger you pass, to admiration for a co-worker, to the way you trust your car mechanic not to rip you off.

Oxytocin does all this — and more — in two ways. First, it calms the brain’s fear center. Then, it activates the brain’s social center, making you feel good about interacting with someone.

Calming the fear center is crucial. Fear is one of our strongest survival mechanisms, helping us survive physical danger. But it’s usually not the best reaction to social situations. When you’re anxious or afraid, you can’t see things clearly. You may see someone as threatening when he has no intention of harming you. You’re on guard and shut down, as fear chemicals race through your bloodstream.

Oxytocin counteracts the fear chemicals, relaxing you and making you able to see other people as potentially friendly and trustworthy. At the same time, when it activates the brain’s social center, it actually makes you desire social contact.Bryan-Susan_v2

A healthy brain releases oxytocin in response to positive social cues. For example, when a mother cuddles her child, both of their brains should release oxytocin. The oxytocin travels into their bloodstreams, where it relaxes them and encourages cellular repair. It also enters the parts of their brain that process social information, making them feel secure and loving.

Want to read more about this powerful hormone and how it affects the love you experience, or would like to experience? Oxytocin Parenting: Womb Through Terrible Twos by Bryan Post and Susan Kutchinskas

ADHD Not a Real Disease, Says Leading Neuroscientist Dr. Bruce Perry

Alex Pietrowski, Waking Times | One of the world’s leading pediatric neuroscientists, Dr. Bruce D. Perry, RitalinM.D., Ph.D, recently stated publicly that Attention Deficit/Hyper-Activity Disorder (ADHD) is not ‘a real disease,’ and warned of the dangers of giving psycho-stimulant medications to children.

Speaking to the Observer, Dr. Perry noted that the disorder known as ADHD should be considered a description of a wide range of symptoms that many children and adults exhibit, most of which are factors that everyone of us displays at some point during our lives.

“It is best thought of as a description. If you look at how you end up with that label, it is remarkable because any one of us at any given time would fit at least a couple of those criteria,” he said.

Dr. Perry is a senior fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston, Texas, a highly respected member of the pediatric community, and author of several books on child psychology including, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook–What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing, and, Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential–and Endangered.

His comments are quite refreshing at a time when diagnoses for ADHD in the UK and the US are sky-rocketing and prescriptions of stimulant medications to children are also rising rapidly, with many parents and concerned activists growing suspicious of the pharmaceutical industry’s motivations in promoting drugs to children. Ritalin, Adderall, Vyvanse and other mind-altering stimulant medications are increasingly prescribed to children between the ages of 4 and 17.

Dr. Perry noted that the use of medications like these may be dangerous to the overall physical and mental development of the child, remarking on studies where these medications were given to animals and were proven detrimental to health.

Pills“If you give psychostimulants to animals when they are young, their rewards systems change. They require much more stimulation to get the same level of pleasure.

“So on a very concrete level they need to eat more food to get the same sensation of satiation. They need to do more high-risk things to get that little buzz from doing something. It is not a benign phenomenon.

“Taking a medication influences systems in ways we don’t always understand. I tend to be pretty cautious about this stuff, particularly when the research shows you that other interventions are equally effective and over time more effective and have none of the adverse effects. For me it’s a no-brainer.”

Given that the problem of ADHD is complex and the term is more of a blanket term used to describe a wide range of behavioral symptoms, it is important to consider what the root causes of many of the symptoms may be before pharmaceutical intervention should be considered. Citing potential remedies, Dr. Perry suggested an approach that focuses attention on the parents and the child’s environment, while also recommending natural remedies like Yoga, and improved diet.

“There are number of non-pharmacological therapies which have been pretty effective. A lot of them involve helping the adults that are around children,” he said.

“Part of what happens is if you have an anxious, overwhelmed parent, that is contagious. When a child is struggling, the adults around them are easily disregulated too. This negative feedback process between the frustrated teacher or parent and dis-regulated child can escalate out of control.

“You can teach the adults how to regulate themselves, how to have realistic expectations of the children, how to give them opportunities that are achievable and have success and coach them through the process of helping children who are struggling.

“There are a lot of therapeutic approaches. Some would use somato-sensory therapies like yoga, some use motor activity like drumming.

“All have some efficacy. If you can put together a package of those things: keep the adults more mannered, give the children achievable goals, give them opportunities to regulate themselves, then you are going to minimise a huge percentage of the problems I have seen with children who have the problem labelled as ADHD.”

Many people may disagree with the assertion that ADD/ADHD should not be considered a disease, however, the fact remains that the myriad symptoms that are associated with these increasingly common ‘disorders’ can often be addressed and relieved without creating an addiction and dependency on pharmaceutical medications, which disrupt the mind and body in ways that are not fully understood or even researched.

About the Author

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and an avid student of Yoga and life.

Resources:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/30/children-hyperactivity-not-real-disease-neuroscientist-adhd
http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/03/07/diagnoses-fictitional-illness-add-adhd-jump-dramatically/
http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/tc/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd-medications

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

Calm the Stress, Diminish the Behavior: for Parent AND Child

The parent can foster the environment necessary to calm, or regulate, the bodymind state of stress through understanding, being mindful of, and encouraging the expression of fear or the feelings stemming from it. This is the key to diminishing undesirable behavior. All behavior arises from stress. To eliminate negative behavior you must strive to trigger the oxytocin response in your child. It is the experience of the love hormone which helps the body ultimately to calm stress thereby decreasing or eliminating negative behavior.

B_eyes_closed_cropLike any habit, the more you integrate the practice of mindfulness into your day, the stronger it becomes in your short term memory, and the more likely it is to be retrieved in difficult moments. Like love, mindfulness doesn’t change your child’s behaviors, it changes the way you experience everything. This present moment experience offers your child the opportunity to be truly accepted and loved – unconditionally – non-judgmentally for who they are. A glorious place for a child to be. With fear, threats and survival out of the way, their behaviors in turn can come from a regulated frame of mind. Calm the stress, diminish the behavior. But first of all you the parent must come from this place – and visit it often.

Choose love.

– B
(Read more articles by Bryan Post)

How to Stop Doing What Doesn’t Work

Q&AQ: How do I stop doing the things that do not help me or my child?

A: Stop doing that

Q: But how?

A: You stop doing that by stopping doing that.

Q: Could it really be that simple?.

A: It is that simple. If I were to pay you $1 million to stop doing that, whatever that is, do you think you could stop doing that? Or at the least, would you not pay much, much more attention to the issue and thereby make much quicker progress? Is your life and the life of your child not worth much more than that? It is all a matter of priority and perspective. Some things are more important than others. When we discover what we are making more important, and then evaluate if it is indeed more important, then we choose to make that change. That is why, when I say, choose love, although it appears simple, for so many of us it is so far in the background of our lives it almost appears as if impossible to live. Yet if we live as though we were being paid $1 million to choose love, I suspect the choice, the opportunity and the will to do so would be so much more accessible to us. So the real question is, is it important enough to stop? And if not, why not?