“When are you going to start using your brain?” Come on, we have all said it at one time or another when our kids are not making the best of choices. And sometimes, those choices are pretty unbelievable.
But, the truth is, we cannot expect our kids to use their brains unless they learn how. For the past 6 years, my goal has been to create a model to help people understand the most powerful tool that they already own: their brains. Yup, that’s right, a kind of users manual for the brain. And the more that I learn, the more aware I am that we seem to
be heading in the wrong direction.
Teens and young adults today are experiencing anxiety, depression, and suicide at rates that are unprecedented. Given that I have four kids heading toward that demographic, it is something I struggle with every day. How do we, as parents, help protect them? I am convinced that the way to turn this train around lies in understanding the brain science.
Our brains are funny. For so long, they have evolved to help us survive in a world that no longer exists, and, interestingly, that hard-wiring drives us to respond in counterproductive ways to this world.
What do I mean? Our brains are wired to protect us from danger– say, a saber-tooth tiger stalking us in the woods. Our brain are always on alert, preparing us to respond at any time. That worked well for cave men and really into the pre-technology world. However, the brain was not wired to differentiate between physical threats and rewards and social threats and rewards and our modern world is full of the latter.
There are so many ways that we are priming our kids brains for addiction, anxiety and depression, but there are simple fixes that we can make that can make a big difference — we just need to understand how.
The blogs that I write will focus on helping you to understand your child’s brain (and your own) to help you make more mindfully resilient choices.