Mental Health

Attachment Parenting: Parents are Chief Engagement Officers

What is an Intentional Philosophy for Parenting? Discipline is not about punishment but about teaching and integrating the brain…

What is an Intentional Philosophy for Parenting? Discipline is not about punishment but about teaching and integrating the brain so that children can develop critical thinking skills, self–esteem and become caring responsive adults who thrive. Kids misbehave and act out because their brains and nervous system are not fully developed and they are emotionally overtaxed. Their brains and nervous system develop through their home environment and the daily interactions with their loved ones. Parents are the #1 builders of neuronal connections. Child’s brain is a house that is always under construction.

  • Parent’s can respond proactively instead of reactively. Have a clear and consistent strategy. This proactive intentional response creates purposeful connection of neurons, which creates a child’s schemas of self, world and others.
  • What’s really going on? What lesson can I teach? How can I best teach this lesson?
  • Upstairs brain=the wise human= the neo-cortex.
  • When children are upset/dysregulated emotional/acting out ~Connect and re-direct. With this intention children can go from reactivity to receptivity. Connection calms the downstairs brain and integrates the upper and lower brains. (What keeps you the parent disconnected?)
  • Attunement to their inner world, connection does need to be logical, its more of them feeling felt by you, more what’s going on inside, time in, tune into the mind behind the behavior, non-verbal’s important too.
  • Good to model self -control you are their external regulator, you regulate them and do for them what they are not capable of doing yet
  • Help them name emotions or thoughts to tame them, engage don’t enrage the down stairs-reptilian-subcortical brain. Don’t poke the Lizard.
  • Help them see clouds of emotions roll by.
  • How can they solve this problem?
  • Set clear expectations, boundaries and structure.
  • Be specific about what you praise~not hollow~celebrate when things are going well.

Ineffective Parenting

  • Focusing too much on behavior and not on the why or feelings underneath.
  • Dismiss the children’s feelings or deny their reasoning.
  • Punishment and rigid one size fits all parenting.
  • Confuse consistency with rigidity.
  • Consequences instead of teaching.
  • Getting trapped in power struggles, activates the downstairs brain.
  • Shaming the child.
  • Shutting down and being inflexible