As we start this series of parenting articles I’m reminded of a speaker I heard many years ago as he spoke on parenting. He said when he had graduated college and just got married he wrote a book titled “The Ten Commandments of Parenting.”
Then he had a child. He wrote another book titled “The Ten Suggestions for Parenting.” When his kids became teenagers he wrote another book which he titled “Ten Helpful Hints on Parenting.”
In doing this piece I certainly don’t want to come across as the expert because I can clearly look back and see many things I wish I’d have done differently. I would like to share information I have learned by facilitating “The Learning To Live, Learning To Love” program by Life Skills International.
We are all familiar with the old phrase, “you are what you eat.” With parenting it goes like this, “you parent as you were raised.” We talk a lot about what we call life commandments in our course.
The child’s brain is different from an adult’s brain because it is lacking three chemicals: Serotonin, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine. The lack of those chemicals is what makes a child teachable and more willing to accept direction. Without those chemicals a child cannot do cause and effect reasoning, cannot think abstractly, and does not understand long term consequences or rewards. Did you know that with a connect-a-dot picture a child cannot tell what it will end up becoming till it’s completed? As adults we see what it will be immediately because we have those chemicals. Their inability to question things and figure them out for themselves, together with their intuitive belief that their parents will tell them the truth, give you an idea just how powerful the parent’s influence is. We give them thousands of life commandments that form their belief system about themselves and the world. We’ll cover this more next month.
Steve Reshetar is the director of the Matt 25 Hope Center in Clovis. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org