99% of time we have been humans has been prehistoric and the wiring in our brain is much more attuned to that world than our own modern world. That was fascinating to think about. I hadn’t thought about the implications that has as our brain tries to adapt to a more modern world, but the hard-wiring of the brain is pretty set and change does not happen quickly. The other thing that really surprised me from the talk was about the evolutionary science of our brain and when we think about how we as humans are wired, our wiring hasn’t caught up with our current world. Thinking out my kids with this information fresh in my mind changes the way I think about parenting my children. It really forced me to think about how my kids are wired. This isn’t to say that the environment doesn’t have an impact, but it sheds a light on some things.
On Tuesday, I went to a talk for the early childhood parents presented by Dr. Tim Jordan (a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician). It was a very enlightening discussion and one that made me realize that I have choices as a parent. I can either parent the way I want to or I can parent the way my kids need me to.
We also learned about the real innate differences in the male brain and the female brain. I learned that boys (men) tune out what they deem as white noise when they are focused on something else. So, often when I am asking Noah what he wants for breakfast or to put on his shoes, and he is doing something else, he isn’t purposefully ignoring me. His brain is hardwired to be able to tune out distractions. On the other hand, when Zoë has to talk about something 4,567 times it isn’t to be annoying, but because she is trying to process it and understand it. It is fascinating. I can’t wait to read more about these differences.
The choice seems simple, but it isn’t. Clearly it isn’t, as I have a long way to go to even begin to be proficient at this.
As I think about my parenting decisions, most of them are made based on what I think should happen, etc. I realize that I haven’t been listening to my children as much as I thought I was and certainly not in any consistent manner.
We have a lot of power struggles in my house. I need to take responsibility for that. There can only be a struggle if more than one person is involved.
It is hard. I want to be in control of everything. But that is not possible and it really clashes with the kids own developmental need for control and power.
So, I will work to strike a balance and be the mom that my kids need me to be. It’s isn’t going to be easy. But nothing worth doing or having is often easy.