We know brain development commences from infancy and is not completed until adulthood. Males normally have full brain development about 28 – 29 years and females at about 25 years of age. It seems many parents may underestimate how much their child’s brain changes from year to year and how these changes can influence behaviour.
Decades of scientific evidence have shown even an infant brain is capable of astonishing achievements. According to developmental psychologists, parents who better understand the stages of child development can help guide their child.
Babies spend time looking, listening and imitating from the time they are born. Have you ever done something and your child imitates it back to you? Both good and bad imitations.
Many parents don’t realise how quickly their infant begins to develop social and emotional awareness. Parents can underestimate how perceptive a child is to their own emotions. At only six months of age, a child can be affected by a parent’s depression or anxiety and by spousal quarrels.
Babies and toddlers look to their parents for guidance. They know little about communicating or developing social interaction, they also know nothing about coping with a situation. All these skills, necessary for a productive life, are learnt from the parents or significant others in the child’s life. This process is called ‘social cognition’ or ‘social referencing.’ Watch your little one’s social cues, and you may be surprised they are acting and copying what it is they learn from either mum or dad. We typically underestimate babies’ ability to understand and communicate before they begin speaking.
Parents can help children learn about self-control and appropriate behaviours by modelling the behaviour they want their child to emulate. These modelled responses include not only the good parts of our personality but all parts. The forgiveness and kindness we display, the anger and frustration as well as the anxiety, depression or sadness we may feel, may all be modelled and copied by the child.
So many parents struggle to cope every day, especially if they are sleep deprived and this seems to be part of parenting, especially in those early years. If you still struggle to switch off your active mind when you lay down to sleep consider using the Sleep Through the Nightaudio session. This will enable you to lay your head down, empty your mind to rest comfortably while you are taken on a journey of relaxed sleep, before waking in the morning re-energised and reinvigorated ready for a new day to come. When we are well rested, both in body and mind, we can process and cope so much better with any issue that presents. Lack of quality sleep is often a major issue for many.
Psychologist, Dr Michael Yapko, some years ago wrote a book titled ‘Depression is Contagious’. He researched and concluded that children do model a parent’s depression, anxiety and stress level. In fact, if you have a child that is challenging or argumentative, look within the family unit to understand who they are copying.
A child feels what they see and hear and this creates the Childs’ learned response.
Many of us have current or past issues. These issues can change the way we behave, act and communicate to others. If you are a parent that is suffering from anxiety, if you need to release past hurt perhaps from a dissolved or previous relationship, then I urge you to immediately take steps to resolve your emotional state and obtain support to rebalance your emotional level.
If you as a parent are experiencing habitual behaviours such as excess drinking, gambling, anger, smoking or over-eating, our children may copy. They copy our coping skills, our communication style, our behaviours; many parts of our personality.
I see too many teens and young adults experiencing issues they have learnt from their parent. Once a parent becomes aware they are modelling these behaviours, they usually are extremely proactive to overcome them. They do not want to demonstrate their anxiety, emotional or habitual issue so as not to pass it onto another generation. Many of us have learned our behaviours from our parents as well. The many parents I see in my rooms that complain about their child’s behaviour and responses are shocked and quietened when I ask this one question “who are they like?” When a parent suddenly realises they are frustrated with their child’s behaviour that emulates theirs, they start to note the modelling they have displayed. Confronting this is an excellent opportunity to realise you also have the power to adjust your and your child’s behaviour. Surely this is Empowering.
Children do not have the brain function or capacity to understand the reasons a parent behaves the way they do. They learn this to be normal, they copy and imitate.
I can assure you any preschool, primary or high school teacher would understand the dynamics within the walls of your home by watching and listening to your child. Children learn by imitating, they follow, and they believe this behaviour they witness, hear and feel is normal. They copy, not to be so much like you but to be what they believe is normal. A child, therefore, understands this is what people do, say, communicate, cope and act.
Ever heard a young child use profanity? We are shocked, however I wonder where they heard this word and how it was used or directed.
All parents want to be the best parent they can be. Isn’t it time to take charge, dissolve those issues holding you back or infringing on the way you want to live your life. Let go of those past traumas or behavioural issues; learn to move forward being better, doing better and modelling better to your child. You deserve to be happy, balanced and strong; your child deserves to model this as well.
Most people do not need years of therapy to adjust their thoughts and behaviours. What is important is to be aware of what is happening and make that conscious decision that enough is enough, “I want to rebalance and correct this”, thereby directing my child to beneficial and valuable behaviours and responses. You can do this rather quickly. I urge you to visit Virtual Hypnotherapy and use the session appropriate for you to take back control and make those adjustments now. Hypnotherapy is a natural process in which the mind is more receptive to positive suggestions while releasing negative feelings. It can allow you to create subconscious change in the form of new responses, attitudes, behaviours and feelings.
Perhaps you want to Quit Smoking; Abolish that annoying habit, be that anger, excess alcohol or gambling. Maybe it is time to release that past hurt from a previous relationship or decrease your level of anxiety? Perhaps you need to remove that baggage you have carried around for far too long. Possibly it is to take charge of your eating, or reduce your excess weight so food no longer controls you. Whatever it is you seek, I hope you choose to take that one necessary step. Be proactive, do it fast and efficiently to live a happier, more productive, balanced and joyful life. Be that model your children deserve.
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