Many parents are left puzzled by their kids and tend to wonder what’s going on in their brains especially when they observe their kid’s behaviors. They usually think that their kids are doing things on purpose when in fact, they don’t know how to react to certain circumstances.
It all boils down to having a clear understanding of the brain. That’s why it’s important to use neuroscience to guide us in helping our kids because without it, we’re going to continue to have mental health crises.
What is going on in your child’s brain?
Sometimes, things just get a little too overwhelming which causes parents to think about why their kids behave the way they do and what is really going on. To better understand your kid's behavior, it can be helpful to take a step back and consider the possible factors that may be influencing their actions.
Even teachers come to me not knowing how to handle some situations and so, I help them understand these issues in a way that explains what’s happening to the kids and their behaviors. In order to understand how the brain works, you have to understand the kid’s behavior and vice-versa.
Because we often don’t understand why our kids behave the way they do, we have to dive deep into the more scientific side of things. Our sympathetic nervous system is responsible for managing our stress response.
What happens when your nervous system goes into fight, flight or freeze mode?
It’s not like me at all to go all anxious and so, my experience when I was having a panic response to a certain situation at a conference is quite memorable to me. A friend kept telling me to calm down and I just had no idea what to do. But luckily, I knew how to respond to such a situation and so, I was able to calm down after a while.
So basically, what happens is that you go into survival mode. In the case of your kids, we have to take into consideration whether or not they have a clinical diagnosis because having OCD, ADD, anxiety, or other diagnosis absolutely plays a factor in how your kids respond especially when they’re faced with stressful situations.
It’s similar to preparing for war when you go into survival mode or when you’re in a totally agitated state that’s difficult to deal with.
What happens when the brain gets stuck in a habitual pattern?
When your brain is repeatedly in a sympathetic state, you’re already dealing with a tyrant at that point. And when this happens, the brain gets stuck in a habitual pattern but then it’s necessary to note that habits can be unlearned.
That is why we have to identify that habit and try to dig deeper to make sense of how and why it happened. That is how we use neuroscience in improving behaviors because there is a reason why behaviors get stuck.
We’ve emphasized in the previous episodes that there can be no rational thoughts when the brain isn't calm. Hence, the need to get to the root causes to understand why our kids are struggling so much or what’s triggering them to behave that way.
We can’t get through a learning process when the brain is stuck in a habit. We also can't teach our kids properly when they're in an activated state. And so, we become parent detectives trying to make sense of everything while also calming the brain down to help our kids be less activated.
Why it’s so hard to understand difficult behaviors when we’re activated and agitated.
Understanding difficult behaviors is no joke. It’s not easy at all and it’s even harder to understand them when we’re activated and agitated. That’s why we have to start to pull back and focus on one behavior at a time.
You can support your kid by providing a secure and supportive environment in which they feel free to express themselves. We all know that these things really take commitment in terms of time, effort and resources.
It's a must to pay attention to your kid, respect their emotions, and when necessary, provide direction and support. To help you better in understanding difficult behaviors, we can work together through your parenting journey. You can join our community on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/naturalparentingsolutions/).
Links and Resources:
➡️ Join our FREE Natural Parenting Community to receive science-backed resources for your child and family. Join here.
➡️ Get help from Dr. Roseann and her team. Apply here.
➡️ “Is it ADHD or something else?” Take the quiz.