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Children learn to regulate their behaviors by developing an emotional 'clutch,' located in the prefrontal cortex, that can turn the accelerator off when the brakes are applied and redirect their interest in more acceptable directions....An activated accelerator followed by the application of brakes leads to a nervous system response with a turning away of eye gaze, a feeling of heaviness in the chest, and a sinking feeling...This limit-setting 'no-induced' form of shame is healthy...different from toxic shame...(where) the child feels disconnected from us, misunderstood...'bad'..." - Dan Siegel and Mary Hartzell

That mild feeling of shame -- the prefrontal cortex clutch shifting -- is how kids learn to shift themselves from "forbidden" behavior to acceptable behavior. In its mild form, as Siegel and Hartzell describe, it's a universal, useful feeling that keeps us on track.  I don't like the word shame to describe this; I think it's more accurate to describe it as the voice of conscience.  READ POST

Thursday, July 19, 2012 | Permalink

"It's as if my children are awakening in me repressed hurts and fears that I don't wish to feel. It's far easier to detach, fix, coerce, manage or abandon ship than it is to simply be present. However, if I'm not willing to own my fears and emotions, my children must continue to act them out on my behalf. While at times it's a tough pill to swallow, the more I accept the above to be true, the more harmony and joy fills our family." -- Luma,

Brilliant, right?  Our ability to self soothe and manage our own emotions (otherwise known as emotional intelligence) is what determines our child's emotional intelligence. Our children are always acting out whatever we haven't resolved.  So the greatest gift we can give our child is to resolve our own emotional baggage, so we can help our children with theirs.   READ POST

Thursday, July 12, 2012 | Permalink