Parents: Kids’ Brains are Wired Differently than Ours
Kid brains versus parent brains show vast differences. Anyone who has spent time around kids can recognize this difference. Kids have their own agendas not always rooted in reality, but their viewpoint is beautiful in many ways.That viewpoint is what helps them live in the moment more than we do as adults. Adults are often forced into living in reality, but we can learn a lot from kids to live in the moment more. But with busy schedules, parents must somehow mesh the kid brain agenda with the adult/reality schedule. This is a daily struggle for me as a parent.
We Speak a Different Language than our Kids
I’m convinced some days my kids’ brains have their own English language translation. Kids’ brains are wired differently than adults most likely because their brains are still growing. I see proof of this as my husband and I raise our three boys. Time to go often means to my kids they have three more minutes to finish the game on the iPad. Knocking on the door while I shower asking for milk is urgent to a thirsty six-year old. Telling my son to go look for a missing toy in his room means to him looking at eye level is adequate. Then he panics when he can’t find the toy that is simply under a blanket. Words seem to have a different meaning to them and they live in the urgency of the given feeling of the moment.
Kids are Masters of Living in the Moment
I admire kids for living in the moment and I aspire to try to live in the moment more myself. Kids get so absorbed in their play they don’t seem to notice the passage of time. They fully lose themselves in play. I love that complete immersion even though at times it drives me crazy as a mom. My adult brain is so trained to not live in the moment due to my overwhelming to-do lists, so I have to be intentional about living in the moment. I have to intentionally stop working to play.
Meshing it all together and yet still accomplishing reality goals is my daily parenting challenge.
Meshing the Kids Agenda and Reality is a Challenge
Kids are constantly changing and maturing. They have their own agendas and it doesn’t always mesh with the reality of schedule for the day. The challenge is to figure out how to get their brains to translate reality a bit and realize their actions impact their schedule too. I want them to play and not lose that precious living in the moment mentality, but time keeps on moving forward. When the time is up, it’s over; I often tell my kids I’m not magic, I can’t control the time (wouldn’t that be awesome if we could MAMAS).
Transitions are hard for many kids, the key is to figure out how to get their brains thinking about reality and time management. As parents, we need to illustrate for them how their own agendas impact the goals they seek for themselves. If they don’t get their mind set to hustle getting ready for a sports practice, they are only hurting themselves because they will have less practice or playing time.They have to learn their stretch for extra minutes spent playing iPad may make them miss the bus and they lose precious bus social time before school starts.
My Parenting Goals
My parenting goals are to hover less and allow them to realize how their choices impact their schedules and goals. I need to grow as a mom too. A mindset I need to adopt is to let them take on more problem solving for themselves. I need to let them make mistakes and forgive. I need to let them pour and perhaps spill the milk, let them be late for practice if they dawdle, or let them believe they lost the toy or they will never learn. Perhaps this will help them realize their agenda must include reality.
However, I also will strive to allow that live in the moment mentality to live and breathe in their childhood. That mentality deserves it’s spot in the limelight of their childhood too.
Wish me luck!
(This post is based on my own views and experiences as a parent.)