Wiring our childrenâ€™s brains for success is a race against time! The early years of childhood are easy. They are eager to learn how to see, walk, talk, eat, play, run and all the other stuff they do. Our kids want to grow. But, once our children hit adolescence, they think they are already grown and become unmotivated.
Most teens and parents donâ€™t know that another wave of growth is about to happen. This growth spurt isnâ€™t easily seen because it takes place in our teenâ€™s prefrontal cortex in their mental and emotional capacity, not their physicality - for example, getting taller. Mental and emotional capacity built through critical thinking is something our teens are going to have to learn if they ever hope to become anything more than just taller than their parents.
During this very important stage of growth, our children go through another blossoming period where their mind and body creates more connections than theyâ€™re actually going to use. It does this just in case they decide to become geniuses, or something like thatâ€¦ You knowâ€¦ now that they have the whole seeing, eating, running and jumping thing down.
When these newly formed connections are used, they get wired as skills they can use for the rest of their lives. However, when these connections arenâ€™t used, our teens lose these connections in a process called pruning. In order for our kids to become productive adults with strong critical thinking skills and a mature and fully developed prefrontal cortex, they have to wire these new connections by practicing critical thinking during adolescence. This is where we parents come in. We canâ€™t solve all of their problems; we have to get them to do some of the heavy lifting here.
Now, as my Granddaddy always said, â€śGo learn, lead and lay the way to a better world for all of us.â€ť Parents, you now know some things that most parents donâ€™t know. Please share these things with your kids and other parents. And once again parents, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will doâ€¦
Daniel Blanchard is a New Britain schoolteacher who is also an award-winning author and speaker. Learn more about Dan at: www.GranddaddysSecrets.com