“Johnny we signed you up for soccer camp this summer.” Johnny: “I hate soccer.” Us (parents): “What? You love soccer.”
Ever have these moments with your kids? The enjoy certain activities and then bam, out of the blue they express feelings of fear or discouragement that is unexpected.
As a parent, what is most helpful in these moments is to understand how memories work for your child. Then, work to integrate the implicit (stored memory connections) and the explicit (new memory pattern) in your child’s reactions.
Implicit memories (from the hippocampus) resurface in moments that trigger a past feeling for you child.
That one time Johnny went to soccer camp and the ball hit him in the head creating a memory of pain and fear around soccer. Yet, Johnny plays soccer in a local league and loves playing with his friends in the neighborhood after school.
To move through these initial reactions, it is best as a parent to help your son or daughter recall the past narrative that may be creating this present feelings of fear. Then, help them see a new narrative through examples of fun and appreciation.
Try these 4 simple steps:
1) Help your child recall past feelings of an event that may be triggering the fear.
2) Listen to how your son/daughter explains this past event and how they feel.
3) Offer a new reflection of moments of fun and appreciation from recent activities
4) Help your son/daughter come up with a plan to catch these past feelings, liberate (free) them, and move forward
Looking for help as a parent in navigating these opportunities for parenting thriving kids?
Understanding functional processes in your kids will best help you develop resilient kids that are ready to thrive in any of life’s future environments.
Consider working with an integrative health practitioner to help you break through pain, emotional resistance, and survival state living, to enjoy the health and wellness YOU deserve?
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Parenting resource: The Whole-Brain Child (book)