Frontal Lobe!

Our staff has been to many in-services and conferences that deal with how the brain works.  One that was so interesting was that when people are dealing with heavy emotions – anger, fear, frustration – the part of the brain that responds is the brain stem – the ‘animal’ part of the brain.  (‘Fight or Flight Response’)  The frontal lobe is where more mature, rational responses are formed. 

Interacting with young children can be very, very stressful at time, and one of the hardest things to master is to be the adult.  When children are throwing a tantrum, stay out of your brain stem!  Reach your frontal lobe!  Take a deep breath, mentally take a step back, and be rational.  This will take years to master, but it’s worth it.  (It’s not that you don’t get angry or upset – I am angry and upset daily – it just means that the way you respond to the child is in a calm, respectful, authoritive manner that isn’t flying off the handle, mean, or belittling.)

One thought on “Frontal Lobe!

  1. This is brilliant. You have, “in a nutshell,” captured the essence of nuturing young children and being a successful teacher. As an educator, not only must you understand how a child is “wired,” you must know each child and how to create an environment where children can bloom. (For some, this appears to come naturally, without having studied all the scientific research!)
    Both child and adult house the same ability to respond in a fight or flight reaction. Successful early experiences for children require a mature adult, one whose immediate response isn’t “fight or flight”! Mature adult coaching needs to guide children’s behavior and responses not only on a single occassion, but over and over again, everyday, so that the child has lots of practice at becoming more discerning in acting out a more appropriate response.

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