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.)