Monday, June 20, 2011

I can not tell you how thrilling it is to travel to new locations when doing brain presentations and meet people who tell me of their excitement for sharing brain facts with friends, family, co-workers, students, educators, and community leaders! In doing this, each week you are making a real impact for children!!

It is due to you  that there are additional children who, receive more loving interactions, have playtime increased everyday, are read to, live with more routine and predictability, are provided with more nutritious foods, and have the chance to spend more time outdoors. You are making a positive difference for many children!
Following is the Week #16 BRAIN insight to share:


Brains Require All Investing Now
A BRAIN Insight to share ~ Week #16
The brain needs nutrition for energy and to function optimally. Feeding the brain well contributes to children who can attend longer and have calmer behavior.

Let's make this common knowledge! 
To share this brain fact just cut and paste or use the the share button!
  • You can simply post the insight on social network sites 
  • You can also include the fact in organizational literature or newsletters, add to your signature on your e-mail, post on a bulletin board and implement it into what you do each week.
  • Additionally each week, e-mail the BRAIN Insight to 5 people you know. Encourage each person to share it with 5 people they know. If each person shares with 5 people each week... we will finally have EVERYONE knowing this incredibly important information!  
Enjoy contributing to make this common knowledge!!
 Spreading Brain Development Even Further .... Click here to send the name of a program, agency, school, organization or business that will benefit from a brain development packet. I will draw a name and donate a brain development activity packet 
for the age of your choice, in the name of the person making the recommendation each week!!

The WINNER for WEEK #16:
Children's Resource Center, Bowling Green, OH
A brain development packet for the age of their choice will be donated in the name of :  Lori Worline

Have you sent in your nomination? 

There are many terrific programs and agencies already nominated from all over the world! I invite you to nominate programs, schools, organizations, or agencies that would benefit from a donated brain activity packet in either English or Spanish. 


THANK YOU to all that are participating the initiative already! Tell everyone you know about the difference we can make!



Monday, June 13, 2011

Are you sometimes stressed? .... Of course the answer is yes! We experience some level of stress every day. As adults we have learned techniques in dealing with the stress we experience. 
Because children still have immature brains, they are learning how to develop these techniques. It is through daily experiences that they have the opportunity to learn and develop strong connections for this skill in the thinking areas of the brain.
I am thrilled to share this guest post from Dr. Dave Walsh. It is one that gives parents and educators valuable information and guidance on this important topic. Rescuing children from stress  or letting them handle it on their own is decision caring adults involved with children face every day. Dr. Walsh helps to relieve your stress about it with his valuable article. Enjoy!
Children and Stress: Too Hot, Too Cold or Just Right?

It's not easy to watch our kids experience stress and disappointment. Resisting the urge to swoop in and "fix" things for our kids can take every ounce of self-control that we have. This instinct is important since prolonged stress can be damaging and traumatic for kids. Chronic or intense stress can negatively impact memory, learning, and physical and mental health. Sometimes it is absolutely critical that we intervene.
But this doesn't mean that all stress is bad. Good stress can be energizing and motivating. Unfortunately, our ideas about stress and children have gotten so skewed that ANY stress has gotten a bad rap. This has led too many parents down the wrong path. As opposed to equipping children with the tools to navigate and negotiate stress, many parents have focused all of their energy shielding them from it.

All of us adults know that life can deliver a fair amount of stress and disappointment. How can we expect our kids to ultimately be able to handle this if they have never had any practice? Kids need some stress to develop their psychological muscles of resilience, stamina, determination, commitment, and perseverance. These are all qualities they need to succeed in their schools and relationships and, ultimately, in their communities and careers. If they don't build up these psychological muscles, they'll end up being emotionally flabby. 
We want our kids to be able to handle adversity and to grow into adults who can bounce back from difficult times, challenges, and even tragedy. Resilience is the quality that enables them to do that. The catch is that kids don't develop this quality automatically; we have to teach them. For many of us it is easier to race to the rescue or lower the expectations than to raise our kids' discomfort level. We would be wiser to learn when we need to encourage, when to help, and when to stay out, step back and let our kids' flex their emotional muscles.
Here are some practical tips for how to nurture:
·         Relax. If you're not having fun you may be pushing your kids too hard. 
·         Allow kids time for free play. It's a great natural way for children to learn how to manage their behavior and resolve conflict.
·         Praise your child, but be sure to make the praise authentic and meaningful. In other words, connect praise with wholehearted efforts and actions.
·         Provide care, nurturing, and support, but don't always swoop in to bail your child out of a difficult situation.
·         Help your child process the situation afterwards. "What did you learn? How did it make you feel to resolve that conflict? What might you do differently next time?"
·         Validate your child's frustration and acknowledge when something is difficult. "It makes sense that you are frustrated, geometry can be really challenging. I am really proud that you are sticking with it though. I can't solve this for you but why don't you explain to me what you've done so far."
·         Be patient with your child's efforts. You may be able to do a better or faster job of something, but your child loses the opportunity to learn when you take over.
·         Have clear and high expectations for your child's behavior.
·         Help your children build friendships and make connections by teaching them how to manage their own behavior and emotional impulses.
·         Expect children to do their chores and participate in the life and work of the family.
·         Back up teachers and schools. Fighting with teachers to boost your child's grade isn't doing anyone any favors. If you have a real concern about your child's performance schedule an individual meeting and come up with a plan together.
·         Encourage your kids to volunteer and help out others.
Do you have other tips for nurturing resilience in children? We'd love to hear them.

Dr. Walsh is the author of, Smart Parenting, Smarter Kids: The One Brain Book You Need to Help Your Kids Grow Brighter, Healthier, and Happier
It is a great pleasure to have Dave on the Brain Insights Advisory Board.
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