Neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett (Harvard University) points out 7 parenting rules to help children build a flexible brain that can recover from failure or difficulty.
Parents should be a gardener, not a carpenter
Carpenters carve the wood into the shape they want. Gardeners help things to grow naturally, through planting and cultivating.
Likewise, a parent can be a gardener, providing an environment that encourages the healthy growth of children in any direction they wish.
Many parents want their children to become musicians or doctors, but forcing them to learn (like a carpenter’s way of creating products) only produces dry works. Meanwhile, the gardener’s approach is to create more opportunities to see what children are interested in. Once you understand the type of plant you’re growing, you can adjust the way you feed it so it takes root and grows.
You should talk, read books to your children a lot
Research shows that even when babies are only a few months old and don’t understand the meaning of words, their brains can still grasp the word. This helps build a foundation for later learning. So, the more words children hear, the greater the effect.
Teach them a lot of vocabulary about emotions, for example sad, happy, disappointed. The more children know, the more flexible they can act. Don’t forget to express your feelings when witnessing something, a phenomenon to your child, for example: “Do you see that friend crying? She fell and hurt her knee. Maybe she was very sad and want your mom to hug.”
Should explain things
Maybe you’re tired of your child constantly asking, “Why?” But when you explain something to your child, you yourself are also absorbing something new from the world around you. Should avoid explaining completely, explaining not specific content so that children always go to the heart of the problem.
Instead of saying, “You shouldn’t eat a lot of cookies because I won’t allow it,” say, “You shouldn’t eat a lot of cookies because your stomach hurts and your brother doesn’t have cookies for tomorrow morning.” This reasoning helps children understand the consequences of their actions and fosters empathy.
Evaluate operations, not people
When your older child hits her, don’t scold her, “You slut”. Explain: “Don’t hit me. You hurt me, make me feel hurt.”
Same rule with compliments. Instead of praising “You’re so good” when your child does a good job, comment “You did the right thing, I see that the job has good results”. Using words like this helps children’s brains build more useful concepts about actions and themselves.
This also applies to describing characters you observe, and communicating it to your child. Instead of saying “You’re a liar”, say “That friend lied”. Then ask your child the question “Why do you think he does that? What do you think he should do?”.
Instead of drawing conclusions, they should put children in real situations and let them be flexible in choosing solutions and evaluations.
Help your child copy
Children learn naturally by observing, copying the ways of adults. It is an effective way of learning and gives children a sense of mastery. So don’t be afraid to give them age-appropriate equipment and let the imitation begin.
Children should be in safe contact with many people
Along with the people your child normally encounters such as grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, other children, try to expose them to more people, even when they are young.
According to research, babies who are in constant contact with people who speak different languages can retain in their brains “keywords” that help them learn other languages in the future. Similarly, babies who see a variety of faces are able to distinguish and remember more faces on their own later in life.
Children need to be active
Children like to try things on their own without their parents’ help, such as dressing or assembling toys. This is good, because they help your child develop a sense of self-control.
Of course, there are things children do wrong. So, knowing when to intervene and when to back off can be challenging. However, if you are always there, guiding your child, and taking care of their every need, they won’t learn to do everything on their own. Sometimes it’s important to let children build their own resilience and help them understand the consequences of their actions.
Thuy Linh (According to CNBC)