Science & Research:
Neuroscience

iStock-1142407009.jpg

Author: Laine Lipsky, Masters in Teaching, Certified Parent Educator

Overview: Neuroscience

> Brain Development, Mindsight & Differently Wired Kids

 

We have so much more information now than our own parents had. It used to be thought that children were simply adults in small bodies; we know so much more now — about child development, the brain, and the differences in how we are each wired.

 

However, it’s sometimes hard to match up what science tells us and what we experience day to day as parents. I help parents bring what feels like abstract science into practical applications on a granular level.

What Is Neuroscience?

Neuroscience is the ever-evolving body of information about how the human brain works - in short, what makes us (and our children) tick. While it’s important to have a basic understanding of this information, it’s important to not get too heady about it all - as parents, we need to stay rooted in the daily applications of this science. I’m here to help keep it real. 

 

As a parenting educator, I focus on three essential aspects of the brain:

  • Brain Development

  • Mindsight

  • Differently Wired Kids

Why Is Neuroscience Important in Parenting?

As parents, we don’t need to be brain scientists, but we do need to know the basics of what’s going on in the brain. This helps us manage our expectations and, in turn, our responses to our children’s behaviors. Parenting is an intense experience of being “triggered” if we had a difficult childhood ourselves, so it’s imperative that we understand what’s going on at a fundamental level for our children and ourselves.

Who Is a Leading Neuroscience Expert?

Daniel Siegel, MD, is the expert on whom I rely for most brain-related information. He combines neuroscience and mindfulness in a way that connects on an intellectual and visceral level.

What Research Is Behind Neuroscience?

Dr. Siegel is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center. He has done a phenomenal amount of research with regard to the brain and mindfulness. In addition, research is being conducted on many brain-related topics such as neuroplasticity and differently-wired kids.

 

Here are publications to review:

Key Findings in Neuroscience That Impact Parenting

  • The brain is malleable. We can change our thought patterns

  • When we understand how the brain is wired, we can make informed parenting choices

  • Understanding our child’s brain wiring empowers us to parent them well

  • About 20 percent of today’s kids are neurodivergent

Sources: National Center for Learning Disabilities, CDC, Understood.org