Parenting: The ‘I Can’ Brain

Father ans son walking hand in hand.

Help your child develop an ‘I can’ brain by supporting their curiousity and showing them that problems can be opportunities for learning. (Image: Olichel via Pixabay)

A child’s mind can be compared to an open book. As parents, we want to see our children’s dreams fulfilled. From birth to five years of age, the quality of a child’s experiences will shape how their brain develops in the long run. Mindful parenting is an activity well worth investigating. It is something that any loving parent can do to help guide a child in realizing their full potential.

We should, therefore, embrace the “eternal student” philosophy and be conscious that a static mindset that believes traits, talents, and abilities are innate will stunt growth. By realizing that our attributes are not set in stone, we open up the desire to learn. In this way, intelligence can be developed. Eminent psychologists like Carol S. Dweck say that children develop a negative, victim mentality quite easily when they’re emotionally overwhelmed. Mindful parenting helps overcome this.

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These are the times of extremes and it applies to parenting as well. When a child claims that they just cannot overcome an obstacle, some parents get angry, don’t bother with it, or coddle them to the extent that the barrier is lowered. What happens eventually? The child’s belief that they need their guardians to protect them during a conflict or help them overcome anything that seems hard will be reinforced and they will not stand up for themselves or try to do what is quite possible for them to achieve.

Good parenting means not always solving a child's problems for them, as thiis reinforces the belief that they aren’t capable enough to do things on their own.
Always solving a child’s problems for them reinforces the belief that they aren’t capable enough to do things on their own. (Image: Simedblack via Pixabay)

Mindful parenting

Mindful parenting means you are relaxed and completely present. By spending a little time with your child, you are letting them know that you care. Psychologists and doctors recommend that children practice meditation.

It was observed that children who do meditate have a higher chance of developing a positive mindset. They learn how to cultivate self-control and tend to be more attentive in the classroom. Meditation helps children develop empathy and respect for others. It might also help them manage conditions such as stress and depression. It is especially helpful during these times of the COVID-19 crisis.

Communication is the key to the ‘I can’ brain

Dweck says with regard to mindfulness: “It is managing stress so you can bring your best self to the relationship with your child. It is honoring your children’s individuality and their right to develop their own personalities. Lastly, it is teaching them kindness, compassion, and empathy for themselves knowing that what they give to themselves, they will give to others.” (The Conservative Mom)

Communicating with your child is crucial in developing the “I can” brain. Teach your child to learn positive lessons from negative experiences. Explain how their mistakes help them grow and learn. When your child says that something is too hard to do, you can encourage him/her by saying something like: “You can do it,” so that they at least try it.

When your child says that something is too hard, encourage them by saying: 'You can do it!'
When your child says that something is too hard, encourage them by saying: ‘You can do it!’ (Image: Cparks via Pixabay)

This way, they will realize what they are capable of. Mindful parenting also means that you have to engage with your children often so that you can help them make sense of their experiences, both good and bad. Growth mindset affirmations are also great in helping a child to become what he or she wants to be.

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