In my almost 18 years of research in the field of Mindology – something I created, a cross between the study of human behaviour and the vast resources of the human mind. I have rarely come across a parent who can keep up with their young child or their teenager. I have had scores of parents inquire and seek help with their children. Ah! If only there was a manual on how to raise a human child, they would have got it correct in their appeal!
My ever-so-loving parent readers hear the blunt truth of a manual on how to raise a human child does not exist; manuals are for factory-made items. In these situations, you are dealing with a complex human mind that is so unique, yet so alike in so many forms. It is complicated yet simple.
There are many aspects to the issue of hyperactivity in children. One perspective comes from the neurological point of view and its resulting effect in the body.
Scenario: A young, vibrant, energetic 2-year old named Grace. Let’s take a look at her brain …as we peek inside we see a great number of cells being produced, almost multiplying in millions in a minute. The electricity passes through all these neurons at the same time creating enormous energy in the system. This energy is then transmitted to all cells of the body at the speed of light. Imagine, all of this happening every single minute. Now, Grace is running around and constantly needs attention, as she doesn’t know of all the worldly “things allowed” and “things not allowed.” Now this young, vibrant brain growing exponentially has a caretaker in the form of an adult, YOU whose brain peek shows almost no new neurons being produced, a slow yet active brain and considerably less electrical activity than a young 2 year old.
In order to keep up with this super active, vibrant, energetic, young human being, the adult wants to slow her down, control her and set up boundaries in the name of socially acceptable behavior and ”winning tales.” When the adult can’t keep up with the pace (1000 reasons why), Grace is labeled as “hyper active” and dosed with “brain slowing” chemicals to calm her down. Young Grace is totally confused with what she has done wrong?
Points to ponder …Look at the nature to raise your kids. All younglings of all species have this enormous, uncontainable energy that is required for growth – body, intellectual and spiritual – at all levels.
- Body growth is obvious, energy increases the capacity to grow the biological components.
- Intellectual growth is the brain’s need to absorb more and more information at the speed at which the neurons are produced. It is proven that the body doesn’t waste energy; if you don’t use a neuron you lose it. Hence, the natural thirst for more information is in the form of “why this” and “Why that.”
- Spiritual growth is the most natural instinct of a human being – seeking connection, attention and love. We all do things for two things love and appreciation – known as the Universal Truth.
How to handle children with excess energy?
- Fuel their need to be seen and appreciated. Love them for “who they are” not for a hypothetical “who they can be”. Give them small responsibilities, things to be done for you; they don’t care about themselves, they want to do things for you. Importantly, tell them “what to do” and not “what not to do”. It’s difficult for a human brain to process all the negative statements … just be clear and ask them to do what you want them to do.
- Your only duty is to love your children that’s
As they grow from toddlers to teenagers to young adults, suddenly so many more people start to matter. From home centric they go to school/friend centric style of living. Now, as a teenager/young adult, this butterfly now wants to fly, have their own ideas and work with them. They have a very active inner voice grumbling away at them for all that they cannot be and when that inner voice meets a match in the parent grumbling guess what happens? Correct, a system shutdown – ears, mind and heart shutdown to the outside stimulus. Thus, resulting in an uncommunicative teenager in your house.
What do you do? Well of the many things that work, the first one is teaching them responsibility for their actions without sarcasm and “see I told you so “ attitude. Understanding that no matter how much you want to save them from the pitfalls and challenges of life, they will still have them.
Growth happens on the thin line of challenge and support. Talk to them in what they value most. Build your relationship on trust and love. Be patient as you were when they were babies, consider this to be the age to be the birthing stage from being a kid to adulthood. The butterfly has many struggles to squeeze itself out from the cocoon, similarly our young adults have all the challenges we had and more. Be mindful of their lives, coming from an attitude of “I know better” is always a road blocker than a life enhancer. Educate yourself by reading “Parenting with Love and Logic” by Jim Fay.
Loving and appreciating the smaller things make the difference in your child’s life!
By Deepa Somani
Founder & Trainer at IIMACADEMY – Igniting Brilliance from Within Growth Facilitator, Trainer of The Wholeness Work, Sugar Land, TX