Kids and teenagers exist in time, which means they’re almost never outside of time. When you’re in time you care about what’s happening in front of you and the part of the brain that actually thinks about where you are relative to time is just either not there or not yet developed. This means when our kids are eating their cereal, playing on their iPad or with their Lego in the morning thinking they have a few minutes left, and we are trying to factor in morning traffic frustrated with why they aren’t ready to go, none of that is happening for them. Instead they are existing in that very moment with whatever it is they are doing.
As they grow up and get older that frontal lobe the part of the brain that can motivate, shift attention and take perspective basically the higher order of thinking that moves us through the day and shifts us from one thing to the next develops albeit quicker for some than others.
So important thing to remember is that children are not mini adults. When they’re really little we regulate for them. When they’re a little bit older, we co-regulate with them. When they get even older, we are regulating from the sidelines a little bit, offering guidance and helping them as they figure out how to do it on their own. Finally when their own frontal lobe is fully developed they will regulate for themselves.
Knowing this information helps us to understand why when we’ve told them once, they don’t just do it.
It all comes back to the fact that we are really not parents, we are actually a substitute frontal lobe for our kids who are providing that brain function for them until they’re able to do it on their own.
MEET JENNIFER KOLARI
Jennifer Kolari is the host of the “Connected Parenting” weekly podcast and the co-host of “The Mental Health Comedy” podcast. Kolari is a frequent guest on Nationwide morning shows and podcasts in th US and Canada. Her advice can also be found in many Canadian and US magazines such as; Today’s Parent, Parents Magazine and Canadian Family.
Kolari’s powerful parenting model is based on the neurobiology of love, teaching parents how to use compassion and empathy as powerful medicine to transform challenging behavior and build children’s emotional resilience and emotional shock absorbers.
Jennifer’s wisdom, quick wit and down to earth style help parents navigate modern-day parenting problems, offering real-life examples as well as practical and effective tools and strategies.
Her highly entertaining, inspiring workshops are shared with warmth and humour, making her a crowd-pleasing speaker with schools, medical professionals, corporations and agencies throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
One of the nation’s leading parenting experts, Jennifer Kolari, is a highly sought- after international speaker and the founder of Connected Parenting. A child and family therapist with a busy practice based in San Diego and Toronto, Kolari is also the author of Connected Parenting: How to Raise A Great Kid(Penguin Group USA and Penguin Canada, 2009) and You’re Ruining My Life! (But Not Really) Surviving the Teenage Years with Connected Parenting (Penguin Canada, 2011).
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