Is Control Good for Your Child?

defiance defiant parenting parenting myths parenting styles strong-willed kids warmth Dec 06, 2021
Is Control Good for Your Child?

For you to further understand why control is good for your child, allow us to be technical for a sec.

Let’s talk about brain development. If you’ve seen a picture of the brain before, all the way down at the back is the animal part of the brain. This is where all of our emotions, our drive for pleasure, and hunger cues come from. It’s called the “animal” part of our brain because we act like an animal when we use this part of the brain when all we think of is just about getting our needs met. This part of the brain develops first. It’s closest to the heart, easiest to pump blood to, and it develops really strongly from the time we are born.

On the other hand, the reasoning part of our brain where we make logical decisions and a lot of discerning is found at the very front of our brain. This part of the brain is the furthest from the heart and unlike the animal part of our brain, develops last. Not only does it develop last but it also only develops if it gets exercise. 

We exercise this by being exposed to opportunities for thinking, critical thought, and problem-solving. 

This is where giving our kids control comes in. We want to give our kids opportunities to make decisions because that will help exercise the reasoning part of their brain and begin to develop self-control. 

On top of that, this part of the brain doesn't fully develop until they are in their mid to late 20’s. That’s a long time. So it’s on us to give them opportunities to exercise control and see what happens as an outcome of using that control. Once they try something and it doesn’t go well for them, they’re going to see that they did not use that control very well so they will likely use it in a different way next time. 

Another reason why it’s important to give our kids control is that this is what has been proven to be most effective by numerous research studies. Partnering with our kids to give them control allows them to think for themselves and become more responsible and respectful individuals as they age.

We know it seems like a lot of work but trust the process. Even if it’s hard to let go of control, it really is the best for our kids in the long term. Catch us discussing this more in our free parenting class.

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