Guardians Of The Mind
By Sally Burgess, Forefront Families Llc
Our minds are like a computer hard drive. They take in all sorts of information and store it. The more recent or important information we tend to recall and the frivolous data is tucked away somewhere in a 'just in case' file. Sometimes I just wish my brain would recall where that safe place was that I put a receipt or $20 note. I have found that retracing steps helps to jog my memory, but other times I can waste a very long time looking for lost items or suffering embarrassment over forgetting an appointment.
As adults, we know the brain can go into overload to a point that it just can't keep soaking in any further information. It often happens like that when you start a new job. You get given so much information that, because you are still unfamiliar with the job requirements, you try to remember everything. For your own sanity you soon learn to work out the immediate expectations and what can be assimilated later.
Kids can only take in so much at a time, too. The smaller the child, the less likely they are to understand what information is important to remember and what is not so vital. They are quick to understand right from wrong when they look at a parental response that might be smiling and happy or frowning and stern. The learning curve in a child is very steep and we need to remember that they often learn by their mistakes, so making a few initial mistakes is not a bad thing.
We do need to actively PROTECT our children's minds. We don't think enough about the movies we let them see or the TV news or programs that include violence that happen to be on when we are not particularly supervising their TV viewing. Unfortunately, the nightly news is on right around dinnertime. Let's hope that the TV is off during the meal anyway. Often there are vividly graphic reports on wars in the Middle East that can be very troubling to a child that cannot understand why the fighting is taking place, or what part of the world it's located. They may not voice their fear. We should not think it our duty to toughen up our kids' minds and spirits by accepting that violence is normal behavior! IT IS NOT! Warring events on TV or movies, between parents, between parents and kids or between siblings creates fear and insecurity in the mind of children.
Sometimes our minds become so distracted or consumed by worry or fear that we can't think straight. This can also happen to our children and for that reason we need to monitor their demeanor carefully and constantly.
Talk to your children regularly, one-on-one and encourage them to tell you if anything is troubling them. If they are acting fearful or distracted you need to get to the bottom of it quickly.
A vivid visual of violence, family dysfunction, or hurtful words stated while you are angry will stick in your child's memory and cannot be easily eradicated. One of the most important responsibilities of a parent is to protect their children's minds as well as their own from disturbing visuals and hurtful dialogue.
If you have any comments or questions on this subject please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com, and check out our blogsite at www.forefrontfamilies.blogspot.com and our website at www.forefrontfamilies.org