The Brain Science of Building High Self Esteem by lonyoo


									The Brain Science of Building High Self Esteem
by Patricia Chamberlin, Professional Mind Trainer

it takes to read a story book is creating positive effects that will last a lifetime! Particularly a book whose message is self esteem or human values oriented. Never before in our history has there been such a wealth of brain research as in recent years and as one exciting discovery follows another we are realizing exactly how immense the opportunity is for us to help our children’s' brains create the neurochemicals needed to develop their potential, and for us to train our children’s' minds right from birth for higher performance in critically important ways. 90% of the development of a human brain occurs in the first five years of life and in these critical years, science is learning how, why, when, where and in what ways those millions of brain connections are developing a child’s brain as a direct result of life's experiences and, above all, by his or her emotional experiences with you. Being read to in close intimate moments at bedtime, for example, is prime brain development time.

We knew reading good children’s books to our kids and cuddling with stuffed animals was good for them, but had no idea that is was actually the most powerful Miracle Gro for a child's brain there is! Brain scientists are showing us it is nothing short of astounding the vast power that we wield over the actual creation of brain cells and chemical balance in our children's brains during story time and cuddle play. It is no exaggeration to say that the neural hard wiring rapidly occurring in your child's brain during the time


Stimulating Specific Brain Chemicals to Enhance a Child’s Brain Development
How we express intimacy to our child and receive it from him is a matter of great importance to his brain development, and his ability to express love and caring. A child who experiences feelings of love teaches his brain how to create key “feel good” brain chemicals that are vitally essential to developing brain cells and forming brain structures. These opioid chemicals, such as oxytocin and prolactin, are released by the pituitary gland inside the brain specifically to stimulate development in areas of the brain that governs “caring” and “social sensitivity”. A loving moment between parent and child at story time instantly turns on a flow of heady neuro-chemicals in the brain, which results in making the child feel peaceful and secure, while at the same time “growing” the brain. Other areas of the brain are triggered by opioids to release dopamine (another feel good neurochemical), which stimulates a burst of brain

development as it creates new neural pathways in the primitive instinctual lower brain as well as in the more cognitive frontal lobes. Numerous studies have shown the connection between a child’s psychological strength and that child’s ability to activate brain opioids (which produce feelings of emotional warmth and wellbeing) and dopamine (which produces feelings of aliveness, purpose and confidence). Surprisingly, this brain activation and development does not happen automatically in a child’s brain until it is “taught” to do it. Activation can only come about as the result of parenting that intentionally triggers these chemical responses in the brain, and as the result of providing the child with opportunity to care for and express love to objects of affection in his life.

Hardwiring Self Esteem in a Child’s Developing Brain
What a deeply rewarding time to be a parent as research reveals page after page of the science behind good parenting. For example, how a concept such as self esteem, which

was until now was regarded as a psychological term, is actually a function of brain structure and how we can help provide the brain with what it needs to produce it. To explain more fully, deep within your child’s brain stem is an evolutionally ancient structure called the locus corelueus, which is strongly activated by positive “high intimacy relationship moments”. This arousal triggers norepinephrine, which is released into the blood as a hormone and into the brain as a neurotransmitter bathing the brain and heightening its attention. When this happens events and thoughts are most likely to become fixed in memory. These "feel good" sensations and memories are vital to your child, since they are what enables her to build a strong, healthy sense of self and form lasting concepts of self worth, such as being fun to be with, being able to love and being capable of being loved by others, all the while further developing the social areas of the brain. What a rich gift for your child to take this capacity for healthy self esteem into future relationships!

interaction, quickly become so expert that they can initiate mutually meaningful emotional encounters (complete with smiles and eye contact) with total strangers across a crowded room. On the other hand, if we deny our young children’s genetically programmed need to love and be loved, for instance by mislabeling it as over dependency, infantile neediness or manipulation, then we impede neural development in their brains and damage their self concepts, setting them up for such things as depression or emotional emptiness later in life. If a parent’s own capacity for intimacy has been stunted in childhood then their babies could miss out on the enormous advantages of parental brain “sculpting". Even worse, an unresponsive parent can elicit a high cortisol stress response in a child, which can actually damage brain function and destroy brain cells. Famous studies in which mothers were asked to keep their faces very still show that their infants' brain activity quickly becomes quite disturbed. In other studies brain scans from children in orphanages who were deprived of love and affection show entire nonfunctioning areas in the temporal lobes – the part of the brain that processes and regulates emotions, social skills and emotional intelligence.

It is Never Too Early to begin Self Esteem Brain Training
Even very young babies who are the recipients of high intimacy relational moments, through stimulating social activities such as peekaboo, tumbling/cuddling together, lovingly being read to, or full-attention

Without good temporal lobe development prefrontal cortex (the reading, writing and arithmetic centers of the brain) and other cognitive functions have difficulty reaching their fullest potential. The good news is if you consistently meet your child’s impulses of love and caring with warm receptivity, he will feel that his love and his loveableness is a potent force in the world, and his brain will be powered up to create the structures and the neural functions essential to good mental health and high level brain performance, including increased intelligence, for the rest of his life!

right out of the storybook, empowers that potent brain force within us all. Moreover it expands our ability to endow it to ourselves as well as our children, and ultimately to generously endow the future brain trust of our planet.


About the Author

Brain Training for Children
The best example I can have seen of this kind of intentional brain training for children, are the children’s self esteem building series of books, with titles such as, “Magnificent Me!” and “Do You Love Me?” (developed by ) with the Organimals, the cuddly organic stuffed animals, which, incidentally, are free of toxins and agricultural chemicals known to interfere with health and brain function (you will want to read more about that important topic on their site). The shared experience of reading together these cleverly simple books, while cuddling with positive reinforcement animal characters

Patricia Chamberlin is a Professional Mind Trainer to elite achievers in every field, including Top Financial Market Traders, Gold Medal Athletes, Award Winning Celebrities and countless others. Public Broadcasting System made a film featuring Patricia and her widely acclaimed brainwave training work. In 1990, she founded MindPower Mind Training for Peak Performance, which pioneered Biofeedback and Neurofeedback for self development.
This article was reprinted with permission

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