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The Neuroscience of Calming a Baby

The Neuroscience of Calming a Baby | Momfulness | Scoop.it

The Neuroscience of Calming a Baby

New study explains why babies calm down when they are carried.

Every parent and caregiver knows from first hand experience that babies calm down when they are picked up, gently rocked, and carried around the room. New research published in the journal Current Biology on April 18, 2013 shows that this is a universal phenomenon. Infants experience an automatic calming reaction when they are being carried, whether they are mouse pups or human babies.

Dr. Amy Fuller's insight:

According to this study, when a baby is held a calming response is experienced in the parasympatheic nervous system and a part of the brain called the cerebellum. The cerebellum sits at the very back and bottom of our brains and manages things like breathing, heart rate, balance and movement. 

  • Although the cerebellum is only 10% of brain volume it holds over 50% of your brain's neurons. Neuroscientists are perplexed by everything that the cerebellum does. This study offers one more valuable clue. 
  • Scientists have known for years that the cerebellum is directly linked to a feedback loop with the vagus nerve which keeps heart rate slow and gives you grace under pressure. As adults, we can calm ourselves by practicing mindfulness and Loving-Kindness Meditation which puts the cerebellum at peace and creates a parasympathetic response of well being. This appears to be the same response that occurs in infants when they are being carried. 
I would like to know what happens in the adult brain when a baby is held and calmed...most likely the same thing.  
The Neuroscience of Calming a Baby
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Parenting with Presence, Empathy, Attention, Compassion and Embodiment  www.momfulness.org
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8 keys to Mindful Presence in Parenting and Marriage

8 keys to Mindful Presence in Parenting and Marriage | Momfulness | Scoop.it
Who of us is mature enough for offspring before the offspring themselves arrive? The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children (and marriage) produces adults.   Peter...
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49 Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child

49 Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child | Momfulness | Scoop.it
Have an anxious child? Try one of these 49 phrases: You are safe, what color is it, can you draw it, tell me the worst case, and more...
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How not to raise a narcissist in 9 easy steps

How not to raise a narcissist in 9 easy steps | Momfulness | Scoop.it
This week, a study came out confirming that narcissists are largely bred, not born. The study, conducted by the University of Amsterdam and Ohio State University, found that “narcissism in children is cultivated by parental overvaluation: parents believing their child to be more special and more entitled than others.” (That’s scientific-speak for Special Snowflake Syndrome, and the researchers are talking about the other parents at your youth league soccer practice.)

This is great news, because it means there are steps we can take to prevent unleashing more little egotists on the world.

And this is bad news, because these steps are actually pretty common-sense; the study cited parental warmth, not praise, as a counterbalance to the trend. It’s also kind of depressing that we’ve even come to a point where narcissism — the increase of which contributes to societal problems such as aggression and violence, according to the research — has become so widespread that an entire study was conducted in the first place. (Then again, selfie sticks are now sold in drugstores for $24.95, so the mystery ends there.)

Anyone who’s spent time with a toddler recently does not need to be told that narcissism is the status quo in children. Remember how Martin Luther King Jr. once said that the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice? In kids, it bends toward narcissism.

After all, we are talking about a segment of the population that sees nothing wrong in waking their parents up at 4 a.m. to demand pancakes and episodes of “Dinosaur Train.”

And that’s why parents exist. It’s partly to keep their kids clothed and fed and safe and loved, and partly to prevent them from becoming Caligula.

The way to raise a narcissist is pretty evident: Tell your child they are wonderful, the very best, the most special of the specials on the sports field and the classroom and in the country and possibly on the planet — and keep telling them that. Or, just be a narcissist yourself. Done. Cool, we’ve settled that.



But what if you’d like to raise someone who’s confident, kind and aware of others?

Here are nine ways to make sure your child doesn’t become a narcissist.

Say no. A recent school of thought seems to treat “no” as a kind of ultimate buzzkill, a tamping down on childish creativity and artistic self-expression. This is nuts. It’s fine to tell your children no, especially when they’re trying to set something on fire. In fact, a lot of life is being told no and then trying to come up with alternative plans. They might as well learn this young, so it doesn’t come as a shock five minutes into their first job.

Teach them basic manners. A lack of manners is the ultimate form of narcissism. Whether it’s someone who is rude to waiters, has bad table manners or can’t be bothered to dress for the occasion, lack of manners is signaling to the world that you have no need to conform to any silly “social codes” or “basic ideas of decency,” and that all that counts is your own comfort. But wait, you say. There are plenty of well-mannered narcissists! Yes, but they’re a lot more pleasant than the ones who sneeze into their dinner napkins or take food off your plate without asking.

Teach them how to manage frustration. Much has been written about good old-fashioned grit, a person’s ability to confront failure and learn from it. Studies have found it to be one of the best indicators of later happiness in adults. Teach a kid how to overcome adversity, and you’re also teaching him or her about disappointment, another invaluable life lesson that’s cut off when parents attempt to cocoon their children from anything unpleasant.

Pull a Louie. There was a fantastic episode of “Louie” a few seasons back where his daughter is enraged because her sister got something that she didn’t.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q70EUjor84k

“Listen,” he says. “You’re never gonna get the same things as other people. It’s never gonna be equal. It’s not gonna happen ever in your life, so you must learn that now, OK? The only time you should look in your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don’t look in your neighbor’s bowl to see if you have . . . as much as them.” Pretty much everything Louis C.K. has to say about parenting is dead on, so if you’re looking for more pointers and great life lessons, just cue up your Netflix account.

Be kind. To other people, not just your child. This one might seem painfully obvious, but it’s worth remembering that your kids don’t just notice how you treat them — they notice how you interact with the world. You know how some of the most successful people are the ones who are unfailingly lovely to everyone, from shoe shiners to CEOs? People like that lead by example, creating wonderful environments to be emulated. Parents who are rude to everyone but their children are sending a message that there are people who matter (their kids!) and people who don’t (everyone else!).



Travel with them. Take trips with your kids, whether it’s to another country, another state or even a town nearby that’s completely different from the one you live in. It doesn’t have to be expensive. A change of scenery will be enough to reinforce to your kids that not everyone lives the way they do: that life goes on differently in other places, that people come from different races and nationalities and economic situations, and that it is not acceptable to simply exist in a bubble of people who reflect their own worldview.

Love and approval are different. Loving your kids unconditionally is one thing, but that love doesn’t need to translate into constant, unconditional, 24/7 approval and praise of everything they do. You can love someone while redirecting their behavior or being disappointed by their actions. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.



Read to them. A recent study found that reading fiction helps people improve their empathy, because it encourages them to place themselves in others’ lives and understand their actions. In that way, reading is like traveling — with your mind.

Run errands with them. Not all of life can be fascinating, interesting and wonderful, and no lesson reinforces that better than bringing your kids along on some errands. While the recent parenting emphasis on “quality time” is fine, boredom is its own powerful life lesson. So is the message that you have to spend a portion of each day doing things that are necessary, though not magical, and that not every activity revolves around kids. It’s also a great time to bond with your kids in a casual, low-pressure setting.
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What Your Teen is Really Saying When They're Angry - Mindful

What Your Teen is Really Saying When They're Angry - Mindful | Momfulness | Scoop.it
Here are four ways to respond to your teen's anger—and a mindfulness practice to encourage smoother communication.
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▶ No-Drama Discipline - YouTube

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., the New York Times bestselling author of Brainstorm, and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. are the pioneering experts behind The Whole-Brain C...
Dr. Amy Fuller's insight:

One of best parenting books I've read...

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Understood | For Learning and Attention Issues

Understood | For Learning and Attention Issues | Momfulness | Scoop.it
Help your child thrive. Chat with experts, connect with parents and get tips on parenting kids with reading, writing, math, organization, attention issues and more.
Dr. Amy Fuller's insight:

Excellent resource for parents!

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INFOGRAPHIC: 24 Things Every Parent Needs to Know to Raise Happy, Healthy Kids

INFOGRAPHIC: 24 Things Every Parent Needs to Know to Raise Happy, Healthy Kids | Momfulness | Scoop.it
What are the most important factors when it comes to raising happy kids? Here's what scientists know that you should, too.
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Encouraging Words - Positive Parenting Solutions

Encouraging Words - Positive Parenting Solutions | Momfulness | Scoop.it
A good way to avoid bad behavior is to provide encouraging words when you see good behavior. Use these encouraging words and see how your child changes.
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Sadie doesn't want her brother to grow up (ORIGINAL) - YouTube

Sadie doesn't want her brother to grow up Typical struggles of a 5 year-old Sadie, Sadie, Sadie Girl crying over brother Sadie doesn't want her brother to gr...
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Are you raising nice kids? A Harvard psychologist gives 5 ways to raise them to be kind

Are you raising nice kids? A Harvard psychologist gives 5 ways to raise them to be kind | Momfulness | Scoop.it

Think your kids are being raised to be kind? Think again. A Harvard researcher and psychologist has 5 ways to train your child to be kind and empathetic.

 

Earlier this year, I wrote about teaching empathy, and whether you are a parent who does so. The idea behind it is from Richard Weissbourd, a Harvard psychologist with the graduate school of education, who runs theMaking Caring Common project, aimed to help teach kids to be kind

 

1. Make caring for others a priority...

2. Provide opportunities for children to practice caring and gratitude...

3. Expand your child’s circle of concern...

4. Be a strong moral role model and mentor...

5. Guide children in managing destructive feelings..


By Amy Joyce 


Via Edwin Rutsch, billcoffin
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5 Mindful Skills for Moms When Things Don't Go as Planned

5 Mindful Skills for Moms When Things Don't Go as Planned | Momfulness | Scoop.it
My life is so completely different than I planned. I’m a dreamer and I’ve had some big dreams in my life. At this point I have many different versions of my dreams since I've had to re-write them o...
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Who else wants to slow down?

Who else wants to slow down? | Momfulness | Scoop.it
Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very littl...
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Self-Care: The Secret to True Connection

Self-Care: The Secret to True Connection | Momfulness | Scoop.it
“Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.” ― bell hooks I have found this to be true: the bet...
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7 Things New Moms Need Their Husbands to Know | Quentin Hafner, LMFT

7 Things New Moms Need Their Husbands to Know | Quentin Hafner, LMFT | Momfulness | Scoop.it
7 Things New Moms Need Their Husbands to Know
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Infographic: What You Should Know About Moms and Happiness

Infographic: What You Should Know About Moms and Happiness | Momfulness | Scoop.it
What makes Mom feel appreciated? Does she get happier later in life? And what is she really thinking on Mother's Day, anyway?
Dr. Amy Fuller's insight:

LOVE these infographics from Happify! This one is all about motherhood and what makes (and doesn't make) moms happy. 

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3 Crucial Things Every Parent Needs To Do

3 Crucial Things Every Parent Needs To Do | Momfulness | Scoop.it
Kids desperately want respect. Even when they don't show it towards you. They want to be heard.
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Parenthood: The Power of Breathing

Parenthood: The Power of Breathing | Momfulness | Scoop.it

Via Fuller Life Family Therapy
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Fuller Life Family Therapy's curator insight, April 7, 2014 11:42 AM

Can we give ourselves permission pause for a moment and breathe? Deep breathing opens up more options in how we want to respond to our children.

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Dr. Laura Markham > How to Start Dinner Conversation with Your Child

Dr. Laura Markham > How to Start Dinner Conversation with Your Child | Momfulness | Scoop.it
Ideas for Talking with Your Child: Best conversation starter ideas for great family dinner table discussions about values and life
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Why Parenting Has Gotten More Difficult | Family Studies

Why Parenting Has Gotten More Difficult | Family Studies | Momfulness | Scoop.it

Parents in a recent survey agreed, by a six-to-one margin, that parenting is seen as more difficult today than in the past.


Indeed, to hear today’s moms and dads tell it, Ruth Graham wrote recently at Slate, parents “never get their houses clean, never have sex, never read books or have adult conversations, never shower, and never, ever have a moment to themselves.” That’s hyperbolic, as Graham and parents themselves know, but (many parent-bloggers seem to say) it’s not far off the mark.


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Five Ways to Help Your Kids Love Fitness

Five Ways to Help Your Kids Love Fitness | Momfulness | Scoop.it
As parents, we wear so many hats: nurse, chauffer, cook, maid…We often overlook a very important aspect of our children’s health: how much physical activity our kids are getting each day. Encouraging your kids to stay active can be a challenge when there are so many other things competing for time. The U.S Department of [...]

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nancercize's curator insight, February 21, 2014 2:14 PM

I like the part about adults being role models.

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Mindful Parenting:To Yell or Not to Yell?

Mindful Parenting:To Yell or Not to Yell? | Momfulness | Scoop.it
For me, muscling my children into behaving the way I want them to feels wrong. While I don't want to give them carte blanche to do whatever they want (Permissive Parenting), I also want to be able to give them the tools to navigate life without blowing up every time something doesn't go the way they want.
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50 (More) Inspiring Children's Books With A Positive Message

50 (More) Inspiring Children's Books With A Positive Message | Momfulness | Scoop.it
When we expose our kids to a variety of positive and inspirational content early and on a regular basis, we can make a profound difference in their lives and help encourage a growth mindset....
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Curated by Dr. Amy Fuller
Dr. Amy Fuller, Marriage & Family Therapist passionate about healing & empowering a fuller life through Relational, Emotional, Mental & Spiritual Health/Growth. www.AmyFullerPhd.com