Brene Brown is wrong!
(I reallise saying this may mean I have to flee the country and change my identitiy now!! )
Brene Brown is very very famous indeed for commenting and advising on many things.
Amongst the advice she gives is on how to raise children. (Recently it was to Russell Brand for his two and a half year old, I hope he didn’t follow it!)
I have purposely avoided reading any of it until today.
Now I have…
I am deeply saddened that such an ‘influencer’ could be giving such harmful advice that millions will take up…
“Brown and her husband’s winning strategy? Choice theory. They’d give their kids two options, and it led to powerful lessons about consequences.
When her son Charlie threw his peas on the floor as a toddler, Brown would say, “Charlie, you have two choices: You can leave your peas on your tray, or you can be done eating. What do you choose?” When he continued to hurl his food, her son had made his choice and dinner was over.”
Young children do not have enough neocortial brain development to ‘make choices.’
They spend most of their time in survival and emotional and relationship modes, so they do stuff that annoys us!
Brene’s assumption with her toddler was that throwing peas on the floor was a behavioural deficiet that needed correction.
Instead it could have been a gentle teaching moment.
A fun conversation about peas,
“What does it feel like when the pea pops in your mouth?
What colour are those cheeky peas? Are they round, square, triangles….
Shall we keep those lovely peas safe on the tray and pop them in your mouth?”
It doesn’t mean a child will automatically do this, it takes repition.
Mostly they learn from watching us so eating with them is very important. (unless you throw your peas on the floor!)
But over time, as their brain cells connect up to form a nerual pathaway. They can eventually remember, and learn, that food goes in our mouth and not on the floor.
With Brene’s technique there is a negative energy that brings tension into the meal time scenario. A consequence follows and everyone gets to be miserable about blooming peas!!
Neither way is a ‘quick fix’ as children’s brains are forming and growing until they are nearly 30 years of age.
But one uses compassion and connection.
The other uses disapproval, control and disconnection.
Then Brene goes on to talk about removing herself from situations with her children,
“It’s okay to say, ‘Daddy and Mommy have to walk away right now,'” If hysterics and leg-grabbing follow, Brown recommends “removing them lovingly” and then doing exactly what you said you’d do. Because so much of the kids’ challenging behavior is attention-seeking, she says, they get the message that their method isn’t working.”
If a child is struggling emotionally, (unless you fear you may hit them or really get angry at them) then they need you to breathe and calm yourself whilst they cling onto you.
Peeling them off ‘lovingly’ is mean.
Because they are feeling scared and overwhelmed and are in real need of comfort and connection.
To walk away makes them even more distressed as now they are alone with all their big feelings.
Be with them.
Calm yourself and see them as in need of your safety and help.
Later you can explore alternatives to behaviours and resposnses.
What Brown is spouting is just another way of seeing children as having challenging behaviour that needs ‘managing’.
This unhelpful to the children and creates barriers between them and thier parents which is irresponsible of Brown as such an influencer.
Contact me if you crave calmness, connection and co-operation in your relationship with your child. www.thejaneevans.com
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