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  • Writer's pictureDr. Melissa Adams

Positive Parenting & Your Child's Brain (Part 2)


Father nearly nose to nose with his infant daughter while she is lying on a bed, he is smiling big

The study (link below) looked at the impact of Positive Parenting (a type of parenting) on the development of a child's brain, and the development of a child's brain will inevitably affect them for the rest of their life.


Positive Parenting

"...early maternal support predicted larger hippocampal volume in school-aged children, particularly in non-depressed, healthy children..."


The hippocampus is an area of the brain strongly associated with memory.


Negative Parenting

"...negative parenting, which is equivalent to maltreatment, affects brain structure in children. For instance, gray matter has been found to develop irregularly in the superior temporal gyrus of young adults who experienced parental verbal abuse..."


The superior temporal gyrus is an area of the brain the helps with auditory processing, language, and social cognition.


It is important to understand that "verbal abuse" can be simply telling your child they are bad because they spilled their milk during dinner. It does not have to be repeated over time, even one instance is abuse. If you are unsure of what is verbal abuse, please do yourself and your child a favor and look up examples.


Conclusion

What we say to children matters, A LOT ... like ... matters for the rest of their life. Every single thing that is said to a child is either helping them or harming them and we get to choose.


A positive parenting approach IS the way to create strong, resilient, smart, well-adapted children who are able to emotionally regulate better and function at a higher level. They are happier and ultimately will have happier, better, healthier relationships in their adulthood.


A negative parenting approach is NOT the way to toughen up a child, it is NOT the way to make a child strong, it is a fast track to multiple mental health conditions and a lifetime of potential suffering and struggle.


The amazingly awesome thing is ... you can choose what you say to your child! If you need help with these concepts or with parenting, please reach out to a local mental health provider.


This is not medical advice, please see your PCP or medical provider before making any lifestyle, medication, supplement, dietary, etc changes


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