Posted in Philosophy

The Most Useful thing I ever Learned

That young children under 7, cannot absorb more than one instruction at a time, and cannot absorb anything when they are stressed.  For example, a fairly typical set of instructions to your kids before going out might be:

“Can you pick up your toys, put them away, grab your backpacks, and wait by the car.”  This is may be the same set of instructions they get every day before going to school. But in children under 7, the most likely scenario is that they are found lined up by the car, ready to go, no backpacks and toys left lying in wait to trip you if you don’t look out.  That is because they were only able to process the last instruction. Parents then compound the problem by shouting,

“What did I just say!?”

The child scared by the parent’s anger, and entering flight and fight mode, gets Cortisol, the stress hormone, flooding into their system. This can chemically strip their last few moments of memory.  So they go silent or say,

 “I don’t know”. 

Naturally, the situation deteriorates from there. 

Now if you want a happier home life, keep instructions simple.  One at a time, and never follow an exasperated outburst with a question.  You’ll have less of your own Cortisol response to worry about.    


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