Neuroeducation: Knowing The Children’s Brain To Educate Happy Children

 As the techniques to investigate inside the brain are perfected, the relationship between Education and Neuroscience becomes closer, giving rise to new branches of knowledge such as Neuroeducation.

In fact, today Neuroeducation has ceased to be a theoretical discipline to become a practical tool that provides very valuable information to parents and teachers to educate children in a more respectful, sensitive and developmental way.

Why Is Understanding How The Child’s Brain Works So Important?

Understanding how the brain works and the stages of its development allows parents to adjust their expectations to the real capacities of the child. In this way they will not demand things for which they are not prepared. As a result, no frustration is generated.

At the same time, knowing how far the child can go allows parents to design activities that stimulate child development. This creates a stimulating and developing environment for the little one.

Understanding the keys to how the brain works also allows them to understand many of the children’s behaviors and be more sensitive to their needs, to put into practice a positive parenting that generates a secure attachment.

The Main Principles Of Neuroeducation

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change its structure and functioning throughout life in response to environmental stimuli. Up to the age of six, children have amazing neuroplasticity, so they can learn effortlessly, as long as they are given opportunities in a safe and positive learning environment. Thanks to neuroplasticity, we also know that a child who suffers from a certain disability or deficiency will be able to compensate for it by developing other skills.

Emotion And Cognition Go Hand In Hand

The emotional and rational areas of the brain work together, so it is a mistake to think that thinking is separate from feeling. Complex learning has been shown to be reinforced by challenges and inhibited by threats. That means that if we want children to learn, we must ensure that learning is meaningful, positive, fun, and rewarding. If you educate yourself with shouting, threats, fear and punishment, stress will be generated, which blocks the hippocampus, a structure that has a large number of receptors for stress neurotransmitters and is essential for memory. If it is taught with respect and love, this learning will be more durable in time.

Take Advantage Of Sensitive Periods Without Violating The Pace Of Development

Many parents think that accelerating the learning of certain content is beneficial for children, but in reality it is not. It has been appreciated that trying to teach math or writing to a three-year-old could even backfire. Neuroeducation shows that throughout development there are sensitive periods, stages in which the brain has reached adequate maturation and is more receptive to learning certain skills. Therefore, it is essential that parents respect the natural maturation rate of each child.

The Brain Learns In Different Ways

There is no single path to learning, just as there is no single intelligence. Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences reveals that there are different types of intelligences and that each person has a unique combination of linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, body-kinetic, musical, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences. There are children who learn better by listening but others need to see or apply this content. One type of learning is not better than the other, all are equally valid paths to explore. Educating a child means giving him opportunities so that he can develop his talents and intelligences to the maximum.

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Children Inherit Their Parents’ Suffering

The emotional state of parents influences their children, for better or for worse. If the parents suffer, they will transmit that suffering to their offspring through different channels. One of them is epigenetics.

Epigenetics analyzes the factors that regulate the expression of genes without causing a modification in the DNA sequence. Thanks to this science, we now know that some environmental factors can modify the expression of certain genes throughout our lives, making us more likely, for example, to develop some diseases or psychological disorders.

Science Explains How We “Inherit” Suffering From Our Parents

Thanks to military records, investigators learned whether the soldiers had married, where they had lived and whether they had children. Thus they collected information on 6,500 war veterans and 20,000 children and people of the same generation, but whose parents had not participated in the war.

Their finding was devastating: Soldiers’ children were twice as likely to die early compared to people whose parents had not gone to war, even though they shared the same socioeconomic status and prior health.

An even more startling discovery was that the children prisoners of war had after surviving the harsh conditions of the camp were up to 2.2 times more likely to die earlier than their siblings.

The researchers think that the environmental exposure to harsh conditions and the psychological suffering that this generated could induce molecular changes in the gametes of the parents that, in turn, affect the behavior of their children. In fact, it has been proven that in animals, exposure to stress generates changes in the DNA profile that are transmitted to their children.

Obviously, psychological factors are also likely to play a role, such as the fact that parents who have suffered major trauma could infect their children with a more pessimistic view of the world. Pessimism and depression, especially in the early stages of life, are known to generate aversive behaviors in different environments and decrease life expectancy.

his means that the children of people who have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder acquire from their parents a peculiar coping style that generates maladaptive behaviors and a feeling of helplessness.

Effect Of The Second Generation

The second generation effect refers to the transgenerational transmission (from parents to children) of the psychological consequences and styles of coping with stress.

The researchers found that the daughters of people who survived the Holocaust were more vulnerable to stressful situations and reacted more negatively to their illness, compared to the other people who participated in the study.

These psychologists concluded that the second generation has fewer psychological resources to deal with stressful situations. Being less resilient and having a more negative view of the world, influenced by the suffering that their parents experienced, these people are more vulnerable from a physical and psychological point of view.

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