As parents we know that teaching our kids how to use the potty and how to say thank you are very important to their future success as adults. However, how many of us have really considered the role of love in growing up?
Keep reading to understand how significant it is to know how your kids think about love and how to practice love in a way that help them to lead a happy, balanced life.
The more you show love to your children, the bigger their brains grow.
As a lover of neuroscience (how the brain relates to learning and behavior) and attachment (the process of nurturing and bonding), I am blown away by the last decade of research supporting that “love” -or the absence of- “love” is the single most important variable in the successful development of well-being in our children.
The truth is that the more you show love to your children with a hug, a kiss, a smile, unconditional positive regard, by including them, being interested in them, through family based play, and so much more of the nurturing type of communication, the bigger their brains grow.
Beyond the basic human needs of food, water and housing, love and nurturing not only builds the pathway for our children’s future happiness, but also survival. As the fittest of species, the size of the human brain in comparison to other species positively relates to our ability to pro-create successfully. The brain’s ability to grow in response to love can be seen as a way to keep humans banded together against danger and intruders.
Our brains are actually wired for love
So now that we know our brains are actually wired for love, how can we communicate with our children in a way that contributes to their overall success?
Studies also show that talking to your kids about what and how they think increases verbal ability, emotional understanding, and social relatedness.
As parents we can seek to understand what is going on inside a child by…
- sharing non-judgmental observations about important things in their lives;
- having conversations about how they feel;
- allowing them to ask questions about topics that are hard to understand, and;
- giving them space to figure things our on their own.
This type of bonding through communication leads a child to internalize a sense of acceptance, confidence, and an ability to successfully problem solve. So if love can change the brain for the future; I suppose then love can change the world. Let’s try it!