This past weekend we traveled to Colorado to attend my sister in law’s celebration of life. She passed away a month ago after a tragic accident. I miss her so much.
I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on her life. She is the mother of 2 amazing women and has four grandchildren. She was a kind, optimistic, and fun person, and she loved her family hard!
She had her girls very young, and she struggled a lot as a parent in the early years. Her struggles were real and painful. The details don’t matter. But as her daughters became women, the three of them found a fantastic connection. I know with my whole heart that her daughters knew they were loved every day. The journey was beautiful to witness because she did NOT let her mistakes of yesterday rob her of the connection with her family. I cannot tell you how much I learned from watching her show up fully and be present with her daughters and grandchildren!
Recently a client told me she was attending a parenting lecture series, and the instructor said the child’s attachment is almost fully formed by the age of 3. As the mother to a 4-year-old and former dominant parent, she was concerned/upset/defeated that her past will preclude her from connecting with her child and being a peaceful parent.
She is not the only parent to express this concern.
I often hear parents express with much guilt and shame that:
- The damage is done.
- I have already ruined her/him/them.
- It’s too late!
To this, I always say poppycock! This simply isn’t true! Scientists now know that neuroplasticity is alive and well in the brain well into our old, old age. Neuroplasticity is “the brain’s ability to change and grow over time in response to its environment. Changes can happen either fast or slow, and they can be positive or negative”.
In simple terms, you can teach a brain new tricks at any age!
This means that your children can learn connection and cooperation at any time as a result of you bringing peaceful parenting into your home! The neuro-pathways in your child’s brain can learn and respond to a new way of parenting.
If there was yelling yesterday, there can be calm today.
If there was chaos last week, there can be a connection this week.
If there was arguing last month, there can cooperation this month.
Have you seen the feel-good story of the 76-year-old woman who decides to take up marathon training and just ran her 100th marathon in her 80s? How did she do this? Neuroplasticity!
Or did you know that Joel Embid, the Cameroonian professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers didn’t start playing basketball until he was 15! How did he do this? Neuroplasticity! (I had to get the basketball example in here! 🏀 LOL!)
I have a friend who could not carry a tune, and at age 30, he became a successful opera singer in New York. How did he do this? Neuroplasticity!
Neuroplasticity also explains how I went from a dominant parent who yelled at my kid (even though I didn’t want to) to a parent who uses peaceful parenting tools. I am not special. I wasn’t let in on some secret. I simply used neuroplasticity to create a new way to respond to my son’s behaviors that feels peaceful, creates connection, and leads to maximum cooperation.
I have witnessed this same transformation in thousands of clients around the world. How do they do this? Neuroplasticity! Both in their brains and their kid’s brains!
Please, I beg you, don’t let yesterday’s parenting mistakes (yelling, threatening, punishing, dominant parenting) hold you back from starting your peaceful parenting journey today!
Don’t let it rob you of your hope that things can be different.
Don’t let it convince you that it is too late to change and show up in a new way that feels like peace and connection!
How can you do this? Neuroplasticity and new tools!
You bring the brain, and I will supply the tools! Deal?