How to Set Your Children Up for a Lifetime of Success vs. Struggle

blocks limiting beliefs Jun 01, 2016

Most parents are very familiar with the phrase "monkey see, monkey do" and know to be careful when using bad words or acting inappropriately around their children.  But it really goes so much deeper than that!    Children are literal sponges--at least their brains are--for years before they develop the ability to reason or form judgments on their own.  And by that time their perspectives have already been biased based on what they've absorbed throughout their formative years.

From birth to around two years of age, our brains are in Delta brainwave state. Adults experience this during periods of deep sleep. There are no feelings or emotions in this state and we are literally just taking everything in.  

From two years to around age six--the brain accelerates into Theta pattern. This is where creativity and imagination are accessed and it's where the unconscious mind is dominant. As adults we experience this state as we are drifting into sleep and just waking up. It's also the state that hypnotists put you into when they want to plant a suggestion in your sub/unconscious. 

From ages six to twelve the brain accelerates to Alpha state, which is more like daydreaming or self hypnosis or when you "zone out"--like when you are driving and suddenly realize you've gone 20 miles and don't remember how you got there.  You're on auto-pilot--a sign that your subconscious has developed certain behaviours and habits over time and with repetition.  During these years,  the conscious mind is starting to develop but it's still the unconsious mind that is absorbing the messages it's taking in.  Visual messages, auditory messages and other sensory experiences.  The unconscious mind does not distinguish between what you imagine vs. what you actually experience. It simply does what it is told, shown, or imagined until it becomes a habit. This is why hypnotic suggestions can have powerful effects in the alpha brainwave state. Messages that your children take in during these years can set up patterns of thought, behavior and habits that can either set them up for success or cause them to struggle for a lifetime!

At age twelve our brains accelerate to Beta state which is when the conscious mind becomes dominant and where we reason and problem solve. And it's not just hormones that are kicking in during this time--it's many of the emotional states such as fear, worry, anxiety. Even thought the conscious mind is now dominant, it's still driven by the thoughts and beliefs that are in the subconscious/unconscious---that frame the way we look at things and contribute to our logic.

It woud be impossible to police every piece of data that your child is taking in and you wouldn't want to.   The billions of pieces of data that we take in are what make each of us unique.   However, the messages that you repeatedly give your children throughout their life can make a big difference in how actionable they are, how resilient they are and how successful they are as they grow into adulthood. 

Here are some key steps you can take to support them from the very beginning:

1.  Engage your baby and young children in postive conversations.  Even if you don't believe that they understand it!  They don't--at least not the language that you are using.  But they do feel your energy, hear the tone of your voice and see the expressions on your face and in your body language.  Let them soak in the postive from the very beginning!

2.  Give your children lots of opportunity to express and expand their creativity.   Books and toys that help them develop this can stimulate their ability to see that "anything is possible"....a trait that can serve them well when they are older and need to problem solve or come up with new strategies.

3.  Create positive affirmations with your children when they are young and reinforce as they grow older.   When they get to their teen years, try framing your questions to them in a positive way.  For example "what was the best part of your day today?"  or "what did you love most about that?".   Not only are you reinforcing the positive, but their brains will go searching for the answers to those questions!

4.   Exercise and healthy eating habits start in the early years too!   Your children observe your levels of activity as well as their own.   The example you set reinforces healthy habits.

5.  Be cautious of the phrases you use that can have a lasting impact.   Things like "misery loves company" or "nothing worth having comes easy".  Remember that these are taken very literally by the brain.   

On a side note-- neuroscientists have discovered in recent years that the brain IS capable of re-wiring itself!   So even if you are an adult struggling with limiting beliefs, poor habits or negative behaviours there's still hope! But that's for another post...


Beth Larsen is a former retail executive, a certified High Performance Coach,  Law of Attraction Coach, and founder of the Grow Your Abundance Group Coaching Program.   As a coach she works with business owners and entrepreneurs to help them attract more clients, more business and more abundance in all areas of their lives.


Want to learn how to break your own limiting beleifs and blocks so you can attract more business, experience more bliss and have more balance?  Join the Grow Your Abundance Group Coaching Program.

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