Many of you are excellent teachers, and probably didn’t know it. I’m a clinical psychologist of 23 years with a neural science background, and I have worked with children and teens every one of those years. ￼￼￼I have literally met and spoken in detail with thousands of children and families.￼ They are MY teachers.
When you show your kids that they, and you, don’t wear masks, don’t social distance, hang out in public places, pick fun over health, and disregard safety of others, ￼ you are teaching LOTS. ￼￼
- Rules don’t apply to you.
- Impulse control doesn’t matter, do what YOU wanna do.
- Being uncomfortable, physically or emotionally,￼ is just too hard.
- Fun before safety.
- Others don’t matter, it’s about you.
- You are healthy right now, so why worry. ￼
- Emerging research doesn’t matter; it’s changing anyway, so it’s irrelevant￼￼￼￼￼￼.
- Uncertainty is unbearable￼.
- Everyone else is doing it, so why not.
Unfortunately, children with their developing￼￼ frontal lobes do not apply these rules, which are aspects of executive functioning, to a single situation. They are generalized and integrated at the neuronal level. They are learning, growing beings.
[“But Doctor, Junior will not follow basic household rules￼￼. They only think about themselves. And she goes out every weekend and does risky things. It’s so frustrating.”]
Obviously, there are many families working hard, and I mean hard, to keep others and themselves safe. I know it’s not easy, I hear from you every day. Big respect. There are also creative solutions. May you all have a healthy summer and fall.￼