Do You Feel Like Your Brain Just Isn’t Working Right?
My clinical experience indicates that an individual’s behavior reflects the degree of access and integration of his/her brain functions. To a large degree, whether the functions are accessed—or not accessed—determines how a person behaves.
Your behavior tells us the truth about how your brain functions. When you or your child say, “I hate reading [or mathematics or English, or fill in the blank],”you are actually telling us, “I cannot access the part of the brain I need to do that task easily.” You hate it because it is difficult for you to do.
When you read well and easily, you usually don’t avoid reading, but rather seek it out because there is so much to learn and enjoy in books. But when you or your children find reading demanding and stressful, you develop avoidance mechanisms. For instance, you might label reading as “boring.” And who wants to do something that is boring?
Are You Concerned Because Your Child Seems Immature for His/Her Age?
Whether an adult or a child, someone who is mostly using the creative, emotional side of their brain—and who has poor access to logical functions (i.e., cause-and-effect thinking, concrete reasoning, physical coordination)—may often be perceived as “emotionally immature.”
We make this assessment because emotional maturity is essentially the ability to modulate and control the expression of emotions based on a logical analysis of circumstances. A well-integrated person with good access to all brain functions may feel angry, but is able to make the rational judgment that now is not the appropriate time to express that anger (a logic experience).
A more creative person with poor access to logic function, by contrast, will experience the anger and tend to act on that feeling with little consideration of the logical consequences.
When you are born, only the creative thinking (i.e., Gestalt) functions of your brain are activated. Then, around two years of age, you start to realize you can impact your world because the logic side of your brain begins to become active.
Before this, you may have learned to associate that if you cry, your caregiver would come, but making this association is not the same as following a logical series of events.
A two-year-old only knows “now” and has no concept of “later,” which is why it can be so frustrating to try to reason with a toddler. (As most parents learn, we shouldn’t try and reason with toddlers about consequences, but just distract them!) As logic becomes more active, you learn cause-and-effect relationships and eventually develop the ability to rationalize.
Children who don’t develop their logic functions may be labeled as emotionally immature and are left behind their peers socially. Their behavior often shows little or no understanding about the consequences of their actions. For instance, they might climb higher and higher up a tree, not realizing that they can’t get down until it’s too late. Then they may fall or cry for help, with no real understanding that their own actions are what put them in this situation. And, they are just as likely to repeat this mistake sometime in the future, perhaps frequently.
If you are the caregiver of a child with limited logic functions, you are especially at a loss as the child grows larger. No longer can the youngsters simply be picked up and carried away from the situation when unacceptable behavior arises.
It is important to recognize that the inappropriate behavior isn’t deliberate or malicious. Rather, the behavior occurs because your children simply cannot inhibit their actions, for they lack the cognitive skills available only through logical functions in the brain.
Are you worried that your child’s behavior is inappropriate? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below because chances are, you’re not alone. Thank you!