The Brain Drain: Ways to protect your family’s brains
The Brain Drain
By Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT
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Daniel Amen, M.D., wrote a wonderful book titled Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. He talks about the importance of taking excellent care of your brain. When I am attempting to help someone in my private counseling practice in north Texas, I look for good brain health before we began working toward their goals.
If I have a client with anxiety, depression, anger or someone who is using alcohol or other drugs, I have to determine how much ‘brain drain’ has taken place. Sometimes I have clients who may need to learn to relax, breathe, take medication to adjust faulty brain chemistry or get them to quit using drugs in order to help them accomplish their goals. I think of the brain as a master computer that is precious and needs tender care.
Dr. Amen concludes the book with many brain do’s and don’ts including:
1. Wear a helmet in high-risk situations.
2. Think positive, healthy thoughts.
3. Surround yourself with great smells.
4. Notice when you’re stuck, distract yourself and come back to the problems later.
5. Sing and hum whenever you can.
1. Lie around the house and never exercise.
2. Drink much caffeine or much alcohol.
3. Hit a soccer ball with your head.
4. Be around toxic people’or even toxic smells.
5. Argue with someone who is stuck.
This makes me think of the ‘brain drain’ that we often buy our children and allow them to use without thinking of the repercussions on the brain. Such as allowing children under three years of age to watch any television or video. The scenes change frequently’ babies’ brains do not’some worry that this may be encouraging the brain to become an ADHD brain that has difficulty focusing.
Or how about the video games that parents allow their children to play on end? Addictions are becoming more common as well as just the daily irritability that frequently arise from overuse.
And we give young children cell phones to use failing to think that the brain is still in growth stages (and continues to grow until about age 21). Cell phones have electro-magnetic fields around them that we have yet to know the full impact. Dr. Oz, the prominent cardiologist of Oprah fame, suggests children and teens are allowed to use cell phones only for emergencies–and even then, don’t hold it close to their heads ‘ use the speaker phone. The rest of the time they can be on a land line.
Think about how you can protect your family’s brains!
Copyright 2018, Sharon Scott. No reproduction without written permission from author.
The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.
Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!
A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.
Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.
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