A recent research on mirror neurons has discovered that when we watch someone doing something, the same neurons that fire in their brain also fire in our brain. By watching them, we end up thinking and feeling the same thing they feel by doing.
Our neurons “mirror” their neurons. In other words, when someone eats ice cream, their neurons think “yummy”. When we watch someone eat ice cream, our “yummy” neurons light up the same way.
Imagine what our lives would be like if we could look in the mirror and change what we see in it. Imagine if it could help us change what we see both inside and outside of ourselves.
I think kids are such very special mirrors. They visually project the image of those who stand before them. If you want to see your parenting image, all you have to do is look into your live mirror, your kids.
The good news for parents, is that by controlling how we feel and behave, we can influence how our kids feel and behave. And this is also our challenge…
Mirror neurons never lie
We are born with this ability and depend on it heavily. As children, most of what we mirror is what we see in the people closest to us – our parents. It is not what they say that counts the most, but what their brain projects and what our brain mirrors.
For children with behavior issues, looking at what they are mirroring can often be illuminating. That is why the Be Happy in LIFE Parenting Program focuses on what happens inside the parent, not on the child’s misbehavior. We focus on the parents’ parenting style and how they can be true to who they are and what they believe, think or feel.
It is important to be true to who you are, because as a parent, you face a mirror that reflects everything you do and feel. When we pretend to feel and think in a specific way, our child’s mirror neurons will pick it up. Mirror neurons never lie. Your thoughts, feelings and behaviors will be mirrored.
The mirror neuron ability (over which we have no control) can work for us or against us in parenting. Here is a video of a couple who presented at TED (I do love TED talks) about how they realized the power of neuron mirroring and used it to help their son. I hope it will inspire you as much as it inspired me.
Remember, your behavior “speaks”, and your child’s mirror neurons are always, always listening.