- What made you smile today?
- Can you tell me an example of kindness you saw/showed?
- Was there an example of unkindness? How did you respond?
- Does everyone have a friend at recess?
- What was the book about that your teacher read?
- What’s the word of the week?
- Did anyone do anything silly to make you laugh?
- Did anyone cry?
- What did you do that was creative?
- What is the most popular game at recess?
- What was the best thing that happened today?
- Did you help anyone today?
- Did you tell anyone “thank you?”
- Who did you sit with at lunch?
- What made you laugh?
- Did you learn something you didn’t understand?
- Who inspired you today?
- What was the peak and the pit?
- What was your least favorite part of the day?
- Was anyone in your class gone today?
- Did you ever feel unsafe?
- What is something you heard that surprised you?
- What is something you saw that made you think?
- Who did you play with today?
- Tell me something you know today that you didn’t know yesterday.
- What is something that challenged you?
- How did someone fill your bucket today? Whose bucket did you fill?
- Did you like your lunch?
- Rate your day on a scale from 1-10.
- Did anyone get in trouble today?
- How were you brave today?
- What questions did you ask at school today?
- Tell us your top two things from the day (before you can be excused from the dinner table!).
- What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
- What are you reading?
- What was the hardest rule to follow today?
- Teach me something I don’t know.
- If you could change one thing about your day, what would it be?
- (For older kids): Do you feel prepared for your history test?” or, “Is there anything on your mind that you’d like to talk about?” (In my opinion, the key is not only the way a question is phrased, but responding in a supportive way.)
- Who did you share your snacks with at lunch?
- What made your teacher smile? What made her frown?
- What kind of person were you today?
- What made you feel happy?
- What made you feel proud?
- What made you feel loved?
- Did you learn any new words today?
- What was the hardest rule to follow today?
- If you could switch seats with anyone in class, who would it be? And why?
- What is your least favorite part of the school building? And favorite?
- If you switched places with your teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?
Encouraging kids to eat healthy and nutritious foods can be a tall order for any parent. Youngsters, normally, prefer to eat sweets, and often ignore vegetables, fruits and other healthy food sources.
As a parent, it can be somewhat upsetting to see them complain about the food they are getting and it does take a great deal of patience and determination to convince them to take a bite of healthy and nutritious food.
Yet, for all these challenges, every effort must be made to ensure that
children have a healthy, nutritious and properly portioned diet.
Want a FREE copy of The ABC of Nutrition for Kids Ebook Just enter your email address for FREE access.
A child’s subconscious mind is not something parents usually think about. They worry about nutrition and developmental goals. They read about sleep patterns and tantrums. They want to get everything right, but parents rarely invest the same care and interest into how the mind of their child works.
As adults, we have the tendency to see children as miniature adults. We believe that they should think, reason, and behave the way we do. However, nothing can be further from the truth.
When kids do not operate the way we think or believe they should, things can go terribly wrong. We might try to correct their behaviour through actions or words, sometimes punishing them, which can often make the situation worse.
The reason for this is that kids’ minds work very differently to ours. Imagine the picture below as being your adult mind.
10% of your mind represents your conscious mind. That is where you reason, make decisions, and where your willpower is stored. 90% represents your subconscious mind. This is your auto function. This is the area that tells you to breathe, manages your body and your emotions. Where you store your beliefs, your automatic responses, your habits, and where your primitive area housing ‘fight or flight’ reactions is.
Between them, there’s something we call the critical mind; half into the conscious, half into the subconscious. This is our ‘filter’. This is there to protect us. The critical mind analyses the input and decides what can go into the subconscious mind and what cannot.
The average adult has 5 different types of brainwaves:
- Gamma waves – 40+ cycles per second (Hz) (These are involved in higher processing tasks as well as cognitive functioning.)
- Beta waves – 12 – 40 Cycles per second (Hz) (These are known as high-frequency low-amplitude brain waves that are commonly observed while we are awake. )
- Alpha waves – 8 – 12 cycles per second (Hz) (This frequency range bridges the gap between our conscious thinking and subconscious mind.)
- Theta waves – 4 – 8 cycles per second (Hz) (This particular frequency range is involved in daydreaming and sleep.)
- Delta waves – 0 – 4 cycles per second (Hz) (These are the slowest recorded brain waves in human beings. They are found most often in infants as well as young children.)
The average brain wave cycle for an adult, when awake and alert, is about 21 cycles per second. Scientists call this Beta brain wave activity. This activity slows down when you sleep or daydream.
Alpha waves (8 – 12 Hz.) begin to express around the age of six and Beta waves (12- 15 Hz), the highest level of brain activity, characterised as “active and focused consciousness,” only begins to appear around the age of twelve.
Children have slower brain wave frequencies than adults. When a baby is born, their brain rhythm is only a couple of beats per second. As they grow up and their brains develop brain rhythm increases. In children, right brain functioning develops first. The right brain is associated with the subjective senses, imagination, creativity, memory and intuition, or alpha activity.
When a child is born, they have no logic, reason or inhibitory processes. To make their needs known they use primitive mechanisms. The only fears a baby is born with are the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. All other fears are learned over the years via identification and association.
From the age zero to approximately eight, the child develops a library of these identifications and associations. They learn that some of these are good (positive) and some are bad (negative). These positive and negative associations become the life script of the child. It is formed from what they know, but the child does not yet know right from wrong. Identifications lead to associations which lead to emotion. For example, let’s say a child has a scary encounter with a dog. The identification is the dog, the experience is frightening, and emotion is fear. Therefore the script reads identification of dog leads to the association of danger and the emotion of fear.
Children are very receptive during these ages when their right brains are active and their left brains – which includes critical thinking – are not yet fully functional. It is during these formative years that subconscious mind programming naturally occurs. It is how people take on limiting beliefs that sabotage their success, including the hurtful words of a tired parent or those of an educator who has lost their patience.
A child’s critical mind only develops from around the age of eight, therefore whatever they hear, see, feel goes directly into the subconscious mind without analysis, and is accepted as fact. Since the subconscious mind never sleeps, the amount of data that goes directly into their subconscious mind is phenomenal. In the eyes of your child, you are literally everything, and in the programmable Theta state (4-8 Hz.) whatever you tell them, their brain will record as true.
So, until the age of eight, the brain is only downloading data. Are you afraid of heights? Do you believe that money doesn’t grow on trees or that love hurts? Chances are those beliefs were instilled in you unwittingly by your parents when your mind was still malleable and unable to contest. It was unable to contest because, until eight years of age, brain frequency patterns are dominated by Theta waves, holding the child in a hypnagogic trance. This trance-like state allows everything that happens before birth through eight years of age to go directly into the subconscious — bypassing the conscious mind. In other words, at this age, the brain is only downloading data and the critical mind is not yet working.
Many of our beliefs are formed in our early years from what we see, hear and experience. At a young age our critical thinking skills are not intact and we don’t question the “mind programming” that takes place, often by adults with good intentions.
So for example, a kid who grows up in a household where parents repeated something along the lines of “If you don’t get good grades in school, you’ll never have a good job”, may grow up with the unconscious belief that they are not capable of having a great job or don’t deserve one because they didn’t do well in school.
We know this by observing the brain activity of individuals who have been hypnotised. In order to hypnotise a person, their brain frequencies must first be lowered to the Delta and Theta state —the very state your child finds themself in naturally during their first eight years. Because of this natural hypnotic state in the child, theirs brain downloads all the perceptions, activity and knowledge they receive without the benefit of discrimination. Your child is ‘programmed’ for their adult years during this phase of development and it is this subconscious ‘programming’ that will run 95 % of their adult life.
From around eight to approximately twelve a child starts to develop logic and reason. The child is capable of making decisions and developing willpower. This becomes the conscious mind and represents around 10% of the mind. The subconscious mind represents the remaining 90% of the mind.
The left brain is the critical thinking part of our intelligence involved with logic, language and physical activity. It develops more slowly. In fact, scientists now believe that brains aren’t fully developed until we are well into our twenties, possibly even our thirties.
Another important aspect parents should remember is that the subconscious mind has no sense of humour. It is not logical and it takes things literally, it does not interpret. When parents joke with their children before they have that critical filter, or even worse, use sarcasm, that is very real for those children. Statements like “Are you stupid?” or “Leave me alone!” are not interpreted but taken as truth.
Learned helplessness occurs with children in almost any family, and suggestions accepted as truth become part of the belief system of their subconscious minds. There is a direct connection between how kids feel and how they behave. When a child feels right, they’ll behave right.
How do we help them to feel right? By accepting their feelings and helping them to correct their life script.
The problem is that parents don’t usually accept their children’s feelings, without even realising it. For example: “You don’t really feel that way.” “You’re just saying that because you’re tired.” “There’s no reason to be so upset.”
Steady denial of feelings can confuse and enrage kids. It also teaches them not to know what their feelings are — not to trust them. Add to this not taking into account the developmental phase of the child’s mind and you can create the programming that hinders the child.
The conscious mind sees with the eyes. It perceives outside experiences that are taken into our minds. It is your conscious mind that sees this article right now! The subconscious mind, on the other hand, has no contact with the outside world. It is blind. The subconscious mind does not see any more than a computer sees. Consequently, the subconscious mind does not know the difference between real and imagined. It is not conjecture; psychologists have verified it in laboratory experiments.
The subconscious mind relies on sensory input. Thus, it responds to reality and imagination in the same way.
Younger children are especially vulnerable, accepting negative suggestions with the same energy as positive ones. If your child’s belief structure is one based largely on fear or lack of confidence, a feeling of rejection or inadequacy, the ensuing decisions made by their conscious mind will, of course, reflect those beliefs. The good news is these things can be undone.
Many years ago, Joane Goulding, who studied biopsychosocial aspects of stress and mind management and served as a Director of the Australian Academy of Hypnotic Science, realised that children can be programmed in their sleep to fight off negative suggestions.
She created the Goulding SleepTalk® Process that children’s healthcare professionals have been using for over 30 years. The Goulding SleepTalk® process gives parents a second chance to undo the possible harms caused by unkind words they may have said to their children during a busy day.
The process is a safe, ethical and non-intrusive method suitable for any family, that empowers parents to help their children to achieve self-confidence and inner strength. They do it by giving their children positive suggestions to help with general and specific issues in their lives.
We hope this article helped you have a better understanding of how a child’s subconscious mind works.