We all know the importance of “The Formative Years” that span the ages of 0-7 years of life, a time when the brain experiences its greatest development and growth in terms of intelligence, personality, and social and emotional health. There are numerous articles about these years that address such topics as the stages of child development, the role of parents, caregivers, family, teachers, the value of early childhood education, quality health care, good nutrition, play and more. However, in these same articles, there is little mention of the child’s developing brain that operates in the “Theta” state from the last trimester to around 7 years of age.
Theta state? Yes, a brainwave state, where the brain is in a state of profound learning that processes information without a filter… without consciousness for accepting, questioning, judging, challenging, or negating what is experienced. So, whatever behavior the child hears, sees, or observes is believed as “gospel” and takes root in the subconscious mind as a program to access, a reference point, whatever the behavior happens to be, for better or worse. At this point the mind is simply acting like a computer recording and downloading whatever behavior it observes. It is not until around the age of 7 that the conscious mind (the creative mind) comes into play. At this time, the child begins to use the downloaded programs to live life, programs that may or may not be empowering to succeed in life. Knowing this is a game changer in what we say, what we do and how we act around children.
Let me tell you about a 36-year-old client who could not lose weight. He had thoroughly exhausted every avenue from Doctors, Psychologists, Nutritionists, a private trainer, and tried and true diets. His question to me was, “Now what”? Looking at his personality, through a trait identification process (handwriting analysis), he showed self-sabotaging behaviors of low self-esteem, fear of the unknown, and need for control, with strong resistance to change. During a hypnosis session, he recalled a fact that he had completely suppressed as a child, “My dad often called me ‘Chubby Charlie’ as he pinched my face and puffed his cheeks at me. In fact, he would randomly shoot me that “puffed cheeks” look no matter who was in the room.” Quite a revelation. As a child in “Theta State” he had no way of discounting his father’s words or actions… ones that had such ongoing negative effects on his self-esteem and overall health. He has since achieved his ideal body weight and shape using his own Theta state consciously with Hypnosis, as he resolved his perception of these words from his dad, a dad who “meant nothing by them.”
Another client, a 14-year-old, was brought to me for issues with failing health that had no medical, neurological or seemingly psychological basis. Looking at his personality through his handwriting, it was discovered that he was driven to achieve, with a high autonomy trait that said no matter what, “I can do this myself because I am always right.” His trait of determination was off the charts so he took on any and every task he could, staying up long hours and paying little attention to his health, family, or friends. Nothing was too much for him. Busy was his great escape. He shared that his mother was an alcoholic long before he was born. He observed his dad as a workaholic who was driven, which meant little time for his son. “My dad would tell me, ‘Get busy or you will end up like your mother.’” He heard that statement repeatedly as a young child, a belief slam dunked while in a Theta state. He became afraid to be idle and saw no value in relationships. After several sessions of initial progressive relaxation and breathing techniques, he learned how to be in the moment without judging it as “idle”. After debriefing his personality and work style based as his trait analysis, he was clear as to what worked best for him. As he achieved a feeling of inner balance, he decided to reassess his outer balance without fear that he would “end up like your mother”. Not an easy task for him for the first time in his life; but one that he saw as invaluable to his overall well-being. I think he was right for the right reason this time.
There are countless stories that could be told, but the point is clear… Awareness promotes choices-Awareness of how the brain develops during our formative years in a brain wave state of Theta and choices that assure a positive, supportive, loving impact from those involved in a child’s development.
A game changer, indeed.