ALPHABETICAL BRAIN™ VOCABULARY
HUMANIST FAMILY BRAIN STUDY

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INTRODUCTION - SECTION 4
HOW CAN HUMANIST PARENTS AND
TEACHERS EDUCATE CHILDREN
TO LOVE THEIR BRAINS?

April 2, 2020

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This section of the website is designed to help parents and teachers (and all adults who care about children) develop a balanced approach to making sure that they and the children they influence can learn healthy brain habits. It teaches the creative thinking skills and emotional control skills for understanding the new brain knowledge or cognitive neuroscience essential for a modern humanistic secular philosophy of life.

Also, you can use the organized brain knowledge for dealing with any personal or family life relationship issues. This includes the information related to your brain that applies to science-based best-practices parenting principles and skills.

The bonus for using this new brain information is that what is good for the brains of children is also good for the hearts of children. Children need to exercise regularly, eat nutritious foods, get enough sleep, and challenge their brains on a daily basis to solve difficult problems.

This new brain mindfulness approach to your brain can motivate behavior associated with rational liberal humanistic values such as respect for diversity and revulsion for all kinds of prejudice, both implicit and explicit.

This involves showing respect and empathy for everybody including those people with implicit biases since they usually are not fully aware of the complete ramifications of their serious identity prejudices. It is worth trying to advocate humanist values with bigots until you realize that they may never understand the errors of their intellectual blindness, especially regarding prejudices related to agism, employment discrimination, ethnicity, gender bias, racism, or diverse sexual values.

Essentially, modern research has shown that there is a difference between people with open minds who have "growth mindsets" and people with closed minds who have "fixed mindsets," which involve deep seated habitual beliefs about the meaning of life and the causes of human nature.

See the following information box for publication data for the book, Mindset, by Carol Dweck of Stanford University:

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MINDSET:
The new psychology of success
by Carol S. Dweck.
Random House, 2006,
2016 updated edition (i-xi, 301 pages)


[Note = A detailed outline and evaluations of the book, Mindset, will be linked here soon.]

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To learn the new brain vocabulary, parents need to teach and reinforce modern critical thinking skills and critical reading strategies. In this context, the word "critical" means having the reasoning skills to evaluate the content of the information a person is thinking about or reading about at the time he or she is involved with the content.

It means not taking new information for granted without using reasoning skills to evaluate the content as being true statements with supporting factual evidence. In short, it means not blindly or mindlessly accepting the new content as true when it is actually false! This critical attitude is especially urgent when dealing with social media feeds and online contacts.

Humanist parents and teachers need to use their intellectual intelligence (IQ) and their emotional intelligence (EQ) to reason effectively with children. They need to create a fulfilling philosophy of life for themselves and then teach children (often simultaneously) by using modern principles of cognitive neuroscience to argue for understanding brainpower in the modern secular evolutionary context of human history.

You can teach children this vital lesson for lifelong safety and personal independence!

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instantly go to:
BRAIN MINDFULNESS
FOR FAMILIES AND CLASSROOMS


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As a humanist parent or teacher (or any adult responsible for teaching children), you need to create balance in your own life or in the classroom so you can cope with the challenges of being a role model by expressing responsibility for the children under your care. You have the willpower to create more resilience and less confusion in the family or the classroom.

The goal of increasing "cognitive surplus" means that you can prepare yourself for emergencies and also provide yourself with the basis for fulfilling future family interactions by deliberately choosing to create "cognitive reserve" every day.

You can do this by increasing the "density" of the neuronal connections throughout your brain and nervous system by doing a variety of interesting and challenging new activities on a daily basis. This includes getting enough sleep each night, eating sensibly, and exercising moderately. By emphasizing as many positive feelings related to these activities as possible, you will be using your willpower to optimize your adaptable self-identity as you face the future.

Children must be trained by their parents and teachers to satisfy their own age-related developmental needs for physical, intellectual, and emotional growth through the predictable developmental stages and the teachable moments of their young lives. This task is much easier for kids when they see their parents and teachers "modeling" healthy responsible adult behavior within their family and classroom.

Conversely, the idea of reducing cognitive dissonance in your own life, and in the lives of children, refers to the need for parents to teach their children how to cope conscientiously with negative emotional feelings and social problems. Such serious problems can include emotional traumas and excessive stress as well as disruptive TV and online advertisements and adult subject matter on cable and network TV programs. All those distractions can in their own peculiar ways become menaces to their children's brains.

Also, parents with emotional problems, such as bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder can become dysfunctional role models for their children instead of being responsible caregivers. Such examples of bad adult behavior can have lifelong adverse impacts on the mental and emotional development of children. This is because children learn a lot from imitative behavior and their immune systems can be seriously injured by traumatic emotional stress.

In addition, the mind-numbing assault on the brains of children by the ubiquitous mass media and the addictive social media and the omnipresent advertisements and commercials can seriously damage the young brains of children. Steady concentration on the mass media and social media can cause memory problems and lessen the reading of books and discussions of important social issues.

Also, violent movie TV advertisements and trailers, which are still permitted during prime time family TV viewing times, are particularly bad for conditioning children to violence and unethical behavior. Commercials that portray criminal behavior, such as gun violence and explosions, to shock viewers into paying attention are often used to promote new films on TV or films streaming online.

Unfortunately, movie advertisements and other loud commercials that demand attention compete with educational programs for the precious limited time children have during their childhoods for independent educational pursuits and deeper thinking. The limited time for freestyle education can be jeopardized further by the bombardment of noisy TV programs and addictive video games.

The education time for learning essential cultural knowledge can be further challenged by the lack of face-to-face human contacts as children spend more of their discretionary time straining their eyes and necks as they concentrate on video games on their handheld devices: called "screen time!"

Also, if children were not constantly pressured to waste so much of their precious time watching appealing but often unessential media commercials, they could become more enthusiastic about gaining an understanding of science, history, politics, art, and their own health. They might even become more motivated to understand how their brains work!

Unfortunately, when the brains of children are constantly distracted, their lives can be reduced to simplistic habits despite the fact that they need to be developing an appreciation for the complexity of modern global civilization. Children are growing up in the most complicated communities with the most options in human history, but also the most confusing distractions.

The new brain knowledge provides the best protection for children since kids are the most vulnerable targets. For example, there are many aggressively unethical and unscrupulous sales people online and in shopping malls who pose a danger to children who are frequently tempted to buy expensive video game characters in order to have more chances to win.

HUMANIST EDUCATION PRINCIPLE

The fundamental Humanist Education Principle is that parents and teachers need to give children the instruction and the reinforcements they need to keep their brains and minds and bodies healthy for a lifetime of challenges and changes. To achieve this important humanist objective, the new brain ideas should be discussed continuously in all families and classrooms.

All family members and all students in both public and private schools can participate and contribute to the quality of community life by being encouraged to communicate and share brain facts. Brain facts can help children optimize their brain functions during the known sequence of predictable ages and stages of childhood growth curves.

Now it is possible to teach the essential introductory linguistic background of the new brain vocabulary to all children, young and old at home or in classrooms, so they will be prepared with clearly understood scientific facts and humanistic values about their brains when they enter nursery school and kindergarten and know more details by the time they graduate from high school.

For example, when started early in the family or classroom, children can easily identify the parts of their brain's physical structure and distinguish it from their mind's mental functions. Their primary mental functions can be named "brainpower" or "willpower" within specific social contexts, such as family or school, by using proper words to control their emotions and describe responsible behavior.

This ethical principle assumes that children can learn to depend on the true brain knowledge about essential facts and skills and values that can add meaning to their lives. Fortunately, children can learn to rely on the true source of their thoughts and emotions, which is the interactive relationship between their working memory and long-term memory systems inside their bodies instead of being confused by false myths and metaphors of alleged super spirits outside their bodies.

Mysterious spiritual metaphors sound good because of the grammatical reification structure of the English language. But they do not define reality accurately. All historical hunches and religious metaphors purported to relate to human behavior are wrong since the ancients knew nothing about the true functions of their brains. Specifically, human brains do not need the help of mysterious superhuman agents to solve problems like ancient people did because of their lack of modern scientific educations and pure ignorance!

Also, children need to learn the difference between the silly magical depictions of reality portrayed in many movie and television shows, such as popular Disney fairytales. The point is that the source of children’s basic knowledge about reality should come directly from their personal relationships with real people and genuine natural environments instead of from fictional characters and artificial landscapes depicted in movies and animated cartoons.

A steady focus on fictional characters and artificial landscapes is not adequate. This means that children should be taught early to distinguish authentic true human aspirations from the fake synthetic portrayals of fictional stories in many books, movies, and television shows.

They should be taught to value their own physical bodies and interactions with real people rather than taught to accept only the prevailing emotions of their peers or parent's traditional religious or spiritual ideas. In other words, children need to be prepared by their parents and teachers to resist the make-believe Hollywood version of life that often suggests that aspirations to become instant celebrities or famous for a few minutes are worthy objectives for their personal goals and daydreams.

Furthermore, they need to know that the new brain knowledge will give them an intellectual advantage in their natural competition with others in the future. By knowing the real source of their emotions and ideas, the new brain knowledge can help children learn how to control their thoughts and feelings better by using the most important brain ideas ever discovered during the past 40-50 thousand years of human history!

Moreover, during the past 30 years, the new evidence-based brain knowledge has been verified over and over again. Now, parents and teachers can use the new brain vocabulary to teach children progressive mindfulness skills based upon their own awareness of their true cognitive functions.

This educational process can involve the use of "checklists" to empower children to keep track of their activities and responsibilities on a daily or weekly basis. Also, their achievements and plans and expectations can be discussed regularly in the family in constructive ways. Children need to rehearse positive lifestyles and make important decisions about how they can use their free time to learn better ways of studying and playing with others.

Children need to rehearse positive lifestyle choices and make important decisions about how they can use their free time to learn better ways of studying and playing. As they learn to be more responsible for their decisions by using their creative imaginations to think about any past mistakes they might have made, they can think mindfully about the consequences of their past decisions and by imagining better outcomes that could make them happier and wiser.

In addition, parents and caretakers can encourage children to do collaborative thinking about important decisions within the context of loving kindness every day. This humanistic secular "whole brain" linguistic context has a mindfulness frame of reference. It can give you a reliable way to guide the behavior of your children and also evaluate the results of your parenting practices.

For example, the young brains of children need to be protected from the daily exposure to the incessant advertisements in addition to the unlimited video games on their computers, TV sets, phones and other hand-held devices. Parental advice can be discussed about the threats to healthy brain development at regular weekly family interactive sharing and planning meetings. You can consistently teach children not to be distracted by the mass media and social media advertisements and online shopping choices.

For example, you can make a mental note or written list of the number of times you have reminded them to stop focusing on screens and start making more face-to-face contact with family members and their friends. This kind of checklist or "bullet-journal" thinking is just as important for parents to do as for children within family and classroom educational support systems.

Today, when a child's success in life depends more than ever before on learning independent thinking skills and emotionally intelligent reasoning skills, it is vitally important to teach them how to determine the rational benefits and probable risks of their decisions by learning and using critical thinking skills and critical reading strategies. The more times children use critical thinking and reading skills within the family and the classroom, the better their brains will become. In this regard, the overall function of humanist parents and teachers is to teach children to make good choices based upon reasoning rather than blind obedience to rules.

After children learn the new brain vocabulary, which describes their own brainpower, they will be empowered to become leaders and able to create their own stable ethical futures. The new brain knowledge provides the best protection for children since kids are the most vulnerable targets of the many dangerous unethical aggressive trolls online and the many dangerous commercial temptations in shopping centers and mini-malls.

WHY THIS MATTERS: This website can help humanist parents and teachers educate children using the new "whole-brain" thinking approach to the scientific understanding of brain structures and mental functions. It is the best way for humanist parents and teachers to integrate the new brain knowledge into family life and classroom education to produce responsible and resilient children.

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Printable Form
SECTION 4:
HOW CAN HUMANIST PARENTS AND
TEACHERS EDUCATE CHILDREN
TO LOVE THEIR BRAINS?

(for your own editing
and memory consolidation)


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RECOMMENDATION: You may print this pdf version and read it and edit it by adding or deleting ideas. Then, you can read your edited version of these ideas according to a reinforcement schedule, such as a few hours later and a few days later and then several times in the next week or two. This strategy can help you take advantage of the power of the spaced-repetition method of memorization. Such deep introspection can change your adaptable self-identity and increase your self-esteem by basing your positive feelings about yourself and your worth on true brain facts and ideas.

REMEMBER ALWAYS:
You Are Your Adaptable Memory!


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instantly go to:
INTRODUCTION - SECTION 5
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF THE
HUMANIST FAMILY BRAIN SURVEY?


or instantly return to:
INTRODUCTION - INDEX

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