Thoughtful Parenting: Start the summer off right | SteamboatToday.com

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Thoughtful Parenting: Start the summer off right

Thought patterns and overcoming obstacles

There is more to the challenging outdoor adventure than the great memories it will create. When kids have the opportunity to overcome obstacles in a healthy way, it can change negative thought patterns in the brain. Those neural pathways that used to say “I can’t” when presented with a challenge subtly will shift to “Maybe I can.”

Our brains react to events based on previous experiences, thus creating patterns of response. If we as adults feel stressed every time our mortgage payment is due, it takes work on our part to teach the brain to react more calmly.

Likewise, throughout time, as kids are presented with challenges like a short backpacking trip or a more difficult bike ride, their brains develop a pattern that allows them to handle adversity with the knowledge that they are capable of accomplishment. Thus, the same situation that caused the “I can’t” reaction through experience develops into “Heck yeah, I can!”