Okay well I can’t see you at all but
what I’d like for you to do is, we’re going to talk, I’m going to talk about the frontal lobes.
I want you to understand what that does, so we going to start with an activity. I’m going to put my hands on my head and
you’re going to do nothing. Then when I put my hands up you’re going to
do what I just did. So when my hands go up,
your hands go on your head, when my hands come down your hands go up. You’re going to do what I just did. So I’m
going to begin, you do nothing. Ready? Okay, that was a simple frontal lobe test
and I can see probably by your giggles it went over quite well. We’re going to do one more. I want you to take
your right hand and put it on your nose, your left hand and put it on your right
ear. Everybody got it? Now switch. Switch. Switch. Switch it fast.
So I’m going to talk about
our frontal lobes, and these are the ones that allow us to be the boss of ourselves. It allows us, like that
activity, to hold a goal in mind. Your goal was to
do what I had just finished doing. To hold that goal in mind despite the distractions you might see, which is
me doing something else. So we want children to be able to set
goals and achieve them, and that’s what the
frontal lobe provides for us. Often this is kind of left out in education because the frontal lobes are
developed by the way we discipline our children, and most people don’t
understand this. So how many of you out there are parents
or teachers? Raise your hand. Okay, now how many out there have had a brilliant moment with your own
children in the teaching profession when it comes
to a conflict? Some conflict came up with a child or a conflict with two adults and at the moment the right words at the
right time just kind of came out of your mouth and you had this absolutely brilliant moment and this
conflict that looked so real turned into like a cloud and dissipated in resolution. How many people
have had those moments? I can’t see you. Okay, it might’ve been ten years ago
but we’ve still had them, right? So we’ve had those moments. Now, how many
of you have said when you were young say, “When I
grow up and have children, I will never blank them.” How many people
have said that? How many people blank them pretty soon? Yeah. What happens is we tend to, unless we’re
in a certain state, we tend to repeat similar mistakes. We
tend to stay in that insane state, that was mentioned
earlier today, where we do the same thing over and over
again and expect different results. So what I’d like to show you is how that
all looks in a metaphor inside the brain, and what
we need to do to help our children develop their
frontal lobes so they can set goals, achieve them,
resolve conflicts, resolve problems, develop empathy, see things from a
different perspective, and access their own creative force. Now
many of us are familiar with athletes who, say, who are wanting to be in the zone. “I’m
playing in the zone. I’m trying to get to the zone.” How many people are familiar with that?
Yeah. So you have some guy who
shoots seven birdies on nine holes and a couple of eagles
on the back nine. It’s almost like in a state where you can do no wrong. A state where you are all that you can
be but even more than you can imagine, and
that’s that integrated state when we access our
frontal lobes in the educational process. So let me
show you what it looks like. So if you guys would come out here. Now basically there are three states
that we enter in regard to problem solving or
conflict resolution, we just talked a lot about today, but if you think about this, we don’t
have conflict without upset. Unless we can first deal with
the upset, conflict resolution does not occur.
Without conflict resolution, we do not access our frontal
lobes, nor do we develop it and strengthen it.
Okay, so here’s what we’ve got. If we are
triggered by an event in life that threatens us, like a wolf is after us.
So we feel threat, we find ourself in a survival state. So
what problem solving skills can we access from that state? Well, we can attack. We can defend, which includes hiding and running, and we can surrender. So there you go. We can surrender. Now often,
historically, when it came to discipline, we thought it
was our job to put the fear of God in children,
and we would scare them to death, run them down here to their survival
state, and hope that they would go, “Thank you.
I’d love to clean my room.” and they would surrender. Often if
you’ve had more than one child sometimes those first borns do tend to surrender but sadly many of us had more
than one child and they come back after you like this. So we have limited skills in this state and all animals have
the same instinctual skills. So let’s say now that we’re not
threatened by the conflict, we are just, it’s just not going our way. So when the
world doesn’t go our way we find ourselves in an emotional state. So in this emotional state what skills
do we have access to to solve a problem? We only have access to what’s on a
CD-rom that has been handed down from
generation to generation to generation. So however my parents handled the world
not going their way would be my skill set, and they learned it from their
grandparents and my great-grandparents, ecetera, ecetera. So when traffic cut them off in the car and they tend to go, “What the? What are you doing?”, that would be my skill set in the next generation. And this is why when I said how many of
you have blanked them already it’s because the world didn’t go your way,
they didn’t do their homework, they didn’t do this, you inserted your CD-rom, you opened your mouth and out came your
mother and you didn’t even have to move your lips. It’s
like very automatic pilot. So with this then each of these states are asking
a question. This one is asking am I loved? This one is asking, survival
state is asking, am I safe? Am I safe, or do I need to pull
out my skill set? Am I loved, or do I need to pull
out my skill set, as dysfunctional as they may be,
do I need to pull them out? Then we have the executive state and
this asks the question, what can I learn from this? So when a problem comes about, what can I learn from this problem? How can I see it as a challenge? How can
I see the multifacetedness, from different perspectives, and how can
I solve it? So in this state we’re accessing our
brilliance, and our infinite access to wisdom that
we can’t even put words on, those brilliant moments where we know
more than we think we ever should, where we don’t know how we know what we
know. So this is what we’re after. We want to
access this state and get in the zone in
education, and so what happens, if you all
put your cards away, how do we do this? How do we wire this
brain for success, and how do we learn to install that into
every educational institution in the country?
Here’s what we need to do. So if you will turn this way. So right now these are just systems in the body, the
survival system, the emotional system, the executive integrated system that
deals with the frontal lobes that we we’re talking about. So what we want to do is we want to wire
this brain. In other words, we want to wire the brain
like this so when I get upset, and I get triggered and find myself in a
lower center of the brain, a lower state in the
brain with limited skills, I can use my capacity to move out of that state, back up to
this zone and solve my problem, strengthening my frontal lobes, allowing
me to set goals and achieve them despite all the
obstacles in life. So that’s their ultimate journey. How do
we make these roads? If we were going to go from here
to Orlando, it would be nice if we had a road to get
from Orlando down south. So how are these roads created? They are created through our connection
with each other. This is why the research says
that it’s so vital that children have a connection with their school, they have a connection with their
teacher, they have a bond with their parents because this creates the pathway for self control for the rest of their
life. How do we get out of these states? This
state my problem solving skills as a child is simple, BAM! From this state my problem solving
skill from a child’s point of view is
simple, “I hate you. Go away. You’re stupid.” This skill is, “I don’t like it when you call me
names. Use my name, it’s Becky.” So this journey for children, this journey for our planet,
this journey for adults is a large journey. So these connective
highways are built from a connection, not giving attention, not driving kids to
soccer, not all that stuff, not sitting and kind
of just being with them, it comes from face
to face connection, where we have eye contact, touch, presence in a playful situation, where we look at each other and we have these
moments where we actually giggle and we have a
moment. We’ve all had those special moments with
people in our lives. That’s what builds these roads and
that’s what we’re losing sight of as we progress in our educational and
community journey. If a child does not have these, once they get into an upset state, they
have no way to get out and there’s no sticker, star, gummy bear, name on the board, any
punishment, any detention that’s going to get them from this state to
this state if they haven’t got these pathways in their brain. Now if you have these pathways something
cool happens. This executive part of our brain, the
frontal lobe, gets to boss the lower states
around. So if you will walk
forward, take your brain forward… Yes! Stop. Bring your brain back. It’s a very cool thing. The wisest part
of us gets to override these earlier impulses to hit, to name call, to blame others and then we get own our own upset and
make wise choices with it. Now look what happens if we are not
connected, if you’d move forward and stop. What happens is all we can do then is watch ourselves do
stupid stuff, and we’ve done that. We’ve watched ourself.
How many of you have made the same mistake over and over and you watch yourself, you’re actually
going, “Oh no, here I’m doing it again. I went on
a diet, I’m ordering a pizza, here goes the phone. Oh I pushed it. There we go. I did it
again.” That same thing. This part of the brain, which is the part we are so concerned
about it education, this is the part of the brain, the
cortex, where we learn to read and write and do the math, all this, we don’t deal with these lower states
and how to manage them in schools. We deal with wanting to make this one be
able to read, write, and sing, and whatever it’s got to do. This is the part of the brain
that makes up stories. So as we look at ourselves do
stupid stuff we go, huh, huh, you know, I wouldn’t have acted like
that if he hadn’t been so stupid about it, would we? No, we never would have done that. We
would never have sent that child out if that child hadn’t aggravated the bejeebies
out of us, would we? No. So it has nothing to do with me. It’s all
these other people out there that are causing me to act like an idiot. Now what happens is, when you’re separated like this, you know
what to do but you’re not able to do it. Most of when we ride down the road
there’s these white signs on a pole that say 55, we know the
speed limit is 55 but we’re not so much doing it. We know
that if we eat high-fat, high-sugar diets its unhealthy. We know
this. We know that our children need to exercise,
like we said earlier, we know this. We know but we’re not able to do. This is
knowing, and this is the ability to do. Knowing and doing, when they get closer
together our life works. When they get further apart, our life doesn’t work. That’s for us with children
when knowing and doing get further apart, they get misbehavior, you get phone calls
from the school, the children get repeated detention,
repeatedly the same kids end up in the same situation all the time. So we want to provide connection to the schools,
connection to the teachers, and then we have knowing and doing. Once
we get these pathways done, we need the second ingredient which is
self-regulation. So that when I’m here I can use these
pathways to get to self control and then we can own our own upset. Most of us have a perception
that other people are making me angry, other people are making me happy, other
people, other situations are making me crazy. But when we access this state, we can own our own upset. We know that whoever
we have put in charge of our feelings, we have put in charge of us. So if traffic drives me crazy, I’ve put
traffic in charge of me. If children are driving me nuts, I’ve put the children in charge of me, and
once we put children in charge of us, to manage my own upset I must control other people. Once I must control others to manage my behavior, I then start
controlling children, instead of connecting with them. Once I start trying to control them, I separate their knowing and doing. I
inhibit the development of their frontal lobe, so that they have the
inability to set goals and achieve them. Here’s what I encourage everyone in
education to consider: To build this brain, access this zone of brilliance, to have children self
discipline and self governed so that they can live in a democracy
which means to self-govern, we must create a brain that looks like
this. When we rely on rewards and
punishments, we alter things so that our brain is reversed, almost
reversed, so that our cognitive resources all
support trying to seek the approval of others. To go after the biggest stimulus out
there, to avoid risk and threat, and all our cognitive resources go to
that and many of us to this day have that
issue of “Well, my job is to get the approval of
others, seek some status so that I have some
emotional, my needs are met with my emotions.” This is what rewards and punishment will
do and it will inhibit the development of the frontal lobe. So I
encourage all of us, if you’ll slip back in there and
if you guys would just walk right over here, that we build our
schools and our homes on safety, which meets the need of the
survival state, connection which meets the needs of the emotional state, and on problem solving which meets the
needs of the executive state, instead rewards and punishment and if we
do that we will put all our kids and all our
schools in what the athletes call the zone. Thank you.

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