Immature Behavior
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Parenting Reponses
Here are our basic assumptions that drive our present parenting theory...
  • The prefrontal cortex is the CEO of the brain and, if mature, has the ability to regulate other areas of the brain.
  • A mature prefrontal cortex is necessary to properly overcome immature (aka 'naughty') behavior.
  • The prefrontal cortex is the last and slowest area of the brain to develop. Babies, young children, and even pre-teens and adolescents do not have a fully mature prefrontal cortex. It does not finish developing in most people until the mid-20s or later.
  • To develop a mature prefrontal cortex, one must be in the presence of someone who demonstrates greater prefrontal cortex capacity.
  • Mirror neurons allow children and adolescents to “borrow” the balancing capabilities of a mature prefrontal cortex (ideally the parent’s) to mimic how to manage immature behavior.
  • If a child interprets the parent's disciplinary response to be a defensive, offensive, or absent reaction, the child may feel unnecessary guilt and shame and will naturally need to cope, but cannot do so wisely without a prefrontal cortex. Thus, the child will increase coping behaviors, which over time will strengthen the reactive brain areas and under-use the balancing prefrontal cortex region.
  • As a parent focuses attention on using a present response (especially during moments of conflict), mature prefrontal cortex capacity is “transferred” to the child. Both parent and child benefit by strengthening neuron connections that are responsible for peace and wisdom.
  • Disciplinary tactics should be centered on developing a more mature prefrontal cortex in both parent and child.
*NOTE: While much is known about the prefrontal cortex area of the brain, the ideas for Present Parenting’s ability to increase prefrontal cortex functioning is a hypothesis and has never been scientifically tested. Back to Top