Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Definition of Insanity

My husband had a t-shirt once that read, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and hoping for a different result." I think of this bright orange shirt often. Usually when I'm disciplining my children.

Because I tell them over and over not to do something, but then they do it. And yes, this does make me feel insane. Like trying to put a square puzzle piece into the circle opening.

Try all you want, it just doesn't fit. I came across this blog post the other day that made me laugh. It's true. When we tell something to our children, they don't seem to hear it. So we either repeat ourselves (insane) or talk louder.

But underneath it all, repetition is the key to learning. The way to remember new things is to grow a pathway between the neurons associated with that thing in your brain. You need to reinforce the pathway over and over or it won't be as strong.

Like when I ask  my husband to bring home bread when he's on his way out the door. I'll tell him as he's putting on his jacket, and again as he's getting his keys, and then as I kiss him good-bye I'll say, "Have a nice day bread." Just sort of toss it in there one last time.

There are a lot of things parents simply have to say over and over. "Don't hit your sister on the head." "Don't put toy cars in the fridge." "Don't run with your eyes closed."

When you think of all the limits parents have a duty to impose on their children, it's no wonder children need a chance to release, relax... and play.

© play101blog.blogspot.com, 2011-2012

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