Our brains and the parent-child relationship

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Parents Who Rock Meet Up in July 2013

Julie Anderson, founder of Your Best Mind, educates and consults with firms and families about how to understand the brain and personality connection as it relates to relationships and learning.

Julie Anderson, founder of Your Best Mind in Grass Valley, California, spoke at the Parents Who Rock Meet up in Roseville, California this month. Anderson educates and consults with firms and families on how to understand the brain and personality connection as it relates to relationships and learning. Her message about understanding the brain and the implications for how we parent offers insight for responding to children’s individual reactions to opportunities, constraints and challenges.

According to Anderson, we need to be careful that we do not confuse character with brain types influencing personalities. “Every brain has a lead. It drives the way we learn and perceive,” Anderson said. “And it can be confused with attitudes and intelligence.”

Anderson explains that there are four areas of the brain responsible for specific communication/perception abilities, and every individual has one of these quadrants as a “lead” – or set of strengths, which typically governs how we respond to matters in life.

  • Frontal Left (Financial, structure, logical, weighing variables, prioritizing)
  • Basal Left (Monitoring, attention to detail, routine procedures, holding firm to schedules)
  • Basal Right (Nurturing, encouraging, celebrating, establishing as sense of bonding and belonging)
  • Frontal Right (Imagination and creativity, trouble-shooting, risk-taking, innovation, humor)

(Source: http://www.benziger.org/the-btsa-Physiological-Foundations.html)

Author of The Quickest Way to Insanity – Homeschool Your Kids, Anderson offers a general insight as an example of how we make incorrect assumptions about our children’s ability to learn. She explains that typically boys’ brains are generally right side dominant (in the first decade) and they are learning by playing and the academic functions are not coming as naturally. It doesn’t mean that they cannot learn, it just means they learn differently than girls, who are typically right brain dominant in the first decade, which makes it easier for them to perform academically. “So for boys, slow academic learning is more of a physical maturing thing,” Anderson said. “We need to be careful to not label the child, because then their mind is saying ‘I can’t do it’ even though he does indeed have the capacity to learn.”

According to Anderson, if your child is throwing temper tantrums, then they are struggling to access the words. So offer some of the words to help them express their emotion (angry/sad), or encourage the child to draw pictures and then talk about them. She encourages parents to make notes about how their children respond to circumstances and challenges, and then tailor your parenting accordingly.

Our objective is to lead our children with the hope that whatever adversity befalls them as a result of their current challenges can be overcome. She encourages taking notes about children’s behavior so as to identify the “brain quadrant lead” driving their responses. (For more on this go to Your Best Mind).

“We need to stop shaming our children into becoming compliant,” Anderson said. “When we are clear about how our children’s brains naturally respond to people and situations, it is possible to help them adapt.”


Joanna Jullien
“‘Banana Moments’ is the term I use to describe all the curve balls and surprises of parenting in the network. Some are humorous and light hearted others are gut wrenching. There has never been a more rewarding time to be a parent. Photo: Christi Benz

Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM, Tuesdays. Her next book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media will be released in the fall 2013.

Peggy Lee
Photo: Courtesy

Peggy Harper Lee (co-organizer of Parents Who Rock Meet Up) is the author of “Spoiled: Fresh Ideas for Parenting Your Entitled Child—at Any Age!” She is a mother of four, ages 4 to twenty nine, and the CEO of Spoiled, providing keynote addresses and consulting for leaders (at home or at work) to achieve healing that stops the blame game, insight that shifts them from reactive to proactive, and the confidence to give themselves permission to take charge and use authority wisely. Contact Peggy Lee.


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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna (jullien@surewest.net) and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.