You may not have thought about it this way but the reality is that there is a chemistry in your home. This is a scientifically proven fact. Your home environment is affecting the chemistry in your child’s spirit-body-brain. The vitally important question to consider then is this:
What is the chemistry of our home? What kind of body and brain chemistry is being stimulated in our home environment?
When I use the word ‘chemistry’, I am not using this as a figure of speech. I am referring to actual chemistry in the body and brain that is responsible for feeling good, making good choices, listening (and hearing), learning, attending and engaging positively with others – chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin, adrenaline and cortisol, for example. So if your child shows signs of restlessness, inattention, moodiness, bad behavior, responds negatively to others, doesn’t seem to hear you – or other learning, mood and behavior challenges – then this is a message to you that the chemistry of your home could be a part of the problem. Of course these kinds of symptoms can have many different causes, but the family environment is always a very important trigger and it is a good place to start what I refer to as the FIX IT part of the healing program.
Two Types of Family Chemistry
There are basically two types of ‘chemical cocktails’ that your home environment can be stimulating – the Stress Cocktail or the Calm-Centered Cocktail’ which I refer to as the C2 Cocktail.
Some home environments are characterized by behaviors, such as rushing, arguing, and frustration, shouting, fighting and crying. This way of communicating and engaging with each other stimulates the hormones and chemistry of stress – which then stimulates learning, behavior and mood problems – which then triggers more stress chemistry. This becomes a very negative, not-so-merry-go-round.
Naturally in each these two different home environments described above, there are times when it is not always stressful or not always calm but it is true that each family usually has an easily identifiable predominant ‘style’.
I know that thinking about your family environments can be a sensitive topic that is sometimes accompanied by a desire to ‘shoot the messenger.’ So I ask that you stay open to my thoughts and then decide if what I suggest works for you or not.
What To Do
1. Take a deep breath and put your ego away. Our egos cause us to become defensive, which then prevents us from seeing and hearing what we need to know. So put your humility in the driver’s seat and your ego in the passenger seat. (See my book: Who’s in the Driver’s Seat?)
2. Think about your family environment in the week that has just gone by:
– How did you feel – centered or hassled?
– Were the kids centered or hassled?
– What stress cocktail were you mixing in your own and in your children’s spirit-body-brain?
– Was it characterized by more stress or more calm?
3. If you decide that you want to change the percentages to more calm and less stress then you have already taken a huge step forward. Seeing this stress pattern in your home environment and acknowledging it is the first critical step towards change.
4. The next step is to learn how to let go of your stress. Simply saying – I am going to stop being so stressed – will not work. If you knew how to be stress-less, you would have done it a long time ago.