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Slow Living With Dr. Carrie Contey

April 20, 2018

Contrary to popular beliefs, babies are not born blank slates ready to be molded by parents into the adults they’d like them to become. Instead, they are already big beings, just in temporarily small packages, who are sensing and reacting to their environments even before birth.  So said human development expert, Carrie Contey, Ph.D., to an audience of CRA and Community Seedlings parents at her recent presentation that was organized by CRA’s Studio P3 parent education group and the CRA Foundation. Parents can better support their children by acting as ambassadors, asking rhetorically, “Who are you, what do you want, and how can I help you? That’s where a basic understanding of how the human brain comes into play. She explained how our brains are really made up of three different “brains” called the reptile brain – where the fight or flight response resides; the mammal brain – evidenced by eye contact and making connections with caregivers; and then in about nine months, the human brain develops and the intake of information like language, art, music and more happens. So how does this understanding of our brains help when a child acts out? Recognize where he or she is from a brain perspective. Children become crusty when they reach an overload and their human brain can’t absorb any more. If you become upset, they will too. This is the time to go slow and low, recognizing that language won’t work. If they drop down further to their reptile brain, just be sure they’re safe and then back off. Re-regulate yourself, so you can get back online in order to help them. Dr. Contey writes an informative blog that offer parents valuable insights. Check it out at