Building an Empathetic Brain


Training Your Brain

To Be Healthy

Like muscles, whatever areas of the brain you exercise will grow both in strength and capacity over time. As your children practice sharing feelings out loud and learn to listen to the feelings of those around them, they literally grow more brain tissue in the areas that process sympathy, empathy, compassion and deep care. Sharing a low literally rewires your child’s brain.

“It’s not just repeated physical actions that can rewire our brains,” writes Nicholas Carr in The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. “Purely mental activity can also alter our neural circuitry, sometimes in far-reaching ways.”  

Carr also notes:  "The mind can essentially train itself to be healthy. It can train itself to be sick. The more a sufferer concentrates on his symptoms, the deeper those symptoms are etched into his neural circuits. . . . Although the use of any kind of tool can influence our thoughts and perspectives—the plow changed the outlook of the farmer, the microscope opened new worlds of mental exploration for the scientist—it is our intellectual technologies that have the greatest and most lasting power over what and how we think." 

Sharing lows is an intellectual technology you have at your disposal. Use it nightly and you enlarge the capacity for empathy in your child’s brain. You will also turn your home into the kind of grace place that teaches, models and lives healing love every night.

So, Highs AND Lows tonight?