Girl Group | Brain Power | Wk 1

Friday was the first session of our new “Meet the Brain” series. We learned that the brain is roughly the size of two fists and connects through our spinal cord to all the nerves in our body. The brain is the boss of us, but it’s still growing. In order to understand how the brain is growing, we used one fist to show the shape of the brain. The thumb, tucked under the fingers in a closed fist represents the MIDBRAIN. This is the emotional brain where memories are processed and where fight, flight and freeze are triggered. The fingers represent the rational brain where we think and reason and the fingernails represent the pre-frontal cortex where we make decisions and assess risk. This is the last part of the brain to develop, which is why adolescents and teens may find it difficult to make healthy and safe decisions or control their emotions. We talked about what happens when that super sensitive Midbrain is unprotected: we FREAK OUT!

We talked about ways we might help protect this midbrain through action. We named our fears, which included “separation from Mom,” “jealousy,” and “school.” We talked about what we might do to face those fears. Suggestions included, “breathe,” “don’t run away,” “face fears and find something to look forward to,” and “wear sparkly barrettes.”

Understanding that the brain is still growing helps us with growth mindset learning. We can take charge of creating healthy habits and these habits build strong connections in the brain. We imagined our brains were neighborhoods, kingdoms or cities. We drew maps of our brain, including the things we like and don’t like, places of fear and refuge and the paths we’d like to create. Everyone in the group focused on their power and their creativity.

Each session will begin with a sharing of “Acts of Awesomeness.” These Acts can be anything participants have done during the week to show empathy, flexibility or courage. Every time you perform an Act of Awesomeness, you are re-wiring your brain and creating habits of kindness, bravery, strength and adaptability. Remind your child to write down these Acts nightly during the week in the Girl Group notebook they received on Friday. Please have them bring the notebook back each session. Keeping records is a great way to strengthen the habit of record-keeping and responsibility.

We look forward to seeing you and your child next week!

Fondly, Tanya and Wesley

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