Brain Science: How Positive Parenting Creates Successful Children

You are either naturally positive, optimistic and confident or naturally negative, pessimistic and doubtful because of parenting and not because of your genes. The root cause of a positive or negative outlook in life is sourced to something known as “mirror neurons”. Mirror neurons are created by the cingulate cortex. The cingulate cortex resembles a belt that lies in the middle of the neocortex. Neurologists consider it to be a part of our limbic system. Our brains are composed of three primary parts: Neocortex, Limbic System and Brain Stem. The limbic system houses all of our emotions.

As infants and toddlers, our cingulate cortex goes to work to create something called “monkey see, monkey do” behavior. When infants and toddlers are exposed to more positive emotions than negative emotions from their parents, this creates a positive mirror neural pathway. When exposed to more negative emotions than positive emotions, this portion of the brain creates a negative mirror neural pathway. In effect, infants and toddlers mirror the predominant emotional state of their parents, physiologically. These positive or negative mirror neural pathways are then stored in the basal ganglia (part of the limbic system where habit storage takes place).

What’s interesting about all this is that once these positive or negative mirror neural pathways make their way into the basal ganglia, they become habits in a child, which stays with them into adulthood. This is why some adults are naturally positive and others naturally negative. Positive, optimistic and confident people typically grow up to realize greater financial success in life and are, by and large, happier.

If we want to end poverty, parents need to become success mentors to their children. I’ve advanced the discussion further by introducing neurological science into the parenting equation. Success parenting begins from the moment a child is born. Parents need to consciously expose their children to positive emotions and positive thinking from the moment of their birth. Doing so creates the neurological infrastructure for a positive, upbeat, confident child which leads to success and happiness.


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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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