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Reasons to “subtract” after raising a child

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PAllenting is tired of the marathonFrom the day of early sleep deprivation To non-stop grind of elementary school Extracurricular activities, For the stress of entering university. These pressures are very realistic, Don’t underestimate.

Paradoxically, our response to parenting stress can often be even more cumulative. ((((Is your child always bored or at your feet? More extracurricular activities! ) instead of, Think about How to solve Parenting problem By subtraction, not addition In many cases you will get an equivalent solution effective.

Why you tend to solve problems with addition rather than subtraction

When we encountered a problem, “our brain is more wired to think of additive solutions,” said Yael Schonbrun of Sai.Professor of chology at Brown University Work, parents, prosperity.. As Schonbrun points out, in much of human history, The problem of parenting is Necessary shortage Additive solution: More food, more shelter.

generally, Enough to meet basic needs, pThe problem can be quite visible Wrong. “This kind of solution doesn’t work well in modern life, so the biology and culture of the brain don’t match,” says Schonbrun.

This idea of ​​subtraction problem solving was originally proposed by Schonbrun’s collaborators. Raidy CrotzA professor of engineering at the University of Virginia, his research focuses on solving the problem of subtractive color mixing.and A series of experimentsCrotz and his collaborators, published last year in the journal Nature, can show that subtraction is often an effective way to solve a problem, but by default it tends to use additive solutions. I did.

Crotz specializes in subtractive problem-solving research, including writing books.Subtract: Unexplored scienceAs for the parenting turmoil, he also noticed that he defaulted to solving the problem by adding rather than subtracting. This allowed him to team up with Schonbrun and combine his expertise.

The higher the stress, the more likely you are to add, not subtract.

As Crotz’s research (and personal experience) shows, the more stress we receive, the more we ignore subtraction as an option to solve the problem. In the world of research, this is called the “cognitive burden.” In the world of parenting, this is called exhausted, embarrassed, and overwhelmed.

“When we are down, the tendency to ignore subtraction is even greater. [stress]”Schonbrun said.

As Crotz recently said Washington post“We think about what we should do, what we should do, but we rarely think about what we should do. And over time, we are getting more and more plates. I did. “

This tendency to add rather than pull when we are stressed is not to think about what we are thinking, but to apply for more lessons or increase toys for our children. That’s one of the reasons we’re dealing with it by buying complex sleeping devices. You can take it out.

In subtractive color parenting, this can be in the form of letting children learn for themselves, playing with existing (but boring) toys, or finding ways to make them cry while falling asleep.

How to do this

It is important to recognize that a lot of work is required when it comes to practicing all of this. “We have this idea that less should be easier, but in reality it’s the exact opposite,” says Schonbrun. “Our brain does not default to considering subtraction as an option, so much effort is needed to reduce it.”

What this looks like depends on the individual needs and needs of your family. However, there are some guidelines that have helped Schonbrun practice this in his life.

Think about your values

This should be intentional when it comes to deciding whether to retrieve or retain something. Schonbrun’s advice is to think about your values ​​as a family and use them to make decisions.

For example, Schonbrun enjoys swimming with his children, so instead of signing up for a swimming lesson with them, he decides to swim with them. They will learn more techniques in formal lessons, but she decides that spending time with them is more valuable and less stressful.

Aiming for a mixture of addition and subtraction

Subtraction helps relieve the stress of family life, but this does not mean that everything is cut out. Instead, it’s about subtracting low-value items and activities that consume more time and energy than they’re worth, while adding something really important.

When appropriate, additive solutions are very effective. The important thing is to make sure everything you add is right for you and your family.

“We need to balance,” Schonbrun said. “We need to be more wise about the balance between addition and subtraction.”

It’s okay if you feel uncomfortable

As Schonbrun points out, subtractive mixing parenting can be very unpleasant, even if the child makes them cry when they fall asleep or bored, rather than cramming a schedule full of lessons and activities. I have.

For example, when it comes to putting your child to sleep, “research shows that you should be less,” Schonbrun said. “Parents who are taught to do less, their children sleep better.”

This is true for many other scenarios, whether you’re monitoring your child’s homework or dealing with sibling rivals. As Schonbrun points out, this can be very difficult to do when they are yelling at each other or when the teacher calls home.

However, retreating is unpleasant, but doing so can help them in the long run and at the same time save your sanity. “Let them make a mistake,” she said. “That’s actually the best way for kids to learn.”

Reasons to “subtract” after raising a child

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