Creative Child

Your Gut is Smart- Listen to It

by Rebecca Eanes

There are over one hundred million brain cells in your gut. Your enteric nervous system is a system of neurons that govern the gastrointestinal tract and is sometimes called “the second brain.” This “second brain” is in regular communication with your central nervous system. You’ve felt this when you’ve had butterflies in your stomach.

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In addition, scientists have discovered that we appear to have two operating systems. The first is controlled by our right brain and parts known as the “reptilian brain.” It’s instinctual, quick, and often subconscious. The second system is controlled by our left brain and the neocortex, and it is slower, conscious, and analytical. Intuition is part of that first operating system. Kelly Turner, Ph.D. says “In other words, intuitive decisions are not something that we thought out carefully with reason but rather choices that have arisen quickly out of instinct.” (Source) Researchers have also found that the first system often knows the answer well before our second system, and studies have shown that most often, our “gut instinct” is correct.

 

When making parenting decisions, going with your gut instinct almost always leads to better outcomes.

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I remember a crucial turning point in my parenting when I finally stopped ignoring my gut instinct and discovered something really important about my child. My second son was born when my firstborn was two. Over the coming months, my firstborn’s behavior began to change. I had already been well warned about the “terrible twos” and assumed he’d hit them a little late as he was now about to turn three. This kind of behavior was, in my mind, to be expected, and I was told I needed to “get swift control” before it got entirely out of hand. As he passed his third birthday, his behavior continued to take a nosedive, and my frustration grew. I tried all sorts of methods to gain his compliance, such as behavior charts, counting to three, and time-outs. In my effort to be the consistent disciplinarian I was told I needed to be, I put him in time-out rather frequently. Each time, my gut instinct told me it was wrong, but I ignored it. This continued for months until our days had dissolved into constant battles, and I knew time-outs weren’t working.

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