Pieces of the Puzzle

In order to understand how a decoder map helps to train your brain, you have to look at the progression the map will force your brain to take.  Let’s say your child has multiple temper tantrums every day.  Most of the time your brain will use “neuropathways” to quickly assess the problem.  In other words, when the temper tantrums begin your brain has a first impression of the situation.  It’s probably like the following image…

 If the situation doesn’t resolve quickly or you are in a public place, your mind might conclude the following….

Your child probably isn’t a spoiled brat, but our minds have been conditioned to think that anytime a child loses control.  Unless you have trained your mind to go beyond those thoughts and think of possible reasons why your child is having a problem, your reactions to that problem will be just as dramatic as your child’s.

By using the Decoder maps ahead of time, you can train your mind to quickly search for clues.  Of course, you aren’t going to sit down while your child is having a fit and chart the problem.  But…if you have investigated the problem ahead of time and you know what clues to look for when your child or any child has a tantrum – you will be able to avoid the problem in the future.  Let’s look at the following arm and see if we can find a possible hidden problem.  

If your child is having a tantrum you might want to investigate if tantrums are more frequent around “animals”.  If so, the tantrum could be caused by fear.  Most children, especially under the age of six, do not understand how to handle fear.  If everyone else is fine with an animal, they may assume that they should be fine too.  When their nerves and fear hit a boiling point, they react with a temper tantrum about not buying a balloon or getting their way about something entirely different.  The tantrum may be a “symptom” that hides the real problem.

The same could be true with strangers or other adults. 

The conclusion with parents may be something entirely different.  Perhaps a parent or sibling has unknowingly taught the child that they will react to social situations by ignoring the child.  For example, you are at the mall having a lovely time with your toddler.  An old friend says hello and a long conversation begins.  Your child is bored and feeling ignored.  He tries to find something to do, you say no and the fight is on.  If this happens regularly, you might design a “Let Mommy Visit” game.   (I’m designing an age appropriate one that will be posted soon) 

Never use the game unless you want to talk with a friend and need the child to be quiet.  It should be entertaining as well as educational.  If he/she plays the game while you talk and refuses to interrupt, he/she will receive a small prize at the end of your visit.  The game should be explained to the child before it’s first use.  Make sure the child plays it easily and that the difficulty level doesn’t cause stress.  The game should also be accompanied with a lot of training (fun talking) about how important it is to allow other people to visit.

Your Decoder Map can take “pieces of the puzzle” to another deeper level.  Take each one of your first observations and ask why that piece of the puzzle may be affecting your child.  In the above example, I used the “People the child will not disappoint” to ask the question….”Are people in my toddler’s life that he/she will not disappoint?”  Does my child have a temper tantrum around these people?  If my child never has a temper tantrum around them…why not?

These questions may lead you to conclude that your child has learned not to throw a fit around Grandma because she won’t tolerate it.  Children are extremely intuitive.  They instinctively know when someone is strong and when someone will give in.  Perhaps you are not connecting with your child on that instinctive level.  If you have not been consistent with your child, you may have trained him/her that a temper tantrum will cause you to give in and let the child have what they want. 

Taking the original facts from your Decoder Map and forcing your brain to ask more and more questions will help you find all the clues you need to design the perfect solution to your problem.

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