HICKS: Smarter parenting: Just think about it

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There is nothing simple about this. “Habit change is difficult because the whole point of habits is that they allow us to do things mindlessly,” Mr. Markman says. “But in parenting, as in all things, we need to be mindful.”

Mr. Markman says the more we understand about how the brain works, the smarter we can be as parents.

“The more you know about smart thinking, the smarter you can be and you’ll also be able to help your children to think smarter, without them even knowing,” he says.

There is a difference between smart thinking and intelligence, and Mr. Markman isn’t advocating the hypercompetitive attitude that has turned learning into a contact sport. Rather, he encourages parents to be more mindful in all the ways we act with and for our children.

“There is great value in spending some time understanding the impact of doing things mindlessly,” Mr. Markman says. “This is true in all walks of life. Most of us think for a living, but we aren’t doing it effectively.”

Huh. Thinking about parenting and acting mindfully to rear smarter children. Can such a radical notion really catch on?

Marybeth Hicks is the author of “Don’t Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left’s Assault on Our Families, Faith and Freedom.” Find her on the Web at http://marybethhicks.com.

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