Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mindsight with Dan Siegel, Part 5: Empathy

"Equanimity & Equilibrium = managing all affective states, flexible flow."
--what a pretty little pearl from Dan

"Attachment is only part of the story. Genetic vulnerability is linked bipolar disorder. It is possible to make sense of your life after the first born child."
--Do mothers get closer by the 5th or 6th child?

"Intimate relationship is rewarding. Regulating emotions in a balanced way is related to maximum intellectual potential. "
--No wonder Second Step, teaching social-emotional skills in the classroom, leads to increased school-wide test scores in addition to decreased discipline referrals.

"Observation of parent-child interaction = 45% attachment prediction.
Coherent narrative = 85% attachment prediction.
We don't know the impact of the coherent narrative. What is the transmission agent?"

"Truths exist not established by science yet."
--Can't wait until it is proven that walking around barefoot in the house during winter or going out in the cold with your hair wet leads to colds or flus. Germ theory is limited and doesn't explain the whole story! Pardon my tangent, let's continue...

"Dan's opinion about the transmission agent: It is mindsight, metacognition, menalization. Do you see the internal world? To achieve level of neural integration, parents need a mindsight lens to allow differentiation of child's internal life."

"Integration explains gap in transmission agent. Child feels felt."
--this reminds me of Thich Nhat Hanh's teaching to ask your loved one (I asked my daughter), "Darling, do I understand you enough?" I started asking two summers ago and her answer was a quick and resolute, "No." The follow up question, "Am I making you suffer?" yields an equally terse, "yes." Then, "I don't want to make you suffer, and if I do so because of my ignorance, please tell me so that I can love you better, how can I love you better?" This of course elicited a laundry list of complaints that I can actually hear because I am an adult, they are child-specific concerns, I really do want to know, and I love her. I ask these questions regularly (but not too often because she finds repetitive questions annoying) and now she answers in softer tones. The other day, in the car on the drive home from school, I was very proud of the tender, "maybe" response to my "Darling, do I understand you enough?"

"Resilience is nurtured/achieved by one relationship with a teacher, neighbor, religious leader or parent. Internal world seen by/feeling felt was the source of resilience. Mindsight teaching is a source of resilience."

"Child experiences empathic attunement. How do you scientifically measure internal world? Neural integration is at the heart of children who thrive."

"Rudder's 10,000 hours study: Two schools, two headmasters. One school doing well, one not. Switched headmaster. School previously not doing well is now doing well. One headmaster allowed teachers to use individual approach and took teacher opinions into account. Then teachers, in turn, empowered students."

"When a leader inspires integration, there is a possibility to make healthier systems."

"All levels of systems: individual, family, school, community, society, world."

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