Pre Frontal Cortex - Your Resident CEO
It's pretty common knowledge that our brains are not fully wired until our mid to late 20's. The area of the brain last to develop is the Pre Frontal Cortex, the CEO's of our brain. Here's a partial list of the things it can do:
- differentiate among conflicting thoughts
- determine future consequences of current activities
- predict outcomes
- modulate strong emotions
So, most of us, are over the age of 25 and thus have a fully working CEO up there, somewhere, in our brains. Most of our kids are under 25 and do NOT have a fully functional, sane or reliable CEO up there in their brains. Guys, finally a tool we have that they don't!
Let's meet briefly with a CEO and hear what they have to say:
Hi, this is your CEO. I saw again that your four year old lost it at the grocery store after after-care. May I remind you, gently and with compassion, your four year old will soon turn five and then might be able to tolerate the grocery store after after-care, but for now, just do your shopping on the weekends. If you absolutely need that quart of milk -- please, please, don't freak out over your four year old predictably freaking out.
Last Saturday your spouse was late, again, to the soccer game. I know you have a lot of terrific time management techniques that would be super helpful. However, people (spouses, partners, babysitters, parents, friends, anyone) cannot receive your excellent advice and superior life strategies right after they have made a mistake. I'm here to help you modulate your strong emotions and wait until some time has passed, you have some privacy, and everyone is calm to tackle the 'always late' problem. Otherwise, as CEO, I predict you might have the same fight over and over.
Finally, feel free to call on me each and every morning to help you, determine future consequences of current activities and/or differentiate among conflicting thoughts. It's ok if you want to hit the snooze button. I know it's dark in the morning and you totally deserve that extra 10 minutes of shut eye. However, if you check in with me, I will remind you that the morning ride might be bumpy. I will tell you, ever so gently, that the current feeling of snuggly happiness might not be worth a yelling and rushing morning before your big meeting.
Our CEO's are here for us when we remember to engage with them. So take a second, go to the bathroom, have a quick board meeting and see if any of these tools help you in times of stress.