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3 Brain Rules1. Happy marriage happy baby,
2. The brain seeks safety above all, and
3. What is obvious to you is obvious to you.
"The baby takes. The parent gives. End of story."
Raising baby is hard. The baby cries and you don’t know why. Just when you think you know, and you try to do what’s right, the baby cries again. You almost don’t get enough sleep or private life. Your relationship deteriorates in the first year after baby was born. The relationship tends to deteriorate until the baby has grown up and left home. Yet, you will have to keep good relationship with your spouse, because hostility inhibits baby’s brain development.
Four source of marital conflicts
- Sleep loss: After birth, babies don’t have eating and sleeping schedule like you. This lack of schedule persists for months. Soon, the good will towards your spouse disappears.
- Social isolation: After the birth of a child, the couple have about one third time alone together. In fact, they have about 90 minutes per day to contact with other adults.
“The thrill of having a child wears off. But the incessant job of parenting does not. Being a mom or dad becomes a duty then a chore."
Females secrete oxitoson to relieve their own stress. Oxitosol induces the feeling of friendship, trust and calm. It also stimulates lactation.
- Unequal workload: Women perform a lot more on house chore and child care. The load is as much as, if not more than, what men do at work. So, men, you shouldn’t complain that your wife does not bring home bread!
- Depression: Women experience sadness after giving birth. This feeling quickly disappears for more women. If not treated, this feeling could be passed down to the children.
“Children have never been good at listening to their parent. But, they have never failed to imitate them.”Babies are constantly observing you. They learn constantly. They assess whether it is safe for them and develop their brain accordingly. If parent is constantly fighting, the babies are inescapably affected.
“Babies create hypotheses, test them, and then relentlessly appraise their findings with the vigor of a seasoned scientist. This means infants are extraordinary delightful, surprisingly aggressive learners. They pick up everything."
Stressful BabiesBabies react to stress by entering ‘flight or fight’ mode. But mostly, it would be flight. Humans would try to get out of harm. Our brain releases two hormones: Epinephrine (i.e., Adrenaline) and Cortisol (i.e., stress hormone). In the first year of a baby, these two hormones shapes the future of the baby. If the environment is safe and stable, children will be emotionally stable. If the babies constantly experiences angry and violent environment, they will be hyper-reactive. This happens when parent constantly fights each other. If they are constantly ignored, they will be under-reactive.
Babies experiencing stress will have difficultly responding to positive stimuli, calming themselves, and dealing with stress. Stress hormone can also interfere with bone development. Some babies under great stress might not develop their legs properly. Years after, these children tend to have bad grades at school, drug problems, premature pregnancy, and high chance for divorce.
EmpathyThe components of empathy include detection of emotional change, absorption of such the feeling and try to see what oneself would react, and realise that that such feeling belongs to oneself not to the other. Empathy helps in marriage.
“One of the reasons empathy works so well is because it does not require a solution. It requires only understanding."
Make Empathy Your ReflexWhen you see an emotional change in the others
- Describe the emotion of the other you see.
- Make a guess of where that emotion came from
- - More than 80% of couples see a drop in relationship during a transition to be parent.
- - Hostility between a couple can harm brain development system of newborn babies.
- - Empathy reduces hostility.
- - The source of marital conflicts are sleep loss, social isolation, unequal workload, and depression.