Rudeness is a Nuerotoxin??

Katherine - posted on 01/09/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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While most people who live outside the U.S. may think "Ugly Americans" are just born that way, it turns out we're not. But our living conditions as babies, toddlers, and young children certainly make us that way. The bad news is, at this moment in history, outside (and inside) influences are nastier than ever. Manners matter more than we realize, and actually contribute to our brain development, according to neurologist, Dr. Douglas Fields.



Aside from Fields' adulation of Japanese children and Leave it to Beaver, his article explaining how rudeness is a neurotoxin is a fascinating look at the environment children live in today. The hatefulness we see online, in the schoolyard, and in Congress, can be explained by the shift of priorities in our country over the past five or six decades. Namely, that chivalry is dead. And our kids are turning into brain-damaged a-holes as a result.



Because our brains develop after we are outside the womb, the environmental stimuli actually changes our brain wiring. And the outside environment is not too cool these days.



American children today are raised in an environment that is far more hostile than the environment that nurtured today's adults. Children today are exposed to behaviors, profane language, hostilities and stress from which we adults, raised a generation ago, were carefully shielded.



This perpetual motion of nastiness, violence, and bullying will only serve to increase the stress on the developing brain. And while this sounds a little chicken-and-egg like, Fields explains that polite conversation actually removes stress from a social situation, and allows for normal neural development. Stress hormones can cause wires to cross, or to not connect at all. Hostility causes stress, and wiring will go haywire. Which is making me re-think my lax rules about Sponge Bob, right about now.



Whether a fellow driver honks and flips you the bird (this was not happening in the bucolic suburbs of the 1950s) or you yell at a particularly annoying customer service representative in front of your child, these things can harm their health. Of course your desire to do those things, may be because your wires got crossed as a child. Nice pattern, yes?



So the next time you think taking your kid to a Tea Party rally, or tuning into The Jersey Shore is a good idea, think of their developing brains and flip over to Nick at Nite instead. The Cleavers will be politely waiting for you there.



While most people who live outside the U.S. may think "Ugly Americans" are just born that way, it turns out we're not. But our living conditions as babies, toddlers, and young children certainly make us that way. The bad news is, at this moment in history, outside (and inside) influences are nastier than ever. Manners matter more than we realize, and actually contribute to our brain development, according to neurologist, Dr. Douglas Fields.



Aside from Fields' adulation of Japanese children and Leave it to Beaver, his article explaining how rudeness is a neurotoxin is a fascinating look at the environment children live in today. The hatefulness we see online, in the schoolyard, and in Congress, can be explained by the shift of priorities in our country over the past five or six decades. Namely, that chivalry is dead. And our kids are turning into brain-damaged a-holes as a result.

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Jodi - posted on 01/09/2011

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What bugs me about it is that it is yet another excuse for bad behaviour. "Oh, I'm sorry, blame it on the way my brain was wired." Sorry, while I understand the logic in this article, I am concerned something like this will now just be used as an excuse, rather than someone viewing their behaviour and thinking "I'd better pull my finger out and do something about this".

Basically it creates and external locus of control rather than an internal one. And if you have something to blame for your behaviour (and this article has just handed it over on a silver platter), then you are less likely to feel you have control over it yourself, and therefore, unlikely to improve.

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Katherine - posted on 01/09/2011

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Very good point, Jodi.


That is all because I have nothing else to add.

[deleted account]

Every emotion effects the chemical makeup of our brain, if you raise a child negatively, you get negative results.
Good thing is any adult can fix the problems that their parents bred into them. It takes a lot of time and effort to change the brain chemistry. If a parent can change it, why cant we :)

Katherine - posted on 01/09/2011

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Ok I think I fixed it. Geez I posted it 3 times. I was trying to copy the link. I guess I was accidentally copying the article.

Desiree - posted on 01/09/2011

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I think I will sit this one out, because somehow I don't agree entirely but will have to seriously think about which part is bugging me so much..

Kate CP - posted on 01/09/2011

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"...And our kids are turning into brain-damaged a-holes as a result..."

THAT made me guffaw. xD

Tara - posted on 01/09/2011

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lol, I thought I was losing it for a second!! Hey Katherine, easy on the pasting!!
lol
I agree completely. When you start looking at the lifestyles and habits of other cultures around the globe and how their children are raised and what kind of people they turn out to be, and compare that to the average American child you will find vast differences form infancy to adulthood.
Our brains are the motherboard of our body, how we wire that during pregnancy, infancy and childhood, determines the future capabilities of that brain. Early development of our limbic system is proven to affect how we handle emotions as adults, it makes sense all other areas of the brain would be affected by our environment we grow up in.

Jenn - posted on 01/09/2011

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Am I losing it or did you post this 3 times in a row? Maybe I need more coffee :/

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