Posted in Human Behavior

Traditional Parenting Techniques Linked to Brain Stress - By Bryan Post

Bryan is a best selling author, child behavior expert and consultant, internationally recognized speaker on challenging behaviors and attachment issues, and founder of The Post Institute for Family Centered Therapy.


Until recently, parents throughout the world have used traditional parenting techniques such as consequences, points and rewards, and spanking as effective measures of correction for behaviors deemed socially inappropriate. Schools continue to widely use spanking as a measure to deter problem behaviors in children. New findings from the field of neuroscience, however, demonstrate that such measures can be harmful to healthy brain development in children and might even be a major cause of the over-prescription of medications.


The amygdala is an almond-shaped cluster of nerve fibers located at the base of the brain. According to New York University neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux, author of the Emotional Brain and Synaptic Self, the amygdala is the brain’s fear receptor, primarily responsible for sensing threats in the environment. So, the amygdala is not a part of the higher evolved thinking brain. Instead, it controls the emotional hemisphere. This area of the brain is directly linked to the earliest release of stress hormones within the neural system, scientifically known as corticotrophin- releasing factor.


Parenting techniques that are threatening, fear-based, lacking in empathy or devoid of parental compassion can cause the amygdala to release large amounts of stress hormones into the brain and body system. In many instances, this voluminous release, if it occurs routinely without enough interruption, can create trauma. Traumatic stress levels can create neuronal damage to another area of the brain responsible for clear thinking and short-term memory—the hippocampus. This is why during times of high stress, thinking processes become confused and distorted, and short-term memory is suppressed. 


During critical times of development, the use of such punitive techniques for behavior control can cause difficulties for the child in interacting at school and with peers. These struggles are commonly linked to medication prescriptions for children, but these medications can mask a deeper challenge for the child and can be administered for all the wrong reasons.


Bryan Post is a best-selling author, internationally renowned speaker, and psychotherapist specializing in attachment, adoption and trauma. To learn more about Parenting Challenging Children, Oxytocin the Love Hormone, Mindfulness, and How to Thrive instead of just survive as an adoptive or foster parent, visit,, and To find out more about Bryan Post’s ground breaking parenting program Parenting Attachment Challenged Children “Hands-On” Home Study Course visit Join our Facebook page for daily parenting help and inspiration, videos, articles and contests along with other parents and professionals just like yourself. Also visit our Blog at


This article is courtesy of the Top 1% Club and the Top 1% Club Mentor Gail Kasper. For additional information on Gail Kasper, her television appearances and speaking engagements, please visit