Why Well & Ready

The Science

The Well & Ready™ approach incorporates the latest science from disciplines that affect parenting including Child Development, Neuroscience & Brain Development, Positive Psychology, Sociology, Education & Learning and more!

It takes a lot more than a healthy diet to thrive!  Well & Ready™ does the research to simplify the most reliable and useful science, translates it into practices that are easy to implement, and helps you personalize it to fit your goals and family dynamics.  We do the homework, you pick the practices that work for you, so you can relax and enjoy your journey.

Here’s the scoop on the science we follow:

Positive Psychology — The Science of Thriving!

The Positive Psychology Institute defines Positive Psychology as: ““Positive Psychology is the scientific study of human flourishing, and an applied approach to optimal functioning. It has also been defined as the study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals, communities and organisations to thrive.”  Martin Seligman, the “Father ” of the Positive psychology movement, often calls it the science of happiness and well-being.  We’ve never met a parent who didn’t want their kids to be happy!  The good news is that science has uncovered the “how” of happiness and well-being, or thriving.  You can easily incorporate its principles and practices into daily parenting to help your child develop the strengths and characteristics that will help him thrive.

Research has shown that people who thrive possess five measurable elements:

  • Positive emotions
  • Engagement
  • Positive Relationships
  • Meaning and Purpose
  • Accomplishment

To grow a thriving child into a thriving adult, learn the simple practices that lead to the five elements of well-being.

For more on Positive Psychology go here:

University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center

Mindfulness – The science and practice of being present with intention

A fundamental part of being a Well & Ready™ parent is being intentional. This requires being clear on what’s important to you, then learning the practices that can help you realize your desires. Mindfulness is the skill that enables to remain focused, in the moment, on what matters to you, and allows you to be intentional with your kids.  It’s the skill that helps you respond rather than react.  When you can channel your attention to focus on the present moment with an open mind of acceptance and curiosity, you will be better able to parent with intention.

Mindfulness helps you:

  1. Reduces Stress. 
    Mindfulness is about slowing down and connecting with the present moment. When you shift from a “doing state ” into  “being state” you can then begin to regulate your emotions and feel more relaxed.
  2. Improves Performance. 
    Mindfulness practices can help you gain focus and clear your head.  You can use mindfulness techniques to ground yourself at difficult times, develop resilience, increase a sense of control and tranquility into your day, or to clear clutter and gain focus. Applied to parenting. Mindfulness can help you be planful and deliberate in responses to daily situations. It can help you be present enough to savor special moments so you don’t miss them.  And, mindfulness can help you better manage daily stress and calm your nerves, so your family environment can be nurturing and joyful.
  3. Increases Self-Compassion.
    Writer Henry James said, “Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” He was right. Kindness matters, and that includes extending that kindness to yourself.

Self-compassion and emotional resilience are imperative for overall well-being.  Mindfulness practices help you become more self-compassionate by decreasing your tendency to focus on negative thoughts and allow you to be gentle to yourself.  One of the tenants of Well & Ready™ is that parenting is inherently an imperfect vocation!  It’s full of pitfalls and landmines you can’t see.  Mindfulness practices can help you accept the imperfect moments and move forward with confidence and clarity.

For more on Mindfulness, go here: Mindful.org

Child Development, Neuroscience, and Brain Development – The science of the growing human.

The explosion of new research on child development, neuroscience and brain development over the past 10 years alone is staggering. The good news is that we now know more than ever about the relationships between the developing brain, behavior, and emotional growth.  The bad news is that much of it is debunking long held beliefs, and it’s not getting into the hands of parents, who need it most.

Some of the most surprising or fascinating developments include:

Letting babies “cry it out” affects the developing circuitry of the brain, can result in less-than-healthy “attachment”.

New studies in neuroscience have led to the discovery that the brain is highly malleable – we can change the wiring in the brain through new experiences, for much longer than previously believed.

Time-outs are damaging to healthy child development – Surprise!  Who knew?

Intelligence is a function of effort, not a fixed asset.

Excelling at something is a function of finding a passion, rather than off self-discipline.

The list goes on…

What does this mean for you?  Keep an open mind and be ready to learn.  What your mother did (with the very best of intentions and information of her time) might not benefit your child. We have so much more information to work with today.

To help, Well & Ready™ is keeping up with it all (or as much as we can!), sorting through what it means in practical terms for you, and incorporating it all into new and updated practices to help kids thrive.

For more on Child Development, Neuroscience, and Brain Development, go here:

The Center on The Developing Child, Harvard University

The American Academy of Pediatrics

Sociology – the science of the development, structure, and functioning of our world and society.

What does this have to do with parenting?  Everything!

Another primary element of being Well & Ready™ is being prepared.  This means preparing our kids to thrive in the future, and to do that, parents need to anticipate what will be required to flourish. What skills will be needed? What people will they work and live with?  What systems will they need to navigate?

According to the legendary, Pulitzer Prize winning Thomas Friedman (NYT’s columnist and author of Hot, Flat & Crowded; The World is Flat; That Used To Be Us; and most recently Thank You for Being Late) we have entered “The Age of Accelerations”.  In this incredibly well researched book, he explains how “…individuals must learn to be fast (innovative and quick to adapt), fair (prepared to help the casualties of change), and slow (adept at shutting out the noise and accessing their deepest values).”

While rapid change is becoming the new normal, what circumstances and challenges will our kids face?  How do we prepare them to thrive in a world we can only vaguely see? Many of you have heard about “20th Century Skills” which are gaining ground in schools.  But they are already looking outdated.

Researchers and futurists, can at least state with clarity that the big forces that are shaping the world ahead are rapid technological advancement, globalization, and the changing planet.  From this we can see that to thrive, our kids will need to be:

Open-minded

Innovative & flexible – able to adapt to new circumstances and information

Creative – able to solve complex problems in novel new ways

Systems-thinkers – understanding how one thing or change or people or dynamic affects another

Curious – able to be inquisitive

Communicative – able to relate to and communicate with people of all cultures, backgrounds, religions

Empathetic – able to see a situation or the world from another person’s perspective

Courageous – have the mental and moral strength to venture and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

Resilient – able to recover from or adjust easily to failure, difficulty or change

These are skills and aptitudes are rarely directly taught in schools.  So knowing how to instill these skills and traits in your kids while they are growing up is important in preparing them to excel when they are adults.

For more on our changing world, and how you can prepare, go here:

The Institute for The Future

The Brookings Institute – Skills for a Changing World Series

 

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