Tuesday Tips for Parents - Dopamine

Tuesday Tips for Parents - Tune in today at 12:30pm for our Facebook Live on this topic - D.O.S.E. for Children - Let's start with Dopamine

D.O.S.E for Children

D is for Dopamine


Last week I said that we were going to do a 4 part series and start with Dope for Children.


Well the “Dope” is a Part of D.O.S.E – each of which is a chemical that helps determine the way we feel and/or respond to things around us and help determine the decisions we make.

The D – or the “Dope” stands for Dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, one of those chemicals that is responsible for transmitting signals in between the nerve cells (neurons) of the brain. Its reputation centers around its reputation as the “feel-good hormone.” Dopamine is associated with feelings of euphoria, bliss, motivation, and concentration. It is our Feel Good Chemical.

Dopamine is responsible for Focus & Motivation.

There are ways to naturally increase the amount of Dopamine in our body:

1. Eat Food Rich in Tyrosine – Almonds, Bananas, Avocados, Eggs, Beans, Fish and Chicken
2. Exercise Regularly
3. Meditation
4. Get a Massage
5. Sleep
6. Listen to Music
7. Supplement

All of these are things we try as much as possible to do ourselves – and many of them we do try already to get our kids to do – there may be a few here that we haven’t tried with the kids before. Give some of them a try.

So why do we want to keep at a good level the amount of Dopamine – We all want our kids to be Better Listeners with Good Focus and Be Self-Motivated and have a Good Sense of Self-Confidence.

There are some ways that parents/teachers can build Dopamine to increase the amount of Focus for a class/project/etc – use Trickery. Things like Ready, Set, Goose – Goose has the same beginning sounds of Go – yet when they realize you said Goose the brain begins to use Dopamine to Listen Carefully to what you are actually saying. 2 + 2 = 5; It is Raining Red Today; I used a square soccer ball today; - anything that causes the brain to react with Hold Up – That Makes No Sense – the child is the listening to catch everything you say – hence leading to Dopamine and Focus. You can even get your child to try to trick you for Fun!

Motivation – There is some evidence that Intrinsic Motivation and Dopamine have a direct link to one another – that being said what is Intrinsic Motivation. We would probably think of it more as Self-Motivation – writing a song because I want to enjoy it vs writing a song purely to make money.

Dopamine is related to the motivation and desire, and not the pleasure itself, as in opioids. It represents the value of the reward.

How do you build Instrinsic Motivation to help make an awesome sense of confidence in your child. Use a Different Reward System – an example we use in our Martial Arts Class – if you want to be good then you will do 10 pushups – if you want to be Great you will do 20 pushups – but Hey if you want to be Awesome you will do 30 pushups – and Those wanting to be Black Belt and Impress Parents will do 40 pushups. The child then has the opportunity to make a decision for him/herself and then do something toward that goal that makes him/her feel good.

Do Not use Negative Motivation – Intimidation of you will never become anything if you…..seldom works. Reverse the motivation – How you think that X person became a really great X? Talk through that with your child and help to find a carrot that works really well to help your child stay motivated for him/herself. Be as creative as possible.

Again – please let us know of any questions you have or any challenges you are facing with your child that we can possibly help you address.

You can call/text 336-270-6825 or email to skillz4kidz@outlook.com

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