Debi Pearl starts this chapter of her Big Book of Bad Brains – “Create a Better Brain Through Neuroplasticity” – talking today of ‘Executive Function’. Debi claims this is the best piece of training you can give a child, the ability to make executive decisions, to exercise that executive function. Too bad she didn’t take her own advice in raising her daughters not to have meltdowns when confronted with the choice of what restaurant to eat at or what type of clothing to buy. The last chapter is here.
Debi describes it like this:
- Paying attention
- Organizing and planning
- Initiating tasks and staying focused on them
- Regulating emotions
- Self-monitoring (keeping track of what you are doing)
In other words everything that Michael Pearl is not.
Debi goes on to claim that IQ and book smarts do not matter, and will not get you ahead, but executive function will.
“Experience shows that success is often based more on attitude and less on ability.”
Debi goes on to make an even more ludicrous claim in light of everything we know about the Pearls:
“Interpersonal effectiveness is dependent on our ability to manage the emotions of others”
This is all followed with talk of social skills being everything and teaching a child to regulate their feelings. Her words devolve into personal stories with examples of kids melting down at various times over a variety of circumstances with Debi claiming none of the kids has been taught to regulate their emotions and the parents by allowing such outbursts are brain grooving right into the kids all sorts of bad, dire, things.
Debi illustrates her point with a ‘scientific experiment’ she declines to name, name the organization running the test or any other identifying information on the study. Long fake dumb story shortened. They told a teacher that five of her students had high IQs, she taught them all year, and at the end of the year she was told that those kids were average. They only performed to a high standard because they’d been expected to.
Then we move on to that Pearl bugaboo – impulse control, another thing that seems to be lacking in all of Debi’s tales of Michael.
“How does learning delayed gratification translate to adulthood? Self-control helps the cigarette smoker lay down his habit because he knows it is bad for him. It causes compulsive shoppers to stop sooner, rather than later. It means gambling, over spending, and poor eating habits will not be a problem in their lives. It plays a role in controlling anger, lust and depression.”
Just like that we’re back at the famous Stanford Marshmallow Experiment that Debi so deeply misunderstood in her sample chapter in No Greater Joy magazine. I am not repeating it here. See what Debi said about the experiment here.
The rest of the chapter is rather disturbing because Debi keeps using the word “Grooming” as the thing you need to do with your kids. Things like playing with them, doing things the right way, disciplining them. There are a lot of pointless stories about making a house out of abandoned artificial flowers, dentist visits, visits from the grandkids that aren’t very interrelated.
Next week we’re back at screens and cartoons yet again. Yeah, beat that dead horse just a little harder.
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