My Blog

The Hypnotized Child

Do You Want To Control Your Child’s Mind?

“Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.”

Aristotle (also attributed to St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits)

“The Child is father of the man.”

Wm. Wordsworth

(Or the woman). Even our lexicon has a subconscious, hypnotic influence, the “he” being more prevalent and important than the “she”.

Are you a hypnotizing your baby? Were you hypnotized as a baby?

From the moment a person is first touched at birth, the world is interpreted as safe, warm, and welcoming, or not. The way we are held imprints upon us. Are we clutched too tightly? Is the grasp one of fear? Are we supported? Are we embraced? Is the person holding us expressing ease? Love? Disappointment? Anxiety? Non-verbal communication is the first way the child learns about the world.

In the first seven or so years of life the child is pretty much a sponge absorbing all the surrounding influences, storing them in subconscious, even cellular memory, and eventually imitating many of them. The child is wide open with no defense against your influence.

The THETA brain wave state of deep relaxation and a detached awareness typical of the young child is ideal for hypnosis. Up to about age seven, based on brain wave studies of the developing brain, predominant wave frequencies gradually increase from the Theta range (hynogogic state) to the ALPHA range (meditative state).

Theta waves in children’s waking electroencephalogram resemble local aspects of sleep during wakefulness (

Now, the hypnotist—in this case, non-professional YOU, or the non-professionl others in the child’s environment—can easily deliver suggestions by reaching into the infant’s subconscious brain, accessing it, and programming their pattern-making systems. You’ve put your suggestion into the subconscious, and, Voila! – the output will be perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, habits, and actions that represent you!

What makes it even more incredible is that you are probably not consciously hypnotizing your child. You are subconsciously programming the child’s subconscious from your own subconscious programming that was passed down to you, etc, etc.

It’s unlikely the typical parent would intentionally hypnotize their own child. But that is what is happening generation after generation, conditioned by the beliefs, standards, attitudes, behaviors, expectations, and expressions of their family, culture, and society. Even schools sometimes get a shot at it, usually from ages four to seven, and daycare centers even earlier.

So, adding to the suggestive influence you already have, the question can be raised as to what you are modeling for imitation.

Some researchers believe that the Theta frequency in infants might function closer to what the adult brain does in Alpha. Regardless, even a light trance (Alpha) can work, though the deeper trance level (Theta) is ideal for hypnotic suggestion to work. The the Alpha-Theta border is most commonly found in a hypnotized subject.

Add to that the natural imitative ability of children that is essential for learning, and you have an even fuller, deeper influence on the very susceptible infant and child. What power you have!

Will your child have your accent? Inflection? Vocabulary? Will the child mimic your posture, movement, healthy or unhealthy habits? Will your child pay attention to the same things to which you give a lot of attention? Will your child share your beliefs about anything? Most things? Everything? Are you unconsciously fostering gender roles, ethnic and racial biases?

Most people are aware of cycles of violence where the abused child of the abusive parent grows up to be yet another abuser.

Dad watches pro football so junior watches it too. Dad yells at the TV while watching pro football. Dad gets angry. Dad is elated when his team wins, dejected when it loses. His children, especially his son, most likely mimic. Mom yells racial slurs at the cashier at the supermarket. Her children, especially her daughter, most likely mimic her.

Like the song says, “You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear. It has to be drummed in your dear little ear. You have to be carefully taught.”

But are there cycles of kindness and compassion?

Dad takes time to play with his children, reads to then, ask about their interests. The children most likely mimic him.

Of course, it’s not that simple. Still, there’s a lot of truth to it, and sometimes it’s significantly more powerful than many of us know.

And it’s not just the formation of ethics and morals, however important, that are passed down from generation to generation.

The very fundamental ways that a person perceives the world is formed in these early years. Perception isn’t just thoughts. It’s what we attend to, where we look, what we listen for, our tastes, the nature of our touch, and the kind of touch we seek. It’s about our preferences, our physical, emotional, and cognitive comforts and discomforts. It’s what we accept as “normal” and “appropriate” or “abnormal” or “inappropriate” (also defined is “different”, “foreign,” “weird”, etc). The first seven years define what is acceptable or unacceptable. These are the habits, patterns, attitudes, interpretations, and expectations that are likely to remain for an entire lifetime unless we make the conscious effort to change them.


“….we show that adults and 7-month-olds automatically encode others’ beliefs, and that, surprisingly, others’ beliefs have similar effects as the participants’ own beliefs. “

“…2.5‐year‐olds are susceptible to suspense and express tension when others’ false expectations are about to be disappointed. In two experiments (=32 each), children showed more tension when a protagonist approached a box with a false belief about its content than when she was ignorant. In Experiment 2, children also expressed more tension when the protagonist’s belief was false than when it was true. The findings reveal that toddlers affectively anticipate the “rude awakening” of an agent who is about to discover unexpected reality. They thus not only understand false beliefs per se but also grasp the affective implications of being mistaken.


Brain Waves

Brain wave frequencies (Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta, and Gamma) are measured in cycles per second (Hz). Each frequency range has its own specific level of brain activity, unique state of consciousness, and characteristics.

Beta (14-40Hz).  Normal waking consciousness and reasoning. Further divided, high Beta is associated with a alertness, logic, critical reasoning, and focus. Low beta is unfocused, “noisy” thinking that may ranslate into stress, anxiety, fear and restlessness.

Alpha (7.5-14 Hz).  Associated with meditation, prayer, mindfulness, as well as deep physical and mental relaxation. Attained, typically, when the eyes are closed, and during daydreaming, imagination, and visualization. Giving access to the subconscious, alpha states are good for programming the mind. In the classroom, the child who cannot focus can be stuck in the alpha state, unable to access the higher frequencies of beta.

Theta (4-7.5Hz). The realm of the subconsciousness. present during hypnosis, deep meditation, and light sleep, and REM dream state.

Delta (0.5-4Hz). Deep, dreamless sleep, necessary for regeneration.

Gamma waves (above 40Hz). Little is known about this recently discovered stateGamma brain waves are associated with bursts of insight and high–level information processing, but, oddly, also associated with PTSD.


                Have you ever wondered something your whole life only to discover there’s a word that answers the question?

For me, that word is resilience and it answers the lifelong question, “Why do some people overcome all obstacles while others fall apart at the smallest stressor? 

Are some people naturally resilient? My best guess is, yes.

Is there a resiliency gene? My best guess is, no.

Even raised in the same family with the same life lessons, some siblings are more resilient than others. Some see failures and challenges as opportunities for growth. Others see failures and challenges as a threat to their identity.

Can resiliency be learned? Probably.

Knowing a resilient person and watching her model resiliency does not guarantee that another will adopt resiliency as a lifestyle. However, knowing such a person who teaches a program that fosters resiliency increases the likelihood.

I have been blessed to know such a person, who has made it her life’s mission to “Choose Love” and to teach others how to do that through a proven step by step program of Social Emotional Learning.

Scarlett Lewis is the mother of Jesse Lewis who was one of 20 children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012. I met her in February of 2013 when the trauma was freshly palpable. Over the years although her loss and pain will likely never pass, her resilience has increased manifold.

So, I present to you, Scarlett, the world servant.

Health and Wellness

HEALTH is what we are given.

WELLNESS is what we do with it.

Health conditions and tendencies are inherited from parents. In an ideal world, development from fertilized cell, to embryo, to fetus, through birth and ongoing growth results in a sound, well-functioning, comfortable system that naturally and easily sustains a thriving individual.

In the real world, health is rarely so straightforward. Life usually brings a blend of good and bad genetic fortune that is increased or decreased by how genes respond to environment. Genetic blessings or unfavorable genetic predispositions can be increased or diminished by internal and external exposure. Additionally, accidents that may occur before, during or after birth affect lifelong health. In any given life, there is little likelihood of avoiding at least some degree of pain or dysfunction.

Health is therefore relative–a range of physical and intellectual abilities and disabilities that are given and need mitigation, or maintenance. Health can sometimes be increased through a wellness lifestyle that takes what nature provides and nurtures it. Appreciating the variety of resources given and sustaining them in a balanced state is essential. That becomes the platform for designing greater health.

Wellness is something that happens only if it becomes conscious at some point in life—and for some that is earlier, for others later, and for some not at all. With consciousness comes the awareness that wellness is not just physical but also multidimensional. Wellness requires sufficient maturity for self-awareness and freedom. It is an active, lifelong process of learning ways to improve what is working and ways to either accept or to compensate for that which cannot be improved. Even when pain, discomfort or dysfunction cannot be avoided or changed, the perception and interpretation of such can be modifiable.

Wellness is a process in which change is always possible, whether it is moving inward towards personal physical, emotional, attitudinal, mental, intellectual, spiritual, and creative growth, or outward oriented toward environment, vocation, connection, community, compassion and service. To exercise options it is necessary to manage time well to find and use the appropriate guidance, methods and tools.

Wellness is a conscious choice, understanding that change includes both acquiring external knowledge and direct self-knowledge. In the learning process, it is important to remain aware of what can be known and what cannot. Acknowledging and accepting limitations, having both strength and vulnerability, are important aspects of wellness.

The state of “radical acceptance” is Grace. It is from this state of surrender to what IS, that it is possible to move forward in a meaningful and powerful way with choices that are realistic and authentic.

Authentic choice means that even when scope is limited there are a variety of options that can serve the highest and best good.