John Cryan, a pharmacologist at University College Cork, Ireland did an experiment with mice. This rodent, when placed in an inescapable tank of water, will give up swimming in about 5 minutes when it realizes it can’t get out. But if this same mouse has probiotics in its guts before being placed in the tank, it will never give up trying to get out until all its physical energy has been sapped. It will keep going and going and going.
Why is this? Well, mice dosed with probiotics showed significant differences in brain chemistry compared to the control rodents. The bacteria-fed mice had about half as much corticosterone, a stress hormone, in their blood and a redistribution of their brain receptors for a key neurotransmitter. In other words, they got more mentally tough. They got guts by what was in their guts.
Now, whether giving your children more probiotics will help them better plow through difficult circumstances or not remains to be seen, but there are some tried and true methods to help your kids stand up and stand out when the going gets tough. Here are 5 ways to give your kids guts to stand up to pressure.
Huddle up with your children tonight and tell them: “One time you really showed a lot of guts was when you ____.”