Developing the Subconscious Mind

What is our subconscious? Why does it matter? What can be done to ensure that it is built right?

What is our subconscious?

The subconscious is defined in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary as “existing in the mind but not immediately available to consciousness.” The subconscious was once pandora’s box. Dr. Sigmund Freud spent his career trying to understand the subconscious and extract memories from the subconscious, in an attempt to reframe the future. Today, we can use a functional MRI to study areas of the brain that are responsible for subconscious thoughts. The subconscious can now be better understood than ever before, paving the way for numerous future treatments.

The subconscious mind develops for all of us, as children. It has a lot to do with our brain waves. While the future of treating the subconscious is exciting, molding it from childhood is still the most effective. As it relates to health, happiness, education and home life, most of us parents would do anything for our children, but what about the development of our children’s subconscious?

From birth until 2 years old, brain waves are mostly low-frequency or delta waves. “There is little filtering, correcting or judging.”[1] Adults have delta waves, during sleep, so think of this stage as the SLEEP STAGE.

From 2-5 or 6 years old, children live in Zeta waves, which means they believe in the world of abstract and imagination.[2] This is a “trance-like” state, where information goes directly into the subconscious. They believe everything. Think of this age as the SANTA CLAUS age. This stage is very impressionable for children. What we tell them, as adults, will leave a lasting impact on children even into adulthood.

Why does it matter?

The “Santa Claus” stage is very important to childhood development. Henry Ford was quoted as saying, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” This quote demonstrates the importance of belief. Our beliefs about ourselves, stem from our subconscious and are developed largely during the Santa Claus period of childhood. As parents, we often view our roles as providers and protectors, but rarely do we see ourselves at this stage as life coaches. One key element to long-term success, is the empowered belief that we are in control of our own destiny. If we think about it, our influence on our children, particularly as they are developing their subconscious determines their beliefs about themselves from a subconscious perspective for the rest of their lives. Are you ready for that kind of pressure?  I certainly didn’t know all of this as a parent.

What can be done to make sure that it is built right?

RULE 1: Bring the kids along.

There likely is no right or wrong when it comes to the subconscious. We all have different personalities and live in different circumstances. What is the right subconscious for someone growing up in Manhattan and having to navigate city streets and the hustle bustle of the big city vs someone who grows up in the country and has to navigate mountain lion terrain and rattlesnakes? Subconscious heuristics or shortcuts in thinking can help us do both, but training when we are young helps a lot. So, the first rule of training your child’s subconscious is to teach them what you know and bring them along with what you do. If you leave them at home, because you are too busy, don’t want to liability of a child around or are worried they might get hurt, their subsconscious won’t develop the way you would want it to.

Developing subconscious in children

RULE 2: Answer all the questions.

Give your child the opportunity to ask lots of questions. This is challenging. Some kids don’t seem to ask many questions, others ask too many it seems. Each child has their own learning style, but I will bet many parallel their parents. When you child asks questions, be there to answer them. ALL OF THEM. This takes a lot of patience, but when you neglect questions, you miss out on a subconscious development opportunity. Sometimes the responses seem too “adult” for kids, but if they are asking, then they are ready. For millennia, children have dealt with much more difficult questions than we shelter them from today. The World isn’t always fair, predictable and certainly isn’t black and white, but teach them the framework they will need for later development when they start to make cognitive decisions. Your hard work and patience will pay off.

RULE 3: Failure is an option.

It’s ok to late your kids fail. Failure is often seen as a major letdown when observed of children from parents. When you look at your children, ask yourself, what’s more important a failure now at 5 or 6 or later one at 30 or 40? Failing is important. I like to avoid the term failure altogether and refer to it as “trial and error.” I was a trial and error kid who need to try it one way, then another and sometimes another. It’s ok, as long as they are safe. If they imprint the lessons into their subconscious through experiential learning now, they will be set up for the rest of their lives.

RULE 4: Good habits.  

Teach your children to develop good habits during this stage. Our subconscious pulls on us for our entire lives. It lets us know what we should be doing or not doing. If parents have bad habits and teach them to their children during this stage, they are paving then way for the replication of these same bad habits for their children. We all want what’s better for our children than even we have experienced. Draw upon your own shortfalls and make a deliberate effort to change things while your children are young. Let’s say you hate your leafy greens. Eat them, somehow, someway and teach your children how delicious they are. This will pay dividends as they get older.

Building healthy eating habits with kids

RULE 5: Spending time together.

Spend as much time as you can with your children. If you have children, it can be overwhelming at times. Some people feel like they can barely get through the day. I know the feeling. Sometimes, getting through the day may be all that can be expected. That’s ok, give yourself a break. Don’t let anyone tell you or imply what you should or shouldn’t be doing. It’s impossible for someone to know what you are going through. However, live everyday with as much time as you can with your children. Even if it’s housecleaning, chores, “the boring stuff.” That’s all ok. Life isn’t just birthday parties, days at the museum or zoo. Life is chores, helping someone in need, going to the grocery store, cleaning up dishes. All of these activities are best done WITH your children. When you shield them from this stuff, you negatively impact their subconscious. They will come to expect that work is not part of their lives and be very confused as adults, when they can’t follow their instincts. Get them doing projects, work earlier on. It will build their confidence, expectations, and make work fun. It is part of life, more so sometimes than the fun days. Enjoy it all! Laugh, cry, struggle together and most importantly life it with your kids present in every moment.

RULE 6: Don’t turn over the reigns to anyone else.

The World is an expensive place. Most of us are now leading both parents working lives. The consequences are grave, I’m afraid. We are entrusting others to raise our children. We often send them off to preschool, then elementary school without spending enough time with them. We are entrusting others to raise our children AND train their subconscious. When we look at our children 20 years from now and wonder how they could be so different from ourselves, this may be why. Obviously, there are financial limitations. We all are working hard, usually to provide all we can for our children. I propose a new way of looking at life. Don’t worry about keeping up with the Jones when you children are young. Live as modestly as you can, be together, travel, enjoy life together. As they get older, their subconscious is developed, then consider going back to your career or starting a new career. It’s ok to take some time off. You literally have only 7 years to mold their subconscious, take that time away from money, work, and pride and put it into your children, the World will be a better place, if we can all do that.

RULE 7: Don’t live in black and white.

One mistake you can make as a parent, is to live too much in black and white. Children will interpret everything at this stage as black and white, so it will be hard enough to resist this, but focus on teaching them constructs, basic rules, but avoid, harsh black and white comparisons. This will lead to angst later on, when the World turns out to be more in the gray area than black and white.

If you follow these 7 rules, you will experience improved satisfaction with child rearing. Plus, you will build your children’s subconscious in a meaningful way. No 2 children are alike, because no two parents are alike. As parents, we often want to provide the best for our children, give them all they need and most of what they want, as well as protect them from a crazy World! The most important thing you ever do for your child is to develop their mind. We spend lots of money on education, but the greatest education they will ever have is their subconscious. Spend time on grooming it. Use these rules as a starting point, but don’t forget, the most important part of subconscious mind development is spending time with your child. This can’t be farmed out to anyone else. It must be you.

Wellness is achieving one’s maximal potential. We can do this best with a healthy subconscious mind, developed during childhood by loving parents. If you are interested in this topic and want to learn more, contact us at doctorofliving.com.


[1] “From the Subconscious Mind to the Conscious Mind.” December 9th, 2017. https://exploringyourmind.com/subconscious-mind-conscious-mind/. Accessed April 1st, 2019.

[2] “From the Subconscious Mind to the Conscious Mind.” December 9th, 2017. https://exploringyourmind.com/subconscious-mind-conscious-mind/. Accessed April 1st, 2019.

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