I’m thinking about running an experiment on my son. Say what?! I know, but,don’t worry, it’s safe, ethical, moral, etc. and it could be really cool if it works. The method I would be using is, wait for it… Subliminal Learning. Okay, before you start thinking about brainwashing or hypnosis, let me break it down so that we get a clear picture of how awesome this could be.
Subliminal learning is a process by which a person is influenced by a stimulus that is administered below the threshold of consciousness. That was annoyingly technical, sorry. These messages are stored in our subconscious, the area of our mind that governs emotions, thoughts, and habits.The subconscious is developed at a very early stage in life and it collects all the information that our conscious mind can’t process, but can be recalled when needed. How to ride a bike is tossed into our subconscious which is why it doesn’t take a whole lot of thought to get on a bike and go. It’s kinda neat how our conscious mind picks and chooses what it attends to so that we are not overloaded with all the information we come across on a daily basis, but that we still retain that other information without realizing it. This is where subliminal learning comes in. We aren’t aware of the message so it moves right on past our conscious mind and plants itself directly into our subconscious where it can affect our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Is this a little New Agey? Probably, but there are studies to support it and some that are a little more skeptical so it has garnered attention. People are using this method to quit smoking, become more motivated,or learn a new language. Athletes are even using it to help their performance. Will this work on a child? From my experience, kids don’t pay attention to a lot of things so we’ve already got the moving past the conscious issue covered. My position is if it can help and it’s not harmful or overly creepy, then try it.
So that it is ethical and moral, I will tell my son what I want to try and see if he’s up for it. Studies have suggested that subliminal learning won’t work unless the person wants to use it so this is important. Together we will identify a behavior, thought, or emotion that he wants to improve ( I may steer him in a couple directions here). As subliminal learning is not a new concept, there are cd’s available to purchase that have tracks that sound like ocean waves, but send messages on whatever “issue” you choose to work on. To make sure it is safe and somewhat effective, I will try it on myself first. If I don’t act like a chicken whenever I hear the word “happy” then I’ll try it with Riley. What I am hoping to achieve is an increase in attention, a better understanding of some social skills, and a decrease in anxiety. I get that every parent wants this for their child, but my guy needs it. I assure you that I wouldn’t try this if I didn’t have hope that he could benefit from it. In a world where avoidance or denial runs rampant and pills are overprescribed, I want to face the problems and try to help my little boy in any way I can.
So what do you think? Is this interesting or scary? Am I completely out of line or does this have some merit? I am open to suggestions/gentle criticism/helpful comments so I won’t start this until I have some feedback.