I am not a professional educator nor do I have any special training in child developement. I would, therefore, gladly welcome any thoughts from those with more experience than me. I believe children should be taught as early as possible, that everyone has a Big Brain and a Little Brain. The Little Brain tells us what we like and don’t like. The Big Brain helps us get the things we want. Whenever the child asks “Why?” regarding adults doing stupid things, the answer can then be “They are thinking with their Little Brains, not their Big Brains.” For those of a religious persuasion, the Big Brain tells us what to do to REALLY please God. In essence there is a battle between the Big Brain and the Little Brain.
At later ages, terms such as: Alligator Brain and People Brain, Reptilian Brain and Mammalian Brain, Cortex and Sub-cortex can be introduced. In each case, the former being responsible for emotions, black-and-white thinking, dichotomous thinking etc, while the latter is responsible for problem-solving and achieving goals. Again, there is a dynamic between the two that is important, and a lot of problems are caused or exacerbated by using the former in lieu of the latter.
Planting the seed as early as possible that this is an important distinction will increase the likelihood that children will recognize when DT is usurping problem solving. They will be less prone to bullying and being bullied. Perhaps bullies will even be called “Alligator Brains.” Growing up they will be less susceptible to manipulation by advertisers, politicians, and those hoping to radicalize them. When pondering a new idea the questions “What is the goal here? Will this idea help achieve that goal?” will come before “Do I LIKE this idea or not?” “How does this idea make me feel?” Finally, individuals taught early to recognize the distinction between Big Brain and Little Brain might be less likely to resort to violence, especially gun violence later in life.