The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thriveby Published 04 Oct 2011
|The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive.pdf|
Your toddler throws a tantrum in the middle of a store. Your preschooler refuses to get dressed. Your fifth-grader sulks on the bench instead of playing on the field. Do children conspire to make their parents’ lives endlessly challenging? No—it’s just their developing brain calling the shots!
In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson demystify the meltdowns and aggravation, explaining the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures. The “upstairs brain,” which makes decisions and balances emotions, is under construction until the mid-twenties. And especially in young children, the right brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain. No wonder kids can seem—and feel—so out of control. By applying these discoveries to everyday parenting, you can turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain and foster vital growth. Raise calmer, happier children using twelve key strategies, including
• Name It to Tame It: Corral raging right-brain behavior through left-brain storytelling, appealing to the left brain’s affinity for words and reasoning to calm emotional storms and bodily tension.
• Engage, Don’t Enrage: Keep your child thinking and listening, instead of purely reacting.
• Move It or Lose It: Use physical activities to shift your child’s emotional state.
• Let the Clouds of Emotion Roll By: Guide your children when they are stuck on a negative emotion, and help them understand that feelings come and go.
• SIFT: Help children pay attention to the Sensations, Images, Feelings, and Thoughts within them so that they can make better decisions and be more flexible.
• Connect Through Conflict: Use discord to encourage empathy and greater social success.
Complete with clear explanations, age-appropriate strategies for dealing with day-to-day struggles, and illustrations that will help you explain these concepts to your child, The Whole-Brain Child shows you how to cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development so that your children can lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives.
The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive Reviews
I am pleased to add this to my very, very small pile of approved discipline books.
1) It fits in very nicely with our family's go-to discipline philosophy, Positive Discipline (as taught by Jane Nelson)
2) It doesn't recommend punitive measures like time outs or spanking
3) it's relatively fast and easy to read with some quick reference tips when you need them most
4) it's fairly easy to implement...once you've made the paradigm shift, that is.
5) it honors and respects children and reminds parents that many of the "behavioral problems" we see are, in fact, totally normal developmental phases that children simply need additional support and nuturing to manage through.
6) it's not just a discipline book....but also a wonderful and eye-opening look at how children develop and what parents can do to ensure their children continue to thrive and grow
Interesting concepts, and I loved going through the brain and how it works based on our reactions; it brought me back to my psychology days. Although it was interesting to read and gave a few examples of how to implement the practices with children, I find that there is still a disconnect in how to apply it daily. I kept thinking to myself, "well that sounds good and I would love to do that...but how?". I also noticed that they went a little far explaining each concept so that I felt like each paragraph said exactly the same thing, just worded differently, and it became tedious. I wish they would have shortened the repetitiveness of "why" and added more examples of practicing the concepts in specific situations for the "how".
I enjoyed this and tore through it pretty quickly. The only thing that annoyed me is the term "mindsight" ... It seems like there's already a term for what's being described: mindfulness. "Mindsight" sounds like a marketing term was being used where it wasn't necessary (maybe I'd feel differently had I also read Mindsight the book). Or maybe mindfulness isn't as common a term as I think and it helps people get the idea. Especially kids.
Anyway, it seemed like there were good tips in here, for kids and for adults too. And the authors are pretty easygoing about it all, which is much appreciated.
I'd have given this book five stars if the writing were a bit more engaging; as it is, though the material is often fascinating and incredibly relevant (I've a 28-month old toddler at home!), I found the reading a bit of a slog at times.
What Siegel has done here is, based upon cutting-edge neuro-science, boiled down the info relevant for parenting into 12 strategies to help you guide greater brain integration in your children, from birth through about 12-years old.
The kinds of things we're talking about here are simple strategies to utilize daily experience to help integrate the right and left hemispheres of the brain, the upper and lower structures of the brain, memory, the various aspects of personality and self and other.
For instance: the two strategies for integrating right and left brain are 1) connect and redirect and 2) name it to tame it. For infants and toddlers, the suggestion for the former is to mirror feelings your child is experiencing and use nonverbals to show you understand. Once you've connected, focus an a more appropriate activity. For the latter, you acknowledge and name the feeling ("You look sad; that hurt didn't it?") and then offer a narrative of the experience. At this age, you must be the narrator.
By the time a child is a pre-schooler, and more verbal, these same strategies develop as well, with the first strategy simply listening and repeating back what you've heard; then after the connection is made, directing toward problem solving and more appropriate responses. With the second strategy, he suggests you begin the narrative of what happened and then follow your child's lead, with you filling in where necessary.
By the time the child is 12, in connect and redirect, he suggests you listen and reflect back what you hear your child is saying about how they are feeling, being careful not to condescend or talk down to her. AFter the connecting, redirecting is now directed to planning and perhaps even some discipline.
I picked the most obvious of the examples, but suffice to say that the others offer some really good, solid, practices that would go a long way to make parenting a truly mindfulness-based experience. As he says in the conclusion, by parenting with this kind of attention and intention, we're impacting not just their lives, but the lives of all those they will relate with. This goes beyond the impact they will have on their children and grandchildren. As Bruce Hood makes clear in his The Self Illusion, our brains are not atomistic monads but rather social structures; self and family and community are connected neurologically.
This is the kind of book that will serve as a reference for years to come, and one which I wish more parents would be aware of for the sake of all of us!
I must say i am surprised to see so many good ratings. On the other hand it is the reason why I read it.
First things first: I'm a dad with a 2 years old child and probably share every moms and dads usual issues and questions. By the way, we split everything that involves our child at home, meaning I do half of ALL.
At first this book looked very promising. And then....I realised it has 2 sides.
On the one hand, at the end of every chapter, there is a real life problem with the real life actions parent should try to take. That's the good part.
The bad part is that the whole rest of the book, ie 80% , is the pseudo-scientific explanation based on a over-simplistic model of the brain that the authors seem to be so proud of that they need to explain it to us in detail.
I guess I need to make a few thinks clear here:
I'm a dad, I'd like to spend as much time possible with my son, so I'd appreciate books for parents that stick to what parents need to know, plus a bit of theory (thats fine), but i'd appreciate the professional bshit to be left at the conference rooms where it belongs, eventually on TV.
Honestly, if this theory was such a breakthrough in understanding kids, they'd already won the medicine Nobel prize.