Monday, January 3, 2022

The Whole-Brain Child - Review

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive (Hanger's Horsemen, # 2)

By: Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson

Publication: October 4th 2011 by Delacorte Press

192 pages

Genre: Non-fiction, Parenting, Self-Help

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--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.

Parenting is hard. One of, if not the, hardest things I've ever done. Molding a human being is tough. Teaching them. Instructing them. Guiding them. Saying "no" is hard. And then dealing with the fallout is hard. And some children are easier than others. But all of them struggle just as we adults and parents struggle. One thing I realized is that I literally know nothing about brain or child development. My parenting strategies have mostly been to mimic what I remember my parents doing when I was a child. Only that didn't seem to be working as well as I hoped. And when something isn't working, I go into research mode. I've found some sources that have been helpful, and those sources also recommended this book.

The Whole-Brain Child offers a lot of practical ways to help your children. I was feeling a little frustrated when I got to the end of the book because I didn't see these practical ways, but there's a section at the end of the text that goes more specifically into each age range with practical tips. This is what I was looking for.

I feel like The Whole-Brain Child was packed with information. Good information. Scientifically researched information. But for me, I find that the first time I'm exposed to a topic, the information might not soak in so well. So I definitely think I could benefit from re-reading The Whole-Brain Child. And I have intentions to do just that.

I have already put some things I've learned into practice with my children. And I can see these strategies being helpful. At the same time, I can see that I need more practice to get better at calling these strategies to mind in the moment. Shoot, I actually could use some of these strategies in my own brain for a calmer life.

The Whole-Brain Child gets 4 Stars. It might be worthy of 5 Stars upon a re-read when I absorb more of the information and put it into practice with my kids. So maybe I'll come back and update this review down the road. Until then... Have you read The Whole-Brain Child? What did you think? Let me know!

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