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The Whole-Brain Child
Cover of The Whole-Brain Child
The Whole-Brain Child
12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • More than 1 million copies in print! • The authors of No-Drama Discipline and The Yes Brain explain the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how...
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • More than 1 million copies in print! • The authors of No-Drama Discipline and The Yes Brain explain the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how...
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  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • More than 1 million copies in print! • The authors of No-Drama Discipline and The Yes Brain explain the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures in this pioneering, practical book.
     
    “Simple, smart, and effective solutions to your child’s struggles.”—Harvey Karp, M.D.
     
    In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson offer a revolutionary approach to child rearing with twelve key strategies that foster healthy brain development, leading to calmer, happier children. The authors explain—and make accessible—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 throw tantrums, fight, or sulk in silence. 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.            
     
    Complete with 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.

    “[A] useful child-rearing resource for the entire family . . . The authors include a fair amount of brain science, but they present it for both adult and child audiences.”—Kirkus Reviews

    “Strategies for getting a youngster to chill out [with] compassion.”—The Washington Post

    “This erudite, tender, and funny book is filled with fresh ideas based on the latest neuroscience research. I urge all parents who want kind, happy, and emotionally healthy kids to read The Whole-Brain Child. This is my new baby gift.”—Mary Pipher, Ph.D., author of Reviving Ophelia and The Shelter of Each Other
    “Gives parents and teachers ideas to get all parts of a healthy child’s brain working together.”—Parent to Parent

Excerpts-

  • Chapter 1 Chapter 1

    Parenting with the Brain in Mind

    Parents are often experts about their children's bodies. They know that a temperature above 98.6 degrees is a fever. They know to clean out a cut so it doesn't get infected. They know which foods are most likely to leave their child wired before bedtime.

    But even the most caring, best-educated parents often lack basic information about their child's brain. Isn't this surprising? Especially when you consider the central role the brain plays in virtually every aspect of a child's life that parents care about: discipline, decision making, self-awareness, school, relationships, and so on. In fact, the brain pretty much determines who we are and what we do. And since the brain itself is significantly shaped by the experiences we offer as parents, knowing about the way the brain changes in response to our parenting can help us to nurture a stronger, more resilient child.

    So we want to introduce you to the whole-brain perspective. We'd like to explain some fundamental concepts about the brain and help you apply your new knowledge in ways that will make parenting easier and more meaningful. We're not saying that raising a whole-brain child will get rid of all the frustrations that come with parenting. But by understanding a few simple and easy-to-master basics about how the brain works, you'll be able to better understand your child, respond more effectively to difficult situations, and build a foundation for social, emotional, and mental health. What you do as a parent matters, and we'll provide you with straightforward, scientifically based ideas that will help you build a strong relationship with your child that can help shape his brain well and give him the best foundation for a healthy and happy life.

    Let us tell you a story that illustrates how useful this information can be for parents.

    Eea Woo Woo

    One day Marianna received a call at work telling her that her two- year-old son, Marco, had been in a car accident with his babysitter. Marco was fine, but the babysitter, who was driving, had been taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

    Marianna, a principal at an elementary school, frantically rushed to the scene of the accident, where she was told that the babysitter had experienced an epileptic seizure while driving. Marianna found a firefighter unsuccessfully attempting to console her toddler. She took Marco in her arms, and he immediately began to calm down as she comforted him.

    As soon as he stopped crying, Marco began telling Marianna what had happened. Using his two-year-old language, which only his parents and babysitter would be able to understand, Marco continually repeated the phrase "Eea woo woo." "Eea" is his word for "Sophia," the name of his beloved babysitter, and "woo woo" refers to his version of the siren on a fire truck (or in this case, an ambulance). By repeatedly telling his mother "Eea woo woo," Marco was focusing on the detail of the story that mattered most to him: Sophia had been taken away from him.

    In a situation like this, many of us would be tempted to assure Marco that Sophia would be fine, then immediately focus on something else to get the child's mind off the situation: "Let's go get some ice cream!" In the days that followed, many parents would try to avoid upsetting their child by not discussing the accident. The problem with the "let's go get some ice cream" approach is that it leaves the child confused about what happened and why. He is still full of big and scary emotions, but he isn't allowed (or helped) to deal with them in an effective way.

    Marianna didn't make that mistake. She had taken Tina's classes on parenting and...

About the Author-

  • Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, the founding co-director of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Siegel is the author of several books, including the New York Times bestsellers Brainstorm, Mind, and, with Tina Payne Bryson, The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline. He is also the author of the bestsellers Mindsight and, with Mary Hartzell, Parenting from the Inside Out. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, with welcome visits from their adult son and daughter.
    Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., is a pediatric and adolescent psychotherapist, parenting consultant, and the director of parenting education and development for the Mindsight Institute. A frequent lecturer to parents, educators, and professionals, she lives near Los Angeles with her husband and three children.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 13, 2011
    Neuropsychiatrist Siegel (Parenting from the Inside Out) teams up with psychotherapist Bryson in this brain guidebook for parents. The authors assert that parents can have a positive and important impact on helping kids develop brain skills. Siegel and Bryson clearly explain how the brain develops, pointing out specific examples of the brain at work in various situations (e.g., a four-year-old who melts down when left at preschool is working from her right brain; a 12-year-old who denies her emotions after a quarrel with a friend operates from the left brain). The authors offer 12 strategies parents can use to help their children integrate the various parts of the brain. For instance, a strategy called "Connect and Redirect" is used when a child is having a tantrum; it's best to connect with the right or emotional side of the brain, offering comfort, and later appeal to the left or logical brain when the child has calmed down (when a child is upset, logic often doesn't work). Siegel and Bryson reveal that an integrated brain with parts that cooperate in a coordinated and balanced manner creates a better understanding of self, stronger relationships, and success in school, among other benefits. With illustrations, charts, and even a handy "Refrigerator Sheet," the authors have made every effort to make brain science parent-friendly.

  • Kirkus

    October 15, 2011
    Siegel (Psychiatry/UCLA; Mindsight, 2010, etc.) and Bryson dissect the different sections of the brain and offer useful parental tools that can limit temper tantrums as well as ensure well-rounded development. The authors, both of Los Angeles' Mindsight Institute, reveal 12 "whole-brain" strategies the entire family should implement as part of a holistic approach to child development. They suggest that the more we know about how the human brain operates, the more we can do to control it in difficult times. Most readers are already aware, for example, that there is a "right brain" and a "left brain." But what about the "upstairs" and the "downstairs?" When we're at our best, all of these parts work together harmoniously. Tantrums and meltdowns occur when one part of the brain temporarily takes over, causing "dis-integration." To remedy this, the authors suggest 12 strategies designed to "re-integrate" the brain. These suggestions can also benefit adults who are prone to "dis-integration" as well. The authors include a fair amount of brain science, but they present it for both adult and child audiences. To facilitate a greater understanding of the process for the entire family, the authors summarize each strategy into comics form at the end of each chapter for easy comprehension. The appendix includes a handy reference guide that provides a quick refresher course when needed. Useful child-rearing resource for the entire family.

    (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • Publishers Weekly

    Advance praise for The Whole-Brain Child

    "Siegel and Bryson reveal that an integrated brain with parts that cooperate in a coordinated and balanced manner creates a better understanding of self, stronger relationships, and success in school, among other benefits. With illustrations, charts, and even a handy 'Refrigerator Sheet,' the authors have made every effort to make brain science parent-friendly."

  • Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence "Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson have created a masterful, reader-friendly guide to helping children grow their emotional intelligence. This brilliant method transforms everyday interactions into valuable brain-shaping moments. Anyone who cares for children--or who loves a child--should read The Whole-Brain Child."
  • Harvey Karp, M.D., bestselling author of The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block "Fears? Fights? Frustrations? Help is here! Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson turn leading brain science into simple, smart--and effective--solutions to your child's struggles."
  • Mary Pipher, Ph.D., author of Reviving Ophelia and The Shelter of Each Other "This erudite, tender, and funny book is filled with fresh ideas based on the latest neuroscience research. I urge all parents who want kind, happy, and emotionally healthy kids to read The Whole-Brain Child. I wish I had read it when my kids were young, but no one knew then what Siegel and Bryson share with us in an immensely practical way. This is my new baby gift."
  • Christine Carter, Ph.D., author of Raising Happiness "The Whole-Brain Child is chock-full of strategies for raising happy, resilient children. It offers powerful tools for helping children develop the emotional intelligence they will need to be successful in the world. Parents will learn ways to feel more connected to their children and more satisfied in their role as a parent. Most of all, The Whole-Brain Child helps parents teach kids about how their brain actually works, giving even very young children the self-understanding that can lead them to make good choices and, ultimately, to lead meaningful and joyful lives."
  • Michael Thompson, Ph.D., co-author of the bestselling Raising Cain

    "In their dynamic and readable new book, Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson sweep aside the old models of 'good' and 'bad' parenting to offer a scientific focus: the impact of parenting on brain development. Parents will certainly recognize themselves in the lively 'aha' anecdotes that fill these pages. More important, they will see how everyday empathy and insight can help a child to integrate his or her experience and develop a more resilient brain."

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12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
Daniel J. Siegel
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