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This story points out an important insight: when a child is upset, logic often won't work until we have responded to the right brain's emotional needs.
Children are much more apt to share and talk while building something, playing cards, or riding in the car than when you sit down and look them right in the face and ask them to open up.
A parent who recognizes an upstairs tantrum is left with one clear response: never negotiate with a terrorist. An upstairs tantrum calls for firm boundaries and a clear discussion about appropriate and inappropriate behavior.
The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind Hardcover – October 4, 2011
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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
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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.”—Publishers Weekly
“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.”—Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence
“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.”—Harvey Karp, M.D., bestselling author of The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block
“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.”—Mary Pipher, Ph.D., author of Reviving Ophelia and The Shelter of Each Other
“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.”—Christine Carter, Ph.D., author of Raising Happiness
“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.”—Michael Thompson, Ph.D., co-author of the bestselling Raising Cain
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.
- Publisher : Delacorte Press; Illustrated edition (October 4, 2011)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0553807919
- ISBN-13 : 978-0553807912
- Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.4 x 0.79 x 9.58 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #11,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I'm also a desperate parent, looking for a lifeline. There's no lifeline here; just lies: page after page of line drawings showing hands and houses to illustrate the crock ideas of "upstairs and downstairs brains" and "left brains and right brains." It's fine to discuss and classify human behaviors and interests using the left/right concept as a metaphor, but don't sell us a miracle cure for a problem that isn't real. Brain "de-integration" is not the cause of challenging childhood behaviors, and while it's nice to think that we could buy a book that fixes our children's brains, it's not that easy.
You want the entirety of the book's advice?
-When your kid is on the verge of a tantrum, don't try to shut them down with a rational explanation of why they shouldn't be throwing a tantrum. Let them have their feelings, and work from there
That's it. The entire book. More helpful books that start with that tidbit and give evidence-based advice are Ross Greene's "The Explosive Child," Jim and Charles Fay's "Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood," and Alan E. Kazdin's "The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child." None of which have worked a miracle in my child's behavior, but they have each, in their own way, helped me to adjust my parenting and lower my stress level as we progress through our new normal. "The Whole-Brain Child" is marketed to the same audience, but has nothing to offer.
For the first chapter at least, a concept is introduced, explained, example provided. Okay, I got it. Rather than moving on, the book launches into story upon story to paint the picture. And it's not the short to the point stories, they're long and drawn out to the point where I'm dreading seeing stories. And then after every story is a wordy analysis that explains why the example supports the concept.
Falling asleep trying to get through this book.
This book is a positive discipline book. It has next to nothing to do with child development. And while it is not a bad discipline book, it should not be calling itself child development. Just stop!
Top reviews from other countries
- This book is not as bad as a 1-star but it certainly is not a 5-star one. I should have taken the 1-star review more seriously (the one that says this could have been a blog article). And, in view of that, I have decided to rate this book a 1-star also, just so people can have a more balanced view. The reality might have been a 2-star. But, would I recommend this book? No.
- This book is a example textbook for people who want to know how to extend 2-3 articles into a full-blown book with a) recount of stories to play out a scenario or example, b) repetition of a simple idea 2-3x everywhere, c) an amiable / long-winded style (or maybe the stories are just not very engaging to me... Malcolm Gladwell is engaging to me if you ask me...).
For example, repeat an example in the main content, repeat it in a conversation/story, and repeat it again in illustration.
“Hey, how did you like the Whole-brain child Book”?” Tom asked.
“I was kind of looking forward to it as a parent.” Answered Amy.
“You sound disappointed.” Tom asked.
“Yea, especially when the book came highly recommended on Amazon and it also seemed to be backed by science.” Amy explained.
"Oh, come on, it's just a book." Tom said.
"Hmm, the thing is... I might not have bought it or would have chosen another book if I knew it was that huge of an expectation gap."
"So, you didn't like the book because you feel it wasted you time."
(I am just playing… but, I hope you get the idea).
- The book does have some scientific backing for 10-20% of the brain stuff. But, if you are expecting this book to tell you some of the latest scientific tips and tricks to raise a kid, then you will be very disappointed
- I would suggest readers start by reading the introduction, jump to the conclusion, and take a picture / some notes of the refrigerator list - that’s the 20% of content that contributed 80% of the book. And, if you enjoy reading a really repetitive book, then buy it.
On a more serious note, I do have some questions after reading this book:
1) Too much of the strategies in this book relies on caretakers to help their children a) to think, and not just feel, b) the structure of the brain (e.g., left, right, up, down, or the “wheel” of focus points), and c) the notion that there has to be parents who have to be whole to be able to raise a whole-brain child.
2) Too many sunny-days scenarios. It would have been nice to mention some of the pitfalls of common parenting tactics, like the use of rewards and disincentives (aka. “punishment”) and discuss them with research findings.
3) There are NO real life examples of who’s whole-brain, hence it makes me wonder why this strategy is a sound one. Yes, it’s important to be balanced physically and mental and as an individual as well as a community member.
I don’t know, maybe this book aims to be too “amiable”, whereas I’m trying to be analytical. But, I thought that’s what science should be - Critical and Empirical. No?
P.s., this book also reminded me of a “bad” / “amiable” writer I found on Fiverr, who likes to repeat the same thing at least 2-3 times with a paragraph... And, I thought that was undesirable. But, this book taught me that I should have been more understanding and patient but reject the order anyways...
- the extraversion spectrum
Where a child is extroverted/introverted or in between is going to have a major impact on how they experience the world, and how parents handle them. Like *major* impact. And yet the book only mentions the word 'introversion' once, commits the common fallacy that introversion is synonymous with shyness (it's not), and doesn't go into any depth at all about what introversion and extroversion actually are.
In my opinion this is a significant flaw of the book, and I hope if the authors ever put out another addition that they include detail on this topic, because it's something that almost no parent understands about their children.
Otherwise, the rest of it is great.
North American accent as I was reading it... too much waffle and seemed repetitive. I could have read a summary of points instead of wasting time reading the whole book.
I’ve referred back to it a few times to remind myself of the key points and I suspect I’ll be doing so for many years to come.