May 28, 2015

The Whole Brain Child Review

This article was authored by Beck Lambert, Guest Blogger and Parent.

The last 6 years of my life have been a steep and intense learning curve as my husband and I welcomed 3 children into this world in the space of 3 and a half years. I’m in awe of the intense love these three little people have stirred in me – especially when they proudly offer up their heartfelt gifts of a crushed flower, an unrecognisable kinder-craft (made just for you) or an “I love you mum” note in that large, uneven and sloping writing that melts your heart. I’m also in awe of the feelings of frustration & helplessness these same adorable little people can invoke – there have been many times I’ve wondered if I’ve gotten in over my head with this parenting deal! During one such time not so long ago I was talking with a close friend of mine, sharing with her the challenges we were facing with one of our children. I was struggling to understand why he was behaving and reacting in certain ways, and why a seemingly mild upset was often escalating into an all-out, full-blown tantrum. She recommended The Whole Brain Child to me and I eagerly took ahold of it, hoping it could arm us with something, anything, to help us with our near-daily tantrum troubles.

What I found when reading it was that The Whole Brain Child bridges the gap between the seemingly inaccessible field of brain-science and the ordinary, every-day challenges most parents face when raising kids. It’s understandable, relatable and packed with practical examples for this non-scientific parent. I found myself reading the stories and recalling times that I had been in very similar situations with my own children – which is a very reassuring feeling.

Fast-forward 6 months in our home, and the difference in our child is noticeable. The tantrums are fewer and further between, and the blow-ups are often much less intense thanks to strategies such as “connect and redirect” and “engage, don’t enrage” that my husband and I have employed to help our complex and emotional boy master his big feelings – to not let them overwhelm him and derail our entire household as much as they once did.

The book and its strategies are not a silver bullet that have erased tantrums entirely from our home, and I’m the first to admit I don’t get it right as much as I’d like, but I’ve learnt that taking 5 minutes to tackle issues from another perspective; one that encourages me to connect with my child rather than war with him, more often than not saves exponentially more time than enduring the blow-ups of old.

The Whole Brain Child is a book that I have no doubt I’ll re-read several times and refer back to over and over again in my parenting life. I heartily recommend it to any parent or carer who seeks to understand why kids behave the way they do, and, as the book states; turn “survive moments” into “thrive moments”.

The Whole Brain Child was written by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, and published in October 2011. The author does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations. This post was not sponsored.

You can find out more about the book at the website here: http://wholebrainchild.com/

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