So I had no idea that when I set out to do a blog series about The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson — that I would write 20 posts on the topic. But that’s exactly what happened. And that’s how my brain tends to learn…read it, write it, teach it. And here we are at post #20, the final in this series.
I know I will return time and time again to this book on my blog, but for now, I’m going to bring this series to a close with some final thoughts. And as I do that, let me begin with what I think are very, very, very important closing words from the authors:
“You can see how passionately we believe in the positive impact parents can have on their children and on society as a whole. There’s nothing more important you can do as a parent than to be intentional about the way you’re shaping your child’s mind. What you do matters profoundly.
That being said, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. We’ve emphasized the importance of taking advantage of the moments you have with your kids, but it’s not realistic to think you can do this 100 percent of the time. The point is to remain aware of the daily opportunities to nurture your kids’ development. But that doesn’t mean you have to be constantly talking about the brain or repeatedly prodding your children to recall significant events in their lives. It’s just as important to relax and have fun together. And yes, sometimes it’s even okay to let a teachable moment pass by.
…It’s not your responsibility to avoid all mistakes, any more than you’re supposed to remove all obstacles your children face. Instead, your job is to be present with your children and connect with them through the ups and downs of life’s journey.” (pp. 148-149).
The goal of parenting is not to be perfect by an stretch of the imagination. But a goal of every parent should be to be intentionally and consistently engaged in the lives of our kids in a meaningful way — not just there — but really present.
I have absolutely loved this book, and I am not overstating the case when I tell you that this book has been paradigm shifting for me in many ways. In my parenting. In my marriage. In my relationships. In my work with clients. In my speaking. In my writing. And most importantly in me. And actually, the shift needed to start with me before I could begin to make the changes in the relationships around me.
So I encourage you as a parent to first read the book with you in mind. How will you let what you learn impact your life. And as it does that, how will you then take what you have learned, and what has already impacted you, and then apply it in your parenting and beyond.
I highly recommend the book and I hope you enjoy the process.
To help assist you in your reading of the book I have also compiled the 19 others posts that I wrote on The Whole-Brain Child. Each of the 12 strategies is included as well as some other key information in the book.
The Whole-Brain Child Blogging Series
[in order from the first to last post written]
My Experiment in Learning and Implementing ‘The Whole-Brain Child Approach’ to Parenting
The Whole-Brain Child: Parents, How is Your Brain Functioning?
Parenting with the Brain in Mind (Our Kid’s and Ours)
Brain Plasticity: In What Ways Are You Molding Your Child’s Brain?
Brain Integration: Finding the Balance Between Chaos and Rigidity
Whole-Brain Strategy #1: “Connect and Redirect: Surfing Emotional Waves”
Whole-Brain Strategy #2: “Name it to Tame It: Telling Stories to Calm Big Emotions”
Revisiting Strategy #2 of The Whole-Brain Child
Whole-Brain Child Strategy #3: “Engage, Don’t Enrage: Appealing to the Upstairs Brain”
Using the Hand Model of the Brain with Your Kids
Whole-Brain Child Strategy #4: “Use it or Lose It: Exercising the Upstairs Brain
Whole-Brain Child Strategy #5: “Move it or Lose It: Moving the Body to Avoid Losing the Mind”
Whole-Brain Child Strategy #6: “Use the Remote of the Mind: Replaying Memories”
Whole-Brain Child Strategy #7: “Remember to Remember: Making Recollection a Part of Your Family’s Daily Life”
Whole-Brain Child Strategy #8: “Let the Cloud of Emotions Roll By: Teaching that Feelings Come and Go”
Whole-Brain Child Strategy #9: “SIFT: Paying Attention to What’s Going on Inside”
Whole-Brain Child Strategy #10: “Exercise Mindsight: Getting Back into the Hub”
Whole-Brain Child Strategy #11: “Increase the Family Fun Factor: Making a Point to Enjoy Each Other
Whole-Brain Child Strategy #12: “Connection Through Conflict: Teach Kids to Argue with a ‘We’ in Mind