Monday, June 11, 2012

Parenting Books

At the moment there is one book in particular that I have to talk about if you're at all interested in parenting books!  I think all parents (and teachers) should read this book -- it is well-written and easy to relate to.  The Whole Brain Child, by Daniel Siegel, takes brain research and applies it to kids and their emotions.  He and his writing partner, Tina Payne Bryson, use specific examples of parenting issues such as tantrums to show not only how you can help your child re-group but also how you can use the moments to re-connect.

iPad Screenshot via Kindle

I realize as soon as I write the words "brain research" some people may be immediately turned off, thinking it's too heavy in doctor/psychologist speak, but in reality it is quite the opposite.  Siegel and Bryson break down the important aspects of brain research and apply them in an everyday way that doesn't dumb down the material, but makes it completely accessible.  They include specific strategies you can use to help children fully develop their brains and to integrate the parts of their brains.  They even use illustrations that may be useful in helping your child with those big emotions that occur when our brain isn't "integrated".  

Siegel explains that young brains are constantly being rewired and that the different experiences we offer them will wire it in different ways.  This brain research shows that our parenting directly affects and shapes a child's brain.  I am so excited by how transformational this research can be for parenting and educating!  On the one hand there are many parent-child interactions that feel natural and innate which now have brain research to back up why they work.  And on the other hand, there are some great strategies you can learn that approach parenting a little differently than our own parents may have.  

I highly recommend it to anyone who interacts with kids, as it gives me hope that we can continue to help raise emotionally intelligent young people who are ready for the world.

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