By Leslie Lindsay
Every now and then a really fantastic parenting publication pops up, THE WHOLE-BRAIN CHILD WORKBOOK, a companion to the New York Times bestselling book of the same title is one of those. Internationally acclaimed neuropsychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and brain-based parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. have createda workbook to help parents understand the science behind their child’s developing mind and survive theeveryday parenting struggles that accompany each stage of growth.The Whole-Brain Child Workbook contains dozen of practical age-specific exercises and activities to address today’s parenting conflicts: siblings, screen time, homework, and so much more.
It’s a workbook, so there are places for parents/guardians to answer questions, problem-solve ideas, and more. This can be accomplished in a group setting (hey–why not organize a summer parent discussion group), on your own in small increments each day, or as an ambitious direct read-thru. I really loved the simple language, the pen-and-line drawings, and practical tips.
Here are a few features and 12- “whole-brain” strategies for parents, grandparents, caregivers, clinicians, educators, and more:
• Name It to Tame It
• Engage Don’t Enrage
• Move It Or Lose It
• SIFT (sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts)
Here’s a wonderful excerpt from the book:
How to Increase the Family Fun Factory
[Excerpted from The Whole-Brain Child Workbook by Daniel Siegel, M.D., and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., Ó PESI Publishing, 2015].
“Laughter, being silly, and having fun with your kids is one simple way of switching the mood when everyone is feeling overly reactive. Of course children need boundaries and structure, but “playful parenting” and positive experiences as a family add more to your child’s life and development than you may be aware of:
- Prepares children for relationships
- Encourages connection with others
- Offers positive reinforcement about being in a loving relationship
- Reinforces positive and healthy desires as dopamine is released from the reward system in connection with enjoying family relationships (i.e., fun and play is a reward)
- Reinforces bonds between parent and child
- Improves sibling relationships
- Helps to shift negative emotions
- Improves child’s receptivity, reduces reactivity
- Reduces power struggles and encourages cooperation!
Of course we all have busy lives, and responsibilities outside of family time are often very important. But if you ever feel like the bulk of your time with your kids is spent correcting behavior – or just “managing” them until you can make it to bedtime – stop and ask yourself, “How much fun are we having together as a family”? If the answer to that falls into the category of “not enough,” how do you think you could be more intentional about enjoying your time with your kids? What could you do so that having fun with them is at the front of your awareness more often?
Now think about that question from the perspective of your kids. What do you think they would say about how they feel about family time? Would they say they got a boost of dopamine – a sense of excitement, pleasure, or interest – when the family is together? Do they get excited about family time? Do you think they’d say that there’s more tension and fighting than fun? Will they grow up knowing that, even though no one was perfect and even though there was conflict at times, you had plenty of fun together as a family?
Remember, family fun doesn’t mean only big events. Bedtime snuggles, fort building, even laughing at corny jokes together can all be moments that bring your family together and help your children build those relationship skills we mentioned earlier.
Your assignment this week? Brainstorm some ideas of ways you can bring even more fun and laughter into your family time. It might have to do with setting up a weekly game night, or getting out a joke book your kids love at dinner, or going for a bike ride, or buying tickets to the circus that’s in town. Whatever comes to mind—just brainstorm some ideas for increasing the family fun factor!”
…And now for the give-a-way: for a chance to WIN a FREE copy of THE WHOLE-BRAIN CHILD WORKBOOK, send me a comment here on the blog, or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) indicating you shared this post via social media. All you have to say is, “I Shared!” That’s it. Name will be chosen by random on 6.30.15. Open to U.S. residents only. You will be contacted via email if you are the winner. Kindly check (and respond promptly) to your junk/other/spam folder should my message end up there.
**** Caroline S.!! ****
[Thanks to ALL who entered the give-a-way. This contest is now closed. If you are interested in THE WHOLE-BRAIN CHILD WORKBOOK, and were not a winner, please visit www.go.pesi.com/wbcw and enter code: child for 20% off and FREE shipping]
About the Authors:
Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and completed his postgraduate medicaal education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry. He is currently a clinical professor ofpsychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, founding co-director of UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, coinvestigator at the UCLA Center for Culture, Brain and Development, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute. Dr. Siegel’s psychotherapy practice spans 25 years and he has published extensively for the professional audience. Dr.Siegel’s books include three New York Times bestsellers: Brainstorm, The Whole-Brain Child (with Tina Payne Bryson,Ph.D.), and his latest No-Drama Discipline (with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.), along with Mindsight; Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology; The Developing Mind, Second Edition; The Mindful Therapist; The Mindful Brain; andParenting from the Inside Out (with Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.). He has been invited to lecture for the King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Google University, and TEDx. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. For more information about his educational programs and resources, please visit drdansiegel.com.
Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.,is the co-author (with Dan Siegel) of two New York Times Best Sellers: The Whole-BrainChild and No-Drama Discipline. She is a pediatric and adolescent psychotherapist, the Director of Parenting for the Mindsight Institute, and the Child Development Specialist at Saint Mark’s School in Altadena, CA. She keynotes conferences and conducts workshops for parents, educators, and clinicians all over the world. Dr. Bryson earned her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, where her research explored attachment science, childrearing theory, and the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology. You can learn more about her at TinaBryson.com, where you can subscribe to her blog and read her articles about kids and parenting.
[Special thanks to PRbytheBook. Author images retrieved from author websites; cover image courtesy of PRbythebook, family fun image from commons.wikimedia.org on 6.22.15. Winner graphic retrieved from http://www.piggypaint.com on 6.30.15]