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The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind Paperback – September 11, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


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

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, co-director of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, he is the co-author of Parenting from the Inside Out and the author of Mindsight and the internationally acclaimed professional texts The Mindful Brain and The Developing Mind. Dr. Siegel keynotes conferences and presents workshops throughout the world. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.
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.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780553386691
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553386691
  • ASIN: 0553386697
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (466 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

322 of 337 people found the following review helpful By Bradley Bevers VINE VOICE on September 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a new parent, I am just beginning to read up child development, discipline, and parenting. This short book gets right to the point and gives parents twelve key strategies that will help them parent their kids without losing it. The twelve strategies are:

1: Connect and Redirect: Connect emotionally, redirect logically

2: Name It To Tame It: Taming emotions through storytelling

3: Engage, Don't Enrage: Appeal to logic and planning, not to emotion

4: Use It Or Lose It: Encourage planning, thinking, and other left-brain activities

5: Move It Or Lose It: Body over mind method to restore balance

6: Use The Remote Of The Mind: Teaching your child to view his/her memories while maintaining control

7: Remember To Remember: Exercise memory often

8: Let The Clouds of Emotion Roll By: Teaching your kids about temporary feelings

9: SIFT: Using sensation, image, feeling, and thought to help your child understand

10: Exercise Mindsight: Focusing with your mind (For more on this, see one of the author's other books, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

11: Increase The Family Fun Factor: The science behind building in fun family times

12: Connect Through Conflict: Turning conflict into opportunity

Some of the things I really liked about this book include:

* Cartoon explanations and demonstrations of each point. Very helpful.

* Break down at the end of each chapter for kids.
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181 of 189 people found the following review helpful By reg on September 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Whole-Brain Child was so much more than I was expecting. I selected it because my daughter was going through some struggles with her 2 year old twins and my other daughter's 4 year old went through several weeks of separation from his mom and dad and now has to adjust to life with twin brothers. I was looking for things I might be able to do or to pass on to them that might help. What I wasn't expecting was getting some insight into why I feel it necessary to have dessert after a meal or why I have some of the anxieties I have.

I found the book easy to read and understand. There are many specific examples of how each technique can be used. I found these examples to be very useful. Most seems to be directed toward school-age children, but the back of the book has a chart that breaks down how to use each strategy with different age groups. There is 0 - 3, 3 - 6, 6 - 9, and 9 - 12. This makes it easier to see how each technique can be used with the children in your life.

Integrating the brain makes sense, especially the way it is explained here. We have a right brain (emotional) and a left brain (logical) and when we use both our lives are more balanced, meaningful, and creative. We also have an upstairs and a downstairs brain. Downstairs is the more primitive brain, which is intact at birth. The upstairs brain is under construction during childhood and gets remodeled during adolescence. Upstairs can be overtaken by the downstairs especially during high-emotion situations. When we "lose it", our downstairs has taken over. There are also different kinds of memories that need to be integrated as well as self and others. In general, this book is about integrating all the different parts of our brain.
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201 of 212 people found the following review helpful By Ready Mommy on April 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson's "The Whole Brain Child" fails to deliver on the titular promise of "revolutionary" parenting strategies to "truly help your kids be happier, healthier, and more fully themselves"; it does, however, provide innovative and effective explanations, packaging, and delivery of many tried-and-true parenting techniques that turn out to be neuroscientifically based.

The first four chapters are the love child of the Johns - Medina's "Brain Rules for Baby" and Gottman's "Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child." Like Medina, Siegel and Bryson show great talent for breaking down complex science into readily understandable terms (they even surpass him when explaining implicit memory). Yet whereas Medina carefully limits himself to truly definitive (i.e., research-backed) conclusions, Siegel and Bryson - like Gottman - go further, using available data as a theoretical springboard for vaunting specific, mostly emotion-related practices. The following seven strategies result: (1) "Connect and Redirect: [Helping Kids Learn to Surf] Emotional Waves"; (2) "Name It to Tame It: Telling Stories to Calm Big Emotions"; (3) "Engage, Don't Enrage: Appealing to the Upstairs Brain"; (4) "Use It or Lose It: Exercising the Upstairs Brain"; (5) "Move It or Lose It: Moving the Body to Avoid Losing the Mind"; (6) "Use the Remote of the Mind: Replaying Memories"; and (7) "Remember to Remember: Making Recollection a Part of Your Family's Daily Life."

The fifth and sixth chapters, however, throw a little of Susan Stiffelman's "Parenting Without Power Struggles" into the mix, offering child therapy techniques and explaining why they work through the prism of brain science.
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