17 Apr Book Review: The Whole-Brain Child
If you enjoy reading, it is likely that you already understand the therapeutic nature of a good book. At Bliss Counselling, we also recognize the power of reading and the numerous benefits that books provide for us. Reading can encourage individual growth, develop or strengthen empathy, teach us better ways of interacting with the world, or provide much-needed support in difficult times. Below is my review of a recent book recommended to me from Bliss therapist Jenna Luelo!
The Whole−Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel M.D., and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.
What It’s About
The book provides 12 revolutionary strategies to nurture a child’s developing mind.
Why You Should Read It
I think this book is great for any parent, caregiver or anyone who has an interest in learning more about the developing brain! As a parent, it can be challenging when we are confronted the strong emotions from our children. I enjoyed this book because I believe that it helps us to interpret what is happening in a child’s mind when they are experiencing extreme emotions such as fear or anger. It is a fantastic reminder that sometimes a child is not able to connect their “upstairs brain” (reasoning skills) with their more intense emotions.
Each chapter in the book describes twelve revolutionary strategies that can be used with children. Below is a link to a quick guide outlining each strategy mentioned in the book:
“Imagine a peaceful river running through the countryside. That’s your river of well-being. Whenever you’re in the water, peacefully floating along in your canoe, you feel like you’re generally in a good relationship with the world around you. You have a clear understanding of yourself, other people, and your life. You can be flexible and adjust when situations change. You’re stable and at peace. Sometimes, though, as you float along, you veer too close to one of the river’s two banks. This causes different problems, depending on which bank you approach. One bank represents chaos, where you feel out of control. Instead of floating in the peaceful river, you are caught up in the pull of tumultuous rapids, and confusion and turmoil rule the day. You need to move away from the bank of chaos and get back into the gentle flow of the river. But don’t go too far, because the other bank presents its own dangers. It’s the bank of rigidity, which is the opposite of chaos. As opposed to being out of control, rigidity is when you are imposing control on everything and everyone around you. You become completely unwilling to adapt, compromise, or negotiate. Near the bank of rigidity, the water smells stagnant, and reeds and tree branches prevent your canoe from flowing in the river of well-being. So one extreme is chaos, where there’s a total lack of control. The other extreme is rigidity, where there’s too much control, leading to a lack of flexibility and adaptability. We all move back and forth between these two banks as we go through our days—especially as we’re trying to survive parenting. When we’re closest to the banks of chaos or rigidity, we’re farthest from mental and emotional health. The longer we can avoid either bank, the more time we spend enjoying the river of well-being. Much of our lives as adults can be seen as moving along these paths—sometimes in the harmony of the flow of well-being, but sometimes in chaos, in rigidity, or zigzagging back and forth between the two. Harmony emerges from integration. Chaos and rigidity arise when integration is blocked.”
Written by Jill Stroeder