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The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
You’ve had those days, right? When the sleep deprivation, the muddy cleats, the peanut butter on the new jacket, the homework battles, the Play-Doh in your computer keyboard, and the refrains of “She started it!” leave you counting the minutes until bedtime. On these days, when you (again?!!) have to pry a raisin from a nostril, it seems like the most you can hope for is to survive.
However, when it comes to your children, you’re aiming a lot higher than mere survival. Of course you want to get through those diɽcult tantrum-in-the-restaurant moments. But whether you’re a parent or other committed caregiver in a child’s life, your ultimate goal is to raise kids in a way that lets them thrive. You want them to enjoy meaningful relationships, be caring and compassionate, do well in school, work hard and be responsible, and feel good about who they are.
We’ve met with thousands of parents over the years. When we ask them what matters most to them, versions of these two goals almost always top the list. They want to survive diɽcult parenting moments, and they want their kids and their family to thrive. As parents ourselves, we share these same goals for our own families. In our nobler, calmer, saner moments, we care about nurturing our kids’ minds, increasing their sense of wonder, and helping them reach their potential in all aspects of life. But in the more frantic, stressful, bribe-the-toddler-into-the-car-seat-so-we-can-rush-to-the-soccer-game moments, sometimes all we can hope for is to avoid yelling or hearing someone say, “You’re so mean!
Take a moment and ask yourself: What do you really want for your children? What qualities do you hope they develop and take into their adult lives? Most likely you want them to be happy, independent, and successful. You want them to enjoy fulɹlling relationships and live a life full of meaning and purpose. Now think about what percentage of your time you spend intentionally developing these qualities in your children. If you’re like most parents, you worry that you spend too much time just trying to get through the day (and sometimes the next ɹve minutes) and not enough time creating experiences that help your children thrive, both today and in the future.
You might even measure yourself against some sort of perfect parent who never struggles to survive, who seemingly spends every waking second helping her children thrive. You know, the PTA president who cooks organic, well-balanced meals while reading to her kids in Latin about the importance of helping others, then escorts them to the art museum in the hybrid that plays classical music and mists lavender aromatherapy through the airconditioning vents. None of us can match up to this imaginary superparent. Especially when we feel like a large percentage of our days are spent in full-blown survival mode, where we ɹnd ourselves wild-eyed and red-faced at the end of a birthday party, shouting, “If there’s one more argument over that bow and arrow, nobody’s getting any presents!
If any of this sounds familiar, we’ve got great news for you: the moments you are just trying to survive are actually opportunities to help your child thrive. At times you may feel that the loving, important moments (like having a meaningful conversation about compassion or character) are separate from the parenting challenges (like ɹghting another homework battle or dealing with another meltdown). But they are not separate at all. When your child is disrespectful and talks back to you, when you are asked to come infor a meeting with the principal, when you ɹnd crayon scribbles all over your wall: these are survive moments, no question about it. But at the same time, they are opportunities—even gifts—because a survive moment is also a thrive moment, where the important, meaningful work of parenting takes place.
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Book info The Whole-Brain Child
|Book Title: The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind|
|Author: Siegel, Daniel J.|
|Category: Parenting – Childen’s Books|
|Pages: 225 Pages|