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Summary: The Whole Brain Child

The Whole Brain Child by Dr. Daniel Siegel and Dr Tina Payne Bryson is consistently listed as a must-read for all parents. Its premise is reasonably unique within the parenting field, given its particular focus on brain development and scientific studies and research on the brain, related to a child's development. The book outlines 12 particular strategies for parents and is a great read that is not too difficult to digest despite its scientific basis. 

Two key takeaways that are very useful for parents are:

1. When your child is having a tantrum / melt down, the "upstairs" part of their brain is not available. The upstairs part of the brain is where we show empathy, make decisions, have self control etc. Therefore, we need to wait for the child to calm down or help them calm down before we start to rationalise with them. 

2. Similarly, when your child is upset or having a tantrum, we need to connect to the right brain first i.e. connect with empathy. Then, once they are more receptive and have calmed down, redirect with the left brain, which governs logic and reason. Redirect does not mean distract. It means to involve the child in coming up with a solution together or making amends.

I came across this very succinct summary of the book which is excellent from The Montessori Notebook, which I am sharing here:

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