Your toddler throws a tantrum in the middle of a store. Your preschooler refuses to get dressed. Your eleven-year-old sulks on the bench instead of playing on the field. Do children conspire to make their parents’ lives endlessly challenging? No — it’s just their developing brain calling the shots.
In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson demystify the meltdowns and aggravation, explaining the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures. The ‘upstairs brain’, which makes decisions and balances emotions, is under construction until the mid-twenties. And especially in young children, the right brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain.
By applying these discoveries to everyday parenting, you can turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain and foster vital growth. With clear explanations, age-appropriate strategies for dealing with day-to-day struggles, and illustrations that will help you explain these concepts to your child, The Whole-Brain Child shows you how to cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development so that your children can lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives.
‘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.’
Dr Harvey Karp, bestselling author of The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block
View all reviews
‘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, PhD, 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, PhD, 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 recognise 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, PhD
‘Strategies for getting a youngster to chill out [with] compassion.’
The Washington Post
‘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.’
‘The authors include a fair amount of brain science, but they present it for both adult and child audiences … They suggest that the more we know about how the human brain operates, the more we can do to control it in difficult times … [A] useful child-rearing resource for the entire family’
‘Gives parents and teachers ideas to get all parts of a healthy child’s brain working together.’
Parent to Parent