The Whole Brain Child: super duper parenting (and life) skills
I finished The Whole Brain Child today. It took me a while because I didn't want to rush through it like I often do, but even now I think I must go back and look it over again. It's a book I'll be reading every year.
I'd love to start a book club with parents around here (or over the net?) reading through it and discussing our parenting together. Even more, I'd love to do a course and run workshops for parents using their approaches.
I've photocopied all the little cartoon pages which help kids understand their brains and I'm going to work on making some scrap books and joint journals for my boys using the material.
Here are just a few quotes from it that jumped out at me today.
"Too often we forget that 'discipline' really means 'to teach' - not 'to punish'. A disciple is a student, not a recipient of behavioural consequences... we take moments of conflict and transform them into opportunities for learning, skill building and brain development."
"While it's not exactly a revelation that kids do better when they enjoy strong relationships with their parents, what may surprise you is what produces this kind of parent-child connection. It's not how our parents raised us or how many parenting books we've read. It's actually how well we've made sense of our experiences with our own parents and how sensitive we are to our children that most powerfully influence our relationship with our kids, and therefore how well they thrive... When we have a coherent life narrative, we have made sense of how the past has contributed to who we are and what we do."
"Research shows that even adults who experienced less-than-optimal childhoods can parent every bit as effectively, and raise children who feel just as loved and securely attached, as those whose home life was more consistent and loving. It's never too late to begin working on your coherent life narrative and as you do, your children will reap the rewards."
"If you really get the concept of this book at its essence, you'll see that it can liberate you from your fears that you're not doing a good enough job with your kids. It's not your responsibility to avoid all mistakes, any more than you're supposed to remove all obstacles your children face. Instead, your job is to be present with your children and connect with them through the ups and downs of life."