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4.8 out of 5 stars92
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 10 April 2014
This book saved both my life and my baby

Coming from an abused childhood this book and another from the same author helped understand my self and to understand my baby girl.

I cannot express how it changed my life, my views and perceptive of parenting changed dramatically to the best.
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on 18 July 2014
As a social worker working with adopters I recommend it as the number 1 manual for caring for children who have attachment difficulties and associated behavioural problems. Easy to read and fabulous cartoon illustrations.
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on 29 March 2012
This is the first book solely dedicated to parenting that I have read. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I have found it extremely beneficial on a number of fronts.
Firstly, as a parent, the book has equipped me with numerous useful strategies for dealing with survive moments and helping my children develop into well rounded, confident people who understand both their own feelings and those of others.
Secondly, the sections for kids are ingenious in my opinion. I have shared them with my four and five year olds and they "get" them. Much of the vocabulary from the book is now integrated into our every day family conversations. The kids are learning to see signs before they flip their lids. Even if they have gone past the point of no return and do flip their lids, once things have calmed down and they are rational again, they want to discuss the incident and learn from it. They are also happy to tell my husband and me when we have flipped our lids and when we are not in the centre of our rivers of wellbeing!
Thirdly, we are all now using mindsight to help us understand how others are feeling.
Discussions about our actions, our feelings and the feelings of others bring us closer together and help us to grow as individuals and as a family. Its a thoroughly useful book for parents and families.
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Really works. And explains things in a way that makes highly complex neurobiological processes accessible to the lay person. Daniel Siegal is the genius and pioneering writer./researcher in to the neurobiology of Attachment.

Attachment is all the rage, these days, amongst anyone interested in child rearing. But getting a real grip on what is happening in the brain of you infant, toddler, child and teenager - and how to "emotion coach" them in to better states, is something that has rarely been explained well.

It is all about recognizing that emotion high-jack the right brain and flood the child's system. The only way to negotiate this successfully as a parent (teacher etc), is to use empathy to speak to the child's right brain and then, once you have formed a connection and created a degree of calm to begin to activate the left part of the child's brain. This is the part of the brain that deals with logic and language and reason.

A really, really important and true - Neuroscience based - guidebook for all parents and people who work with children in how to teach better emotional regulation, increase executive function and modify affect - AND ALL WITHOUT USING ANY OF THOSE BIG FANCY WORDS!
0Comment38 of 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
As a father of three sons and a daughter and one of the grandfathers of their ten children, I can certainly understand what Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson have in mind while discussing moments of extreme stress for parents when their children become infuriating and intolerable. That is why I was intrigued by their explanation of the power of the "whole-brain approach" during all manner of touchpoints in parent-child relationships. That power is especially helpful in "the moments you are just trying to survive" because it creates "opportunities to help your child to thrive." In fact, the 12 strategies that Siegal and Bryson recommend can be effective for almost [begin italics] anyone [end italics] who has direct and frequent contact with children, including teachers, coaches, and clergy as well as parents and other relatives.

In fact, with only minor modification, I think they can be beneficial to interactive relationships between and among adults, especially to those within a workplace.

"What's great about this survive-and-thrive approach is that you don't have to try to carve out special time to help your children thrive. You can use [begin italics] all [end italics] of the interactions you share - the stressful, angry ones as well as the miraculous, adorable ones - as opportunities to help them become the responsible, caring, capable people you want them to be. That's what this book is about: using those everyday moments with your kids to help them reach their true potential."

These are among the passages that caught my eye:

o Integration of Various Mental Domains (Pages 6-10)
o Get in the Flow: Navigating the Waters Between Chaos and Rigidity (10-13)
o Left Brain, Right Brain: An Introduction (15-16)
o Two Halves Make a Whole: Combining the Left and the Right (18-22)
o The Mental Staircase: Integrating the Upstairs and Downstairs Brain (38-41)
o Integrating Ourselves: Using Our Own Mental Staircase (64-65)
o Integrating Implicit and Explicit: Assembling the Puzzle Pieces of the Mind (76-86)
o Mindsight and the Wheel of Awareness (93-97)
o Integrating Ourselves: Looking at Our Own Wheel of Awareness (117-118)
o Laying the Groundwork for Connection: Creating Positive Mental Models (125-127)
o Cultivating a "Yes" State of Mind: Helping Kids Be Receptive to Relationships (129-133)
o Integrating Ourselves: Making Sense of Our Own Story (143-144)

Note: I urge you to check out another of Siegal's books, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, in which Mindsight and the Wheel of Awareness are among the subjects discussed.

Readers will appreciate Siegal and Bryson's skillful use of "What You Can Do" sections throughout their narrative that serve several purposes, notably focusing on key points while suggesting specific initiatives to apply what has been learned from the given material. For example, "What You Can Do: Helping Your Child Work from Both Sides of the Brain" (Pages 22-33). Dozens of eminently appropriate illustrations were created by Tuesday Mourning.

However, no brief commentary such as mine could possibly do full justice to the scope and depth of what Siegal and Bryson cover, with eloquence as well as rigor. I have elected not to list the twelve (12) strategies because I think they are best revealed in context, within the narrative. I do presume to suggest that those who are about to read this book begin and then frequently review later the "Whole-Brain Ages and Stages" material (on Pages 154-168) because it creates a wide and deep context, a frame of reference, for the abundance of information, insights, and recommendations in the six preceding chapters and Conclusion, "Bringing It All Together. "

This book need not be read straight through (although I prefer that approach) but it should certainly be consulted frequently, hence the importance of "Whole-Brain Ages and Stages" and the Index as well as (I hope) passages of special importance that have been highlighted.

I also presume to suggest that Daniel Siegal and Tina Payne Bryson's brilliant book will be most valuable to whole-brain readers. In it, they provide what they characterize in the Introduction as "an antidote to parenting and academic approaches that overemphasize achievement and perfection at any cost." It is imperative that everyone involved directly (and even indirectly) with the development if children "understand some basics about the young brain that [they] are helping to grow and develop."
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on 7 April 2014
I was recommended to read this book to help my child deal with her anger problems. It had some useful points which I have taken away and tried to use, but I think the points could have been made in a slightly less long winded way.
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on 5 September 2015
Brilliant. Concepts and techniques can also apply to adult. I now can use the knowledge to calm myself down. My four years old son is starting a growth hormone treatment and needs one injection every night which was a fight each single time. It's now getting better with the technique I learned from this book. Some techniques will work instantly some will take some time but the important thing is I now know a powerful tool to make sure my children are developing well mentally.
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on 26 July 2015
Very easy to read book. It's not rocket science and many parents will already be using some of the methods instictively, but it does make you think about the impact our parenting has on kids and the underlying theory attached to the methods described in the book. Interesting to read and although by American authors it does apply to us all. as a teacher I also found this interesting and will bear in mind much of what I read when working in my classroom.
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on 7 June 2014
A long time coming. So many parents will find this book useful to understand how to communicate with their children. The writing is clear, but also so simple and forward thinking. Making the healthy mind a central requirement for well being in a child. The healthy brain platter, is such a brilliant concept explaining how the basics of sufficient sleep, water, nutrition, exercise, play, human interaction and having fun has to be in place for a healthy child. He describes how the brain creates more neural pathways if you ensure that these cornerstones are met. It is the total opposite to the pushy parent syndrome, but a way to create a healthy, happy brain and child. Thank you!
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on 5 March 2015
I haven't finished reading this book yet but what I have read is fantastic. The author makes brain science very accessible to understand and gives down to earth tips on how to explain things to children. I wish I'd read this book before I had my children but then I can see that I did lots right too.
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