24. The Whole-Brain Child | Daniel Siegel, Tina Bryson | PodNu Podcasts & Book Insights

At one point or another, all parents have come face-to-face with children who lose their temper inexplicably and become what adults view as unreasonable beings. A dilemma, indeed. During times like this, there is simply no way to persuade children what actions are in their best interest—that they must get ready or will be late for school or brush their teeth to ensure their ongoing dental health. Children are truly unpredictable and quick to jump to emotion. Two children may be happily playing one moment, but in the blink of an eye, they are clashing angrily over seemingly trivial matters. It is a cycle. One cries, the other “pushes buttons” to make trouble, and it repeats.

When this cycle occurs, most people become overwhelmed. They feel that if they cannot understand a child’s behavior, how could they possibly be able to solve the underlying issues? A primary issue in understanding and communication surfaces here. Most parents are familiar with their child’s body but don’t know a great deal about their child’s brain.

For example, most parents understand that a 38-degree Celsius temperature means their child has a fever and should be treated accordingly. They likely know that it is important to pay attention to their child’s posture while reading and writing to avoid myopia and other potential health issues. However, many of the same parents don’t have an inkling as to exactly where their children’s emotions come from, and why some children struggle to control their behavior. Understanding basic concepts of brain function are essential to understanding children's emotions and mental states and enabling adult parents, guardians, and others to work with them to improve troubling behaviors...

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