The authors connect their work to research on brain development from birth to mid-twenties, while maintaining the reader's interest by providing real-life examples, funny analogies, cartoon like diagrams and charts. I appreciated that the authors acknowledged that there are various ways to deal with any one situation and that sometimes parents/teachers don't have to, and shouldn't, negotiate with their child.
A new piece of learning for me was observing, understanding and identifying the types of tantrum a child is having. The author explains two different types of tantrums, downstairs and upstairs tantrums (Siegel & Bryson, 2012, p. 44-46). In a nutshell the downstairs tantrum, which we often witness from young children, is a tantrum that is consumed by emotion. During this type of tantrum a child needs an adult to sooth them, calm them with gentleness, and generally let it run its course. An upstairs tantrum is calculated and used specifically to gain something. The person throwing the tantrum is in control of this type of tantrum. The quote below is one of my favorites from the book:
An upstairs tantrum occurs when a child essentially decides to throw a fit….She is able to control her emotions and body, to be logical and make good decisions. A parent who recognizes an upstairs tantrum is left with one clear response: never negotiate with a terrorist. (Siegel & Bryson, 2012, p.45)
The authors provide twelve different strategies for helping children develop their brains to their full potential, especially when dealing with strong emotions. The strategies vary from connecting the left-right brain, upstairs-downstairs brain, memory recollection to gain understanding, and building positive relationships. The book provides ideas that parents/teachers can use to discuss brain development with the children at various levels and stages of life. They also have a quick guide at the back of the book on how to incorporate each strategy at various ages, 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12. I created the Printable Infographic below that compiles six strategies that may help specifically really young children, which I presented to our early learning educators, but I have used the some of the other strategies with my 9 year old.
This book is an excellent resource and a quick read - a resource worth having!!!