The Whole-Brain Child: Feelings Come and Go

Not long ago Sunshine was having a sad time.  We sat close together and I explained to her that feelings come and go.  I told her that I understood that she felt sad, and it felt like it would never end, but that we would sit together until the biggest part of the sadness passed.  She nestled in next to me and we talked quietly; before long, she began to feel better and soon we moved on with our day.

The authors of The Whole-Brain Child write that “on average, an emotion comes and goes in ninety seconds.”

The Whole-Brain Child: Memory – I Cried and Nobody Came

Eby has an extreme fear of bees; when he sees a bee, or even a fly outside, he runs into the house and refuses to go back out.  It isn’t difficult for me to understand why.

When he was 2 1/2, he followed his brother into the pasture to feed the cows, and stepped on a wasps’ nest.  The wasps swarmed him, and as we ran to help, we were all stung multiple times.

Eby had 35 stings.

It was a horrible event for all of us – in fact, just writing about it makes me recall how terrified I was.

The Whole-Brain Child: Three Steps to Regain Control

Many years ago there was a public service television ad featuring a young mom frantically trying to manage many things at once.  On the screen, her baby is crying loudly, something is boiling over on the stove, and the phone is ringing on the wall (yes, it was that many years ago).  Completely frazzled, the mother turns rapidly toward the sound of the baby wailing, and a voice says, “Take hold of yourself, before you take hold of your child.”

The Whole-Brain Child: Connect and Redirect

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This week our Book Group read Chapter 2 of, The Whole-Brain Child, Two Brains are Better Than One: Integrating the Left and the Right.  The authors explained the differences in the right and left sides of the brain, and the importance of helping our children integrate them.  They gave a fantastic explanation of the two hemispheres of the brain and how they function, that I recommend you read, but in the simplest terms, the left brain loves order and details, while the right brain cares about the big picture.  I like this quote,

“…the left brain cares about the letter of the law…As you know, as kids get older they get really good at using this left-brain thinking: ‘I didn’t shove her!  I pushed her.’ The right brain, on the other hand, cares about the spirit of the law, the emotions and experiences of relationships.  The left focuses on the text — the right is about the context.”

The Whole-Brain Child and the River of Well-Being

In 2012 I hosted a book group on my blog discussing The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind. This post is the first in a series of reflections on each chapter. I’ll post one each day this week. I hope you find them helpful! Lisa 9/24/16

Since reading Chapter 1: Parenting With the Brain in Mind , I’ve been thinking about the authors’ simple explanation of mental and emotional health as a “river of well-being.”

They describe it using the example of being in a canoe floating peacefully down the center of a river.  Life is calm, you feel good, everything is in balance.

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The river has two banks and sometimes we drift toward one or the other.