I recently finished reading The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience in Your Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, and I enjoyed it. It was a quick read and a nice follow-up to the other books of his that I've read.
The main lessons revolve around how to support your child in developing the 4 characteristics of a "yes" brain. The scenarios and stories in this book were very realistic and useful, and I liked the "kid versions" of the main lessons that the parent can share directly with a kid.
Yes brain 4 characteristics
1 yes brain intro
Saying no to someone makes them feel defensive and shut down
Fight flight freeze faint
Yes brain receptivity vs reactivity
Prefrontal cortex vs lower part of brain
Integration in brain (faces acronym)
Parent is external upstairs brain
2 balanced yes brain
Regulating self and emotions and body
Co-regulating to help kids stay balanced
Window of tolerance of kid before they lose it
Provide loving soothing presence
Connection. Holding. Soothing
Later talk about appropriate behavior
Sympathetic nervous system arouses and parasympathetic calms
Red, green, blue zones
Blue zone is shutting down
Brave body posture
Draw book about difficult experience for child
Integration in parent child relationship
Attune to state and offer contingent response where u respond the way child does
Connect and redirect.
Empathic facial expression
Loving understanding words
Sit in relaxed posture below child eye level and say I’m right here with you
Later talk about other strategies to try next time similar situation comes up
Still need to maintain differentiation from child
Don’t need to fix the problem in the moment
Yes brain sweet spot. Just enough linkage and differentiation
Don’t rescue and act on behalf of kids
Don’t bubble wrap kids
Don’t overschedule kids. Need to have enough sleep and unstructured time and not be grumpy
Healthy mind platter daily
3 resilient yes brain
Resilience and grit in face of setback
Build receptivity not reactivity
Allow kids to hurt sometimes
Pushin and cushion. Cushion when obstacle in fact too big for them to handle.
Teach kid to add word “yet” when can’t do something. I can’t tie my shoes yet.
Teach kid to place hand on heart and stomach to calm down
Secure attachment. 4 s’s
Teach mindsight skills. Ability to perceive own and others’ minds
Mindfulness exercise before sleep by putting hand on heart and stomach
4 insightful yes brain
Name it to tame it
I know you know you can’t hit like that so what happened
What did u feel in your body that happened
Player and spectator
Watch self feeling those feelings
Power of pause in difficult moment
First notice the fear
Look for bracelet and remember to breathe
Reframe pain. Growth mindset. Ask kid which struggle do you prefer. You get to choose your sacrifice, either extra work or losing opportunity. Show kid how to view situation as spectator.
Avoid red volcano eruption. As we get upset, our bodies respond. Don’t reach top of mountain and erupt. Ok to get upset but notice it. Pause between stimulus and response.
5 empathic yes brain
5 facets of empathy
SNAG: stimulate neuronal activation and growth
Draw attention of kid to feelings of others and why
Pause reading and movies and ask why do you think X got sad about Y. What do you think he should do?
Why do you think x is feeling sad? What can we do to help?
Fine tune empathy radar
Establish a language of empathy
That must really hurt
I don’t know what to say but that sounds really hard
Expand the circle of concern
Conclusion: rethinking success