BC Counsellor - Fall 2014 - (Page 7)

Book Review The Whole Brain Child By Daniel J. Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD Raising children to realize their greatest potential is the ultimate goal of parents. Yet, the task is more difficult than any couple could ever imagine prior to having children. In The Whole Brain Child, Siegel and Bryson use neuroscience to take the reader into the mind of children (and adults, too, if truth be known) to unravel instincts and explain behaviours. Every set of parents with two or more children knows that even though the parents remain the same, each child manifests their own individuality and no two are the same. One child may be easy to parent and the next child very difficult. Does this mean that parents are powerless in the face of the genetics of their children? Certainly not, say the authors. This book helps guide parents into a depth of understanding what is going on in the brains of their children and how to tap into that activity to steer children in a new direction. We are not stuck in our circumstances, but without knowledge, we are not likely to make successful changes. Brain changes are the greatest in younger children, but neuroplasticity is viable at any age making the strategies offered in this book valuable to everyone. Each chapter focuses on a different relational function and offers strategies and pointers to help parents navigate rough patches and re-direct into healthy growth. Siegel and Bryson begin by exploring the difference between thriving and surviving, and how to guide our children into situations to help their brains develop and wire in healthy patterns, thus offering a way to thrive rather than just survive. The rest of the book focuses on integration - right and left hemispheres; frontal lobes and emotion; building memory - finally taking us to building boundaries by integrating the self with others. Each chapter features a snappy saying to help busy parents remember and for those who still lose information there is a pull-out refrigerator page. An example of these mnemonics is "name it to tame it," which reminds us to teach our children words for all their emotions while treating these emotions just as what they are, brain-based reactions to environmental changes. This book is just as valuable to counselors as it is to parents, as the neuroscience presented is just as valid when applied to older children (or yes, even adults) as to younger. Brain changes are the greatest in younger children, but neuroplasticity is viable at any age making the strategies offered in this book valuable to everyone. When we work with others to help them make changes in their lives, an understanding of how brains react to changes is always useful information. This book is a great one to read then keep handy on a shelf nearby. Is there a book on your reading list? Have you read a book you would like to share with your colleagues? Contributions to the book review are always welcome. We will even buy you a book to review! Contact the Editor, Barbara Zang, at bcsca.editor@gmail.com with the title of your book. Wait for your free book to arrive in the mail, read it, and write a review for this magazine. BC Counsellor | Winter/Fall 2014 | www.bcschoolcounsellor.com 7 http://www.bcschoolcounsellor.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BC Counsellor - Fall 2014

President’s Perspective
The Fine Print
Book Review
Empowering Others, Empowering Ourselves
Counsellor Compassion Fatigue: How to Find Balance
Go Ahead – ‘Waste’ a Day
Stress and Children’s Self-Regulation
More Than a Yoga Butt!
Index to Advertisers

BC Counsellor - Fall 2014