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The Whole-Brain Child

12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive
Length: 6 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,273 ratings)

Regular price: $17.49

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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Personal Development, 2013

New York Times best seller

The authors of No-Drama Discipline and The Yes Brain explain the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures in this pioneering, practical book.

“Simple, smart, and effective solutions to your child’s struggles.” (Harvey Karp, MD)

In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the best-selling Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson offer a revolutionary approach to child rearing with 12 key strategies that foster healthy brain development, leading to calmer, happier children. The authors explain - and make accessible - the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures. The “upstairs brain,” which makes decisions and balances emotions, is under construction until the mid-20's. And especially in young children, the right brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain. No wonder kids throw tantrums, fight, or sulk in silence. By applying these discoveries to everyday parenting, you can turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain and foster vital growth. 

Complete with age-appropriate strategies for dealing with day-to-day struggles, The Whole-Brain Child shows you how to cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development so that your children can lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives.

“[A] useful child-rearing resource for the entire family... The authors include a fair amount of brain science, but they present it for both adult and child audiences.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Strategies for getting a youngster to chill out [with] compassion.” (The Washington Post)

©2011 Mind Your Brain, Inc., and Bryson Creative Productions, Inc. (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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A very helpful listen!

This book focuses on promoting the psycho-social development of your child(ren). Which, in my opinion, is of vital importance in today's culture. If you get this book thinking it will help you earn your kid a few more IQ points or improve her math grades, you'll have to take a step back and look at the big picture. Confident, secure, and articulate people are more likely to perform to their full potential in every aspect of their lives, than people who hold themselves back. This book provided useful tools that I have been able to apply successfully with my 3 year old son, as well as tools I am keeping in mind for when he is older. I highly recommend this book for anyone with children up through pre-adolescence. I think they have a separate book for the teen years.

There is a male and female narrator who switch back and forth reading sections. The female narrator doesn't have a good voice for it, although she gives a flawless performance. But the pacing is fine. The sections that are meant for young kids are a little annoying to hear, and the appendix is a snooze. But otherwise the performance does not detract from the book.

57 of 58 people found this review helpful

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  • Carolyn
  • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 04-15-16

Useful Tools; Impratical and Contrived Pet Theory

I really enjoyed the first half of this book. The concept of using neuroscience to help make good parenting choices was attractive to me and as a parenting book this is not a preachy, judgmental, or excessively ideological one. It emphasizes twelve strategies for helping kids develop good mental health maintenance and self-reflection skills that are related to integrating the various parts of the brain together so kids can learn to make good choices, manage big emotions, process difficult experiences, and overall feel in control of their thoughts and state of mind. The tools they provide are practical and are designed to complement other parenting strategies, not become the One True Parenting Way as is presented by many books on how to raise a well-rounded child.

While I liked and agreed with the integration aspects of the book, and to some extent with the implicit/explicit memory sections, once the topic turned to the authors' pet theory, called "mindsight", I found it much less credible. The metaphor of the bicycle wheel gets stretched pretty far, and despite being a pretty introspective person, I honestly found it hard to follow or visualize. It seems much better suited to use in formal therapy, if it works for the patient, rather than in parenting. How many parents are going to be able to rattle off a long guided visualization about the rim and the spokes and the hub and choosing different rim points... it was too complicated and too contrived to be useful. Unlike the rest of the book, which gave much more believable exchanges between parents and kids, the mindsight-related topics sounded contrived and the examples were from one author's therapy experiences, not from parenting moments, which is telling. I also felt like the message of "you can choose to feel differently/think about other things and that will solve your problems!" message to be not just unrealistic, but also potentially harmful for a young person struggling with a more serious mental health issue.

This audiobook is narrated by the authors. They are competent narrators, if a little slow-paced for my taste.

Four stars might be too generous but it is so much better than the average parenting book that I can ignore the less realistic parts and take away the most useful tools, which are good enough to make it worth rounding up in my opinion.

28 of 29 people found this review helpful

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Must-Listen for all parents (and people!)

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This audiobook teaches so much about HOW the brain works. I bought the book (paper) but having 8 kids...um...I rarely had time to read. So, I downloaded it and was able to listen to it while I did other things and...it's just worth the listen. I will listen to this again.

What did you learn from The Whole-Brain Child that you would use in your daily life?

One thing this book brought out...about the importance of "telling our story" was actually very important to me at the time I heard it. Shortly after listening to this...I lost my 3 year old at Disney. Formerly, I might have thought it good that she "forget" about it...but instead we told and retold that story to each other every day often for a long time...and she seems now to have no weird "fears" about being lost...

33 of 35 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex
  • Texas
  • 01-15-18

Info is great, narration is horrible

The information on the book was groundbreaking for me, however the narration was incredibly hard to follow: it felt like listening to a 5th grader read through a textbook.

I really enjoyed the tips, the science behind them, and the overall concept. I really just wish authors would stop reading their own books.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Repetitive and slow

This books had some good food for thought, and strategies for engaging with kids, but the narration was painfully slow. The narrators repeat themselves again and again, which makes you wonder if you’re in a time warp. The book focuses on a concept called “mindsight” which is poorly defined, though it seems an awful lot like meditation. The book keeps making analogies to understand how the human brain works, but the language is so simple and the concepts so dumbed down i felt like the authors wrote the book for a 10 year old. Here must be better parenting books out there.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Meh

There were some solid concepts, but the narration was dry, and it just seemed to drag on too repetitively. I had a lot higher hopes, as a counselor recommended this to me. The summary chart chapters by age at the end of the book would have made a great podcast that would have covered enough.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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It's so good, you should buy the print version

Would you listen to The Whole-Brain Child again? Why?

This book has so many valuable nuggets of information that you'll want to reference throughout parenting, that it's worth buying the book to be able to see some of the tables and charts. It's great information and what I liked most is that it balanced the neuroscience and the application of science perfectly, so that no concept was too theoretical - everything was highly practical and applicable to daily life.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Interesting and useful.

What made the experience of listening to The Whole-Brain Child the most enjoyable?

This text explains how to apply the authors' studies of the plasticity of the brain to develop and integrate your child's (and your own) mind. It's intelligent and clear, and I couldn't stop listening!

What insight do you think you’ll apply from The Whole-Brain Child?

Feelings are a state of mind, and temporary, rather than a fixed personality trait. This is a useful and freeing idea.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • ANDREA
  • ORLANDO, FL, United States
  • 08-31-12

NOTHING NEW

I've read Mindsight 6 months ago. And I thought this one would be an interesting pick. I got disappointed. Too much psychology and too little brain science. Repetitive and slow. I had to put at 1 and 1/2 speed to enjoy the listening. There better books out there.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Sending this to every parent I know

This book is fantastic! What I love is how practical and simple they make all the steps. I will be reading this over and over, and I'm thinking about ordering a hard copy for reference. Love it. Thank you to the authors!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful