The Whole-Brained Child and 10 Mindful Minutes

The potential problem with reading books about child rearing when you have 18 year olds is that you will realize everything you did wrong and all of the great techniques that you could have used. I found both of these books interesting and didn't have too many moments of regret. Both books are approaching the subject with a basis in neuroscience - how the brain works and using that knowledge in everyday life.

The Whole-Brained Child by Daniel J. Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD is written clearly with examples and strategies to implement in a wide variety of situations. The intent is to give tools to parents to help their children understand how their brain works and begin to learn to self regulate. It is clear and well reasoned with lots of strategies, but frankly, it didn't suit my personal style. In my mind, it requires a very centered parent to analyze and implement the strategies. I just don't think that I was up to that challenge.

I have to say that I loved, 10 Mindful Minutes by Goldie Hawn with Wendy Holden. It also gives concrete activities and strategies based in the science. The difference is that I wanted to do all of the exercises for myself, now. I felt that if I worked on the "Mind Up" program, that I might have the wherewithal and mindfulness to actually consider The Whole-Brained approach. After I finished reading it, I wanted to send a copy my daughters in college to help with anxiety and finding more joy in the moment and to my mother who is experiencing the changes that come with growing older, even though it is written as a book for parents of young children. Essentially, it is a lovely plan to help you reduce anxiety, keep things in perspective and remember to stop and smell the roses.