The Whole-Brain Child: Chapter 2

This chapter focuses on integration. Integrating the left and right sides of the brain is very important for the emotional health of the child. Children are predominantly right sided which is obvious with how emotional they get. Their brains aren’t mature enough to think before they act or think before they feel.

Not sure if you guys know my background or not, but I used to work as a nurse. So reading all of these things about the brain is a little bit of a review. I remember having to memorize what each part of the brain did. It’s very interesting and very complicated. Very fascinating subject indeed.

The left brain is responsible for logical, literal, linear and linguistic thinking. The right side of the brain is holistic, nonverbal and is in charge of your emotions. Children typically use their right side of their brain and we have to help them use their left side. We have to help them understand their actions and why they are feeling that way. The way to do this is to wait for our children to be calm before redirecting their thinking to the left side. Everyone knows that you can’t reason with a crying child. Even adults are like that.

The one really interesting thing about this chapter is that it teaches use to tell stories. Humans have been story tellers since the beginning of time. It would only make sense that telling stories would be the natural solution. Helping children tell stories about an event will help them understand what happened. For instance….if a child had fallen from their bike, they might get scared to get back on. The normal thing to say would be that they are ok and that they can try again until they get better at it. The book says that we should try to retell the story of them falling off their bike. This will help the left brain work with the right.

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