This book hits on an important topic, a topic that often comes up in my work with kids: focus. To give you an idea of what I mean by focus, and Drs. Siegel and Bryson refer to as the Wheel of Awareness, put your hands to your face and make blinders – the kind a horse may wear in a parade – they obstruct and narrow your view, right? Recall a time that you approached a situation or problem from this restricted perspective, maybe only seeing the negative, failing to recognize the bigger picture or the moments beyond the immediate. Think now of widening the blinders and expanding your view by bringing in additional facts, seeing the flip-side to the situation or person, or not filtering out information that doesn’t fit your initial belief. A broader perspective helps us to more accurately assess a situation, regulate our emotions and bodies, and solve problems. Kids get this stuff (this is CBT)!
Drs. Siegel and Bryson provide a number of useful ways to engage and parent children with these concepts and skills in mind. While I was motivated to highlight the authors’ application of focus, I acknowledge that my comments fall far short of representing the scope of knowledge and strategy included in this book. In total, I highly recommend the The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture your Child’s Developing Mind, by Daniel Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD.