Brain-Body Parenting: How To Stop Managing Behavior and Start Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids

Harper Wave. Mar. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780063061316. $28.99. CHILD REARING
Pediatric psychologist Delahooke (Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and Compassion To Understand and Solve Children’s Behavioral Challenges) outlines how parents can discover what’s underlying their child’s behavior, rather than merely managing the behavior itself. Her book emphasizes the importance of understanding both the brain and the body and cites research in neuroscience and psychology. By learning how the brain and body react in tandem, parents can make wise choices and approach challenging moments as experiences that provide crucial information about their child, Delahooke argues. For instance, she advocates looking to children’s body signals (body language, facial expressions, gestures) and letting those signs moderate parents’ responses and set out a road map for making decisions. Delahooke gives other examples of applying neuroscience to parenting too, like looking without judging; validating a child’s experience; and reflecting on the parent’s own experiences of personal struggle, in order to model healthy emotional regulation. The book includes ideas for nurturing children’s ability to self-regulate, shares tips for self-care, and explains how sensory information can influence children’s behaviors.
VERDICT A fascinating and practical look at how neurobiology can be applied to parenting challenges.
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