The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
Survive and Thrive You’ve had those days, right? When the sleep deprivation, the muddy cleats, the peanut butter on the new jacket, the homework battles, the Play-Doh in your computer keyboard, and the refrains of “She started it!” leave you counting the minutes until bedtime. On these days, when you (again?!!) have to pry a raisin from a nostril, it seems like the most you can hope for is to survive. However, when it comes to your children, you’re aiming a lot higher than mere survival.
Of course you want to get through those difficult tantrum-in-the-restaurant moments. But whether you’re a parent or other committed caregiver in a child’s life, your ultimate goal is to raise kids in a way that lets them thrive. You want them to enjoy meaningful relationships, be caring and compassionate, do well in school, work hard and be responsible, and feel good about who they are. Survive. Thrive. We’ve met with thousands of parents over the years.
When we ask them what matters most to them, versions of these two goals almost always top the list. They want to survive difficult parenting moments, and they want their kids and their family to thrive. As parents ourselves, we share these same goals for our own families. In our nobler, calmer, saner moments, we care about nurturing our kids’ minds, increasing their sense of wonder, and helping them reach their potential in all aspects of life.
But in the more frantic, stressful, bribe-the-toddler-into-the-car-seat-so-we-can-rush-to-thesoccer-game moments, sometimes all we can hope for is to avoid yelling or hearing someone say, “You’re so mean!” Take a moment and ask yourself: What do you really want for your children? What qualities do you hope they develop and take into their adult lives? Most likely you want them to be happy, independent, and successful.
You want them to enjoy fulling relationships and live a life full of meaning and purpose. Now think about what percentage of your time you spend intentionally developing these qualities in your children. If you’re like most parents, you worry that you spend too much time just trying to get through the day (and sometimes the next ɹve minutes) and not enough time creating experiences that help your children thrive, both today and in the future.