The Whole Brain-Child


Being responsible for two little people, as well as hundreds every day at school, I thought it was about time I swotted up on some parenting/child psychology tips.

This book came highly recommended from a friend. I hope to pick up not just useful parenting tips but also come up with some ideas on how these can be utilized in the classroom.

The notes from the Introduction and Chapter 1:

Intro: Survive-->Thrive. Every crisis is an opportunity (do I have the stamina and patience to always see them as such?) Chapter 1: The 'Let's go get ice cream approach' "it leaves the child confused about what happened and why. He is still full of big and scary emotions, but he isn't allowed (or helped) to deal with them in an effective way". The focus is on the 'integration' of the different parts of the brain. Children need to grow up 'horizontally integrated' - so the left and right parts of the brain (the logic and emotional sides, respectively) work well together. They also need to be 'vertically integrated' so the higher-level thinking works with their base 'animal' instinct. The mind is plastic and moldable and changes shape throughout our lives, not just in childhood. We have over one hundred billion neurons in our brain - and each one has an average of 10,000 connections to other neurons. A pretty fearsome computer. Left/Right brain 'integration' is like canoeing down a river. In the middle it is calm, you are in control but can adapt easily to any changes. If you stray too close to the right bank you are caught up in confusing rip tides (emotions) but if you stray too fat to the left you become a control freak (logic) and wish to impose your will on everything and everyone around you.

Teaching Relevance

1. I think this supports the importance of good pastoral roles, especially form tutors, who are able to go over behaviour incidents, both good and bad, with their pupils. Going over these experiences will help students understand the loigc and emotions behind their actions and the actions of their teacher, helping them come to terms with and hopefully, allowing them to be better prepared for any future such incidents.

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