Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive” as Want to Read:
The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  24,433 ratings  ·  2,148 reviews
Your toddler throws a tantrum in the middle of a store. Your preschooler refuses to get dressed. Your fifth-grader sulks on the bench instead of playing on the field. Do children conspire to make their parents’ lives endlessly challenging? No—it’s just their developing brain calling the shots!

In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and autho
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Delacorte Press (first published January 1st 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Whole-Brain Child, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Bene Katabua Not much is directly addressed for teens, but it is easily applied to that age group. You can work it up to their level. The information is presented …moreNot much is directly addressed for teens, but it is easily applied to that age group. You can work it up to their level. The information is presented for adult readers and gives ways in which to work on it with children. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,433 ratings  ·  2,148 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson’s “The Whole Brain Child” fails to deliver on the titular promise of “revolutionary” parenting strategies to “truly help your kids be happier, healthier, and more fully themselves”; it does, however, provide innovative and effective explanations, packaging, and delivery of many tried-and-true parenting techniques that turn out to be neuroscientifically based.

The first four chapters are the love child of the Johns - Medina’s “Brain Rules for Baby” and Gottman’s “R
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Interesting concepts, and I loved going through the brain and how it works based on our reactions; it brought me back to my psychology days. Although it was interesting to read and gave a few examples of how to implement the practices with children, I find that there is still a disconnect in how to apply it daily. I kept thinking to myself, "well that sounds good and I would love to do that...but how?". I also noticed that they went a little far explaining each concept so that I felt like each p ...more
Jen Meegan
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am pleased to add this to my very, very small pile of approved discipline books.

1) It fits in very nicely with our family's go-to discipline philosophy, Positive Discipline (as taught by Jane Nelson)
2) It doesn't recommend punitive measures like time outs or spanking
3) it's relatively fast and easy to read with some quick reference tips when you need them most
4) it's fairly easy to implement...once you've made the paradigm shift, that is.
5) it honors and respects children and reminds parents t
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I'm looking forward to using these strategies with my own children especially after learning how I could be handling arguments and emotions in a better way. It's written well and includes many charts and illustrations. My favorite is the summary chart at the end to help you learn how to respond to different age groups. Glad to have read it... ...more
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
I must say i am surprised to see so many good ratings. On the other hand it is the reason why I read it.

First things first: I'm a dad with a 2 years old child and probably share every moms and dads usual issues and questions. By the way, we split everything that involves our child at home, meaning I do half of ALL.

At first this book looked very promising. And then....I realised it has 2 sides.
On the one hand, at the end of every chapter, there is a real life problem with the real life actions pa
Frank Jude
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'd have given this book five stars if the writing were a bit more engaging; as it is, though the material is often fascinating and incredibly relevant (I've a 28-month old toddler at home!), I found the reading a bit of a slog at times.

What Siegel has done here is, based upon cutting-edge neuro-science, boiled down the info relevant for parenting into 12 strategies to help you guide greater brain integration in your children, from birth through about 12-years old.

The kinds of things we're talki
Feb 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked this book and appreciated the clear explanations of some brain science concepts (though I don't know whether it is all strictly accurate - for example, I keep hearing that the "left brain, right brain" thing is somewhat of a fiction). The book had a few really useful tools which I liked (for example, the wheel of awareness, and "move it or lose it"). It was well laid out, the cartoons and illustrations were helpful, and I really liked the "refrigerator sheets." As a parent and a therapis ...more
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sera by: Book Page Magazine
I've been reading about brain development in infants and children since my daughter was born 6 years ago. Understanding how the science of the brain interacts with the behavior of or the ability of a child to learn has led to my having more empathy for and understanding of my child. Many times we have expectations for our children that they can't meet, because their brains haven't been wired to do so yet. In addition, variations in parenting techniques work differently across the various age gro ...more
John Strohm
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
The useful content of this book could be put on a post-card. 99.5% of the book, however, is full of stories bragging about how awesome the authors are.

For those readers expecting neuroscience: Walk away. You'll be disappointed. The authors mostly ignore neuroscience, and when they do mention it, they talk down to readers as if we are toddlers as well.
Feb 04, 2014 rated it liked it
This little parenting book is basically about how to teach children emotional intelligence--how to get them to recognize their own emotions, that emotions are temporary, and how to develop sympathy, among other things. Often when I interact with an upset child, I take the "dismiss and deny" strategy of telling them it's okay and that whatever they're upset about isn't that bad. Using this book's method, it's better to first acknowledge the child's emotion, like saying "you look sad! Is it becaus ...more
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you are a parent, teacher or other person who works with children, I would commend this book to you. By understanding how the brain works, you can survive tough moments and teach children to thrive. The Whole-Brain Child explains both how and why.

The twelve strategies the book explains are:
Connect then Redirect
Name It To Tame It
Engage, Don't Enrage
Use It Or Lose It
Move It Or Lose It
Use The Remote Of The Mind
Remember To Remember
Let The Clouds of Emotion Roll By
SIFT: sensation, image,
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: brains, 2017
Easy to digest info on neuroplasticity....providing tools to help teach: 1)how to use both your logic and emotional sides of your brain more cohesively to make more balanced choices, and 2)how to get "unstuck" and be more flexible with your thoughts. Great for parents and teachers alike to help teach kids they can learn to influence their environment rather than be influenced BY it. ...more
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great guide to parenting and talking to kids about their feelings. But it 's probably more helpful for parents of younger kids. ...more
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
EXCELLENT book with practical application for healthy, social brain development. There's even a fridge chart for easy reference! ...more
Erin Samples
Jun 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Some very helpful and enlightening information about how to work with the child brain rather than to discipline against it. A rather good balance between science backed parenting techniques and anecdotes to help illustrate the techniques, and the day to day battles that necessitate them.
Matt Garden
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this and tore through it pretty quickly. The only thing that annoyed me is the term "mindsight" ... It seems like there's already a term for what's being described: mindfulness. "Mindsight" sounds like a marketing term was being used where it wasn't necessary (maybe I'd feel differently had I also read Mindsight the book). Or maybe mindfulness isn't as common a term as I think and it helps people get the idea. Especially kids.

Anyway, it seemed like there were good tips in here, for kid
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
It's not just a parenting book: most adults' mental health would benefit from reading this. The overall concept, explored in detail, is that humans are made up of many things and the better we can learn to make them work together, the better it will all work. I am fascinated in particular by how physical activity can change moods and how we can control our thoughts. ...more
Jessie Wittman
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent read on how integration of the brain plays into a child's development. The idea of integration as a whole was new to me; I was familiar with certain elements of how the brain functions for wholeness, but not how the interplay of all the bits equals mental health. Unsurprisingly, the book falls short of whole-person development because it reduces the Person to simply material being. It shelves "morality" in the category of brain function, albiet a desired function. How does the brain ...more
May 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Definitely recommend--it's a short read, with comics for sharing the info with kids and a short summary for dads after each chapter. Genius. ...more
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Dan Siegel is a luminary in the field of psychology, and is one of the leaders in the neuroscience and neurobiology movement in our field. I have heard him speak and am familiar with his work, and I think its important and cutting edge. I have always been interested in the neuroplasticity and the impact and intwine of neuroscience in our relationships. I think its an important aspect of what happens in both our healing and our relating.

This book is very light on the science, and is meant as a si
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I really liked this book...It is the first i personally read that is dedicated to explain psychology and physiology of child's brain and i am hoping to find more books like this one.

I liked the strategists suggested to deal with children and how to help kids integrate with their mind and with others'. I specially liked that fact the some of the methods and examples presented were illustrated in cartoons. I find this visualization to be important and it makes it easy for parents to remember the t
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wellness, parenting
I hesitated to pick up The Whole Brain Child, because I was worried that it would focus too much on overly-specific scientific studies (even if they were interesting) and not enough on practical advice. However, after reading it, my doubts are completely laid to rest.

This book really does live up to its title; the strategies provided have actually been revolutionary to my way of parenting. I feel like I understand my young children so much better now. I loved the simple, yet thorough, discussion
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I’ve been intrigued by a number of books recently that deal with brain development and emotional intelligence in children. This book, written by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., takes a look at the neurology of various emotional situations and strategies for dealing and developing emotionally intelligent children.

As I write this post, I have not finished the book, but what I have enjoyed most so far is that it gives examples of “traditional” (authoritarian) parenting and strategies for managing situation
Debra Barrentine
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
I felt disappointed in this book. Generally speaking, there weren't new ideas shared or new research. The book read like the authors were trying to explain neuroscience to a young audience or maybe an audience with no exposure to child development. The book focused on anecdotal stories to illustrate why a strategy worked but did not back up claims with research. The one thing I liked was that since the book was so simply written, it gave me ideas about how to explain some concepts about the brai ...more
Scout Collins
Jul 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book was horrible.

I was expecting some great new "revolutionary" strategies, when in fact I don't think there were any new concepts.

This book basically copied How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen, especially with the "Name it to Tame it" strategy. If you're looking for a good, organized parenting book, read How to Talk instead.

I was excited to learn a bit more about child psychology in this book, however once I started reading it I was disappointed. As other reviewers mention, this book ta
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reading about the brain is fascinating to me, and this book was a pretty quick and easy read. It breaks down some of the brain's functions so that we can better understand what is happening when a child is experiencing different emotions/tantrums, etc. This actually gave me some insight into my own self as well and I had an insightful realization about how I can better relate to my husband. While I did find some of the examples hard to relate to since I only have an 18-month-old, I think the aut ...more
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
I don't see it as a "must read" as a parent. The advice is on par with the other parenting books out there and it will probably help a bit to read it if only to make sure the concepts get cemented into the back of your mind.

I hate how it drags a lot, repeats the same points & takes the already flawed "divided brain" metaphor and beats it into the ground. You won't go 3 sentences without seeing the words "left brain, right brain, up brain, down brain, completeness etc". It's tiring, annoying and
Paul Rasmussen
Update: made a goal to read this book every year, and that has been validated. New situations with great ideas from this book!

Very approachable and practical way to think about nurturing the right attributes in your kids while maintaining parental sanity. I'm not deeply informed about neuroscience, and this book gave just enough to help me understand the basics of mental development without drowning me in terminology.

After reading this, I feel much more empowered to understand what's happening
Amy Ferriter
“It’s not your responsibility to avoid all mistakes, any more than you’re supposed to remove all obstacles your children face. Instead, your job is to be present with your children and connect with them through the ups and downs of life’s journey”
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: highly-sensitive
A fascinating read with good examples of how to transfer strategies to situations with your children. Some paragraphs are a slog to get through but on the while I got a lot out of this book, including many lightbulb moments!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Montessori Toddler: A Parent's Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being
  • How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7
  • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
  • No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame
  • Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five
  • Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting
  • Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting
  • Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too
  • Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know  to Do It Once and Do It Right
  • Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool
  • The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids
  • Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
  • Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids
  • Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three
  • The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer
  • The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family
  • Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids
  • Raising a Secure Child: How Circle of Security Parenting Can Help You Nurture Your Child's Attachment, Emotional Resilience, and Freedom to Explore
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., is an internationally acclaimed author, award-winning educator, and child psychiatrist. Dr. Siegel received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. He is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, where he also ...more

Articles featuring this book

"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do." -Benjamin Spock Calling all parents who have ever found themselves wondering:...
34 likes · 10 comments
“Too often we forget that discipline really means to teach, not to punish. A disciple is a student, not a recipient of behavioural consequences.” 58 likes
“As children develop, their brains "mirror" their parent's brain. In other words, the parent's own growth and development, or lack of those, impact the child's brain. As parents become more aware and emotionally healthy, their children reap the rewards and move toward health as well.” 23 likes
More quotes…