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The Yes Brain

How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity and Resilience in Your Child

By Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson
12-minute read
Audio available
The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity and Resilience in Your Child by Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson

The Yes Brain (2018) is a hands-on guide to teaching yourself and your kids to approach the world with openness, creativity and boundless curiosity. Packed full of useful tips, examples and ideas, this book shows parents how to model and cultivate the traits that let you say “yes” to the world: balance, resilience, insight and empathy. And that doesn’t just give children better self-control and awareness; it also puts them on the path to meaningful and successful lives.

  • Parents worried about their child’s selfishness
  • Anyone who works with children
  • Anyone looking for a mindful solution to everyday problems

Daniel J. Siegel is a clinical psychiatrist at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founder of the Mindful Awareness Research Center. Tina Payne Bryson is a clinical social worker specializing in pediatric and adolescent psychotherapy as well as the founder of the Center for Connection in California. Together, they have authored numerous New York Times bestsellers, including The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline.

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The Yes Brain

How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity and Resilience in Your Child

By Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity and Resilience in Your Child by Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson
Synopsis

The Yes Brain (2018) is a hands-on guide to teaching yourself and your kids to approach the world with openness, creativity and boundless curiosity. Packed full of useful tips, examples and ideas, this book shows parents how to model and cultivate the traits that let you say “yes” to the world: balance, resilience, insight and empathy. And that doesn’t just give children better self-control and awareness; it also puts them on the path to meaningful and successful lives.

Key idea 1 of 7

The Yes Brain is a mindset that helps you and your children become more open, creative and resilient.

Close your eyes and repeat “no” to yourself for 30 seconds. How do you feel? Chances are you’re tense and unmotivated. But try saying “yes” instead. That’s much better, right?

That’s because affirmation has a calming and relaxing effect.

Like most people, you probably want what’s best for both yourself and your children, including this open, accepting attitude that says “yes” to the world.

And that’s basically what the Yes Brain is.

It’s a way of being in the world that makes you receptive and helps you live meaningfully.

Take the first part. When you’re receptive, you’re primed to take challenges in stride. You’re flexible and capable of thinking clearly.

The No Brain is the opposite. It’s a defensive and reactive outlook. That’s a problem because it makes connecting with other people and reaching good decisions extremely difficult.

When you put it that way, the Yes Brain is clearly preferable to the No Brain.

So how can you develop this attitude?

Being receptive might feel like an intangible goal. But there are concrete strategies you can use to begin developing a Yes Brain as an adult parent.

A good place to start is with its four essential characteristics. These are balance, resilience, insight and empathy. These are all explored in the following blinks.

But what about children?

Well, the one follows the other. When you model fundamental Yes Brain characteristics, your children are also likely to adopt them. A couple of techniques can help you do this.

Take Alex. His son Teddy had a meltdown whenever something didn’t go his way when playing soccer.

A No Brain response would be to try to shame Teddy. “Other kids don’t start crying when they miss a shot,” it would say, “so why should you?”

Luckily Alex could draw on the authors’ insights. Rather than embarrassing his son, he adopted a Yes Brain attitude and helped widen Teddy’s window of tolerance.

That’s basically a way of expanding the number of things we can encounter without “losing it.”

Teddy learned techniques like deep breathing while Alex learned how to empathize with his son and comfort him when things went awry. In the end, Teddy calmed down enough to listen and become aware of his behavior.

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