Book review: The Whole-Brain Child

There is no need for any other parenting book in the whole world to be written ever again. Now that I have my copy of The Whole-Brain Child I will need no other book ever.

It is completely brilliant. It is utterly readable, clear, sensible and based on wonderful brain research. It has illustrations and cartoons and real life stories and examples. It’s not too hard to understand or to put into practice.

It also says this: “We’ve met with thousands of parents over the years. When we asked them what matters most to them, versions of these two goals – survive and thrive – always topped the list. They want to survive difficult parenting moments and they want their kids and their family to thrive.…

We’ve got great news for you: the moments you are just trying to survive are actually opportunities to help your child thrive. At times you may feel that the loving, important moments are separate from the parenting challenges. But they are not separate at all. When your child is disrespectful, when you find crayon scribbles all over the wall, these are survive moments, no question about it. But at the same time they are opportunities – even gifts – because a survive moment is also a thrive moment, where the important meaningful work parenting takes place...

What’s great about this survive-and-thrive approach is that you don’t have to try to carve out special time to help your children thrive. You can use all of the interactions you share – the stressful, angry ones as well as the miraculous, adorable ones – as opportunities to help them become the responsible, caring, capable people you want them to be.”

With this book I am making a new resolution. I will not be lending it out. Too many times I have bought brilliant books, which I have then pushed onto other people and never received them back. Yes, I will recommend it, but if you want to borrow it I will say no. Go and buy your own. I want this one.