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I am really enjoying the book I am reading right now. It's called "The Whole-Brain Child," by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind: Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson: 9780553386691: Amazon.com: Books I highly recommend it. It is a very detailed but layman-friendly account of how a child's developing brain actually works, why these developmental factors tend to lead to common misbehaviors, and how we as parents can react in ways that actually help the child's brain to become better integrated (and therefore reduce levels of misbehavior now, and also help the child to have more emotional intelligence years down the road). It's filled with stories that really help to illustrate the different points, and everything that the authors have said so far totally resonates with my personal experience as a parent. After reading this, the things that my children do have started to make much more sense to me. I've also tried tentatively tried implementing some of the strategies they recommend, and they seem to be working well! The book even includes kid-friendly cartoons at the end of each chapter that you can actually read aloud to your children, so that they can better understand how their own brains work (probably better for older children).
Anyway, I just wanted to share this! As I've said in the past, my older son Charlie is going through a difficult phase right now, and I've been struggling with trying to discipline him in a way that is gentle yet effective. We tried the Love and Logic program for a while, with moderate success, but so far I am liking this new approach much better. It seems to be more grounded in scientific research and more aimed at teaching children a sense of ethics (not just providing them with temporary incentives to obey).