I am reading a remarkable book called “The Whole Brain Child” by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. It was recommended to me by a child therapist as a way to help Pia manage some of her intense feelings. The book is great for kids who had to deal with a lot in their very young lives (hmm… just like a lot of kiddos who were adopted), but who may not have the words or even concrete memories to process these events. I am finding it hard to put down, it has so many great tools. I think I will be reading it eight more times before I have to return it to the library.
One thing the book encourages parents to do is teach kids about the parts of their brain and how they work. So last night while Pia was in the tub playing I told her about her “upstairs brain” and her “downstairs brain” (the book even tells you just how to talk to kids about the brain so they will understand). To my surprise she totally got it and we had a great talk about how the upstairs brain can help our downstairs brain handle really big emotions (like fear or anger). Then this morning, as she began to flip out about something (as is the norm) I said “Wait! Does your upstairs brain have something to say to your downstairs brain?” and lo and behold, it was like a switch flipped.
I think I will be sending a valentine to Dr. Siegel and Dr. Bryson. 🙂