While bringing up an all-rounded child is no easy feat, it isn’t impossible as well. Read on to find out how you can nurture your little kiddo into becoming a whole-brain child.
Do you at times wish you could understand exactly how your child’s brain works? If you do, perhaps it’s time for you to make a move to the whole-brain parenting approach.
According to Dr Tina Payne Bryson, co-author of The Whole-Brain Child; Psychotherapist at Paediatric and Adolescent Psychology Associates and at the Centre for Psychological Services in California, the whole-brain parenting approach gives parents strategies to help their child move from either chaotic or rigid states into adaptive, flexible and stable states. She adds, “These strategies also enable parents to survive the meltdown moments while guiding your child as they develop.”
The Whole-Brain Child
Simply put, a whole-brain child is one who is able to use both the left and right hemispheres of his or her brain, describes Lim Wee Ming, Founder of My Little Genius and Public Relations Director of Whole Brain Activation Academy. Concurringly, Dr Bryson shares that when children have experiences that nurture all the parts of their brain including honouring an emotional intelligence, as well as a logical, intellectual intelligence, the whole brain is developed, which leads to the ability of making good decisions to live a balance and meaningful life.
While there is no exact age of when you should start moulding your child into a whole-brain child, Dr Bryson shares, “Parents can begin to influence how their children’s brains develop from the earliest moments with them.
“Children are usually right-brain dominant from birth up to 18 months old. After which, the child will become more left-brain dominant due to the exposure he gets in the environment.”
Developing Both Sides
Why is it important to nurture both sides of the brain then? It all comes down to the brain working together as a coordinated whole to achieve better results. “Clearly, we function best when the two hemispheres of our brain work together, so that our logic and emotions are both valued as important parts of ourselves and we are emotionally balanced. Then we can give words to our emotional experiences, and make sense of them logically,” shares Dr Bryson. However, there are also times when your child will make use of the left and right sides independently, hence it is best for parents to develop both sides equally.
Activities to Activate Whole-Brain
There are many other activities to stimulate a child’s left and right hemispheres of the brain. These include:
- Left-Brain Activities
IQ sheets and activities, mazes, Math and language worksheets that require a child’s analysis to solve such questions.
- Right-Brain Activities
Pretend play, visualisation, memory games, songs and brain kinesiology.
- Activities for Both Sides
Chess, where visualisation, planning and analysis are required, as well as dual-hand abacus and mental arithmetic, in which the child utilises both the left and right hemispheres of the brain while visualising the abacus in his brain and performing the calculations.
As a child’s abilities are enhanced through this approach, your child will be more loving, appreciative and sensitive towards others. “In terms of physical enhancement, I have seen children who initially feared water, but they jump straight into the swimming pool (with floats around the arms) during their swimming lessons. They also master new skills such as cycling on two wheels faster,” Wee Ming points out.
What are your thoughts in raising a whole-brain child? Leave us a comment down below.