Connect to a Child's Left-Brain Before the Right

when a child is upset, logic often won’t work until we have responded to the right brain’s emotional needs. We call this emotional connection “attunement,” which is how we connect deeply with another person and allow them to “feel felt.” When parent and child are tuned in to each other, they experience a sense of joining together.


It’s also crucial to keep in mind that no matter how nonsensical and frustrating our child’s feelings may seem to us, they are real and important to our child. It’s vital that we treat them as such in our response.


After responding with the right, Tina could then redirect with the left. She could redirect him by logically explaining how hard she works to be fair, by promising to leave a note while he slept, and by strategizing with him about his next birthday and about how to make homework more fun.


Once she had connected with him right brain to right brain, it was much easier to connect left to left and deal with the issues in a rational manner. By first connecting with his right brain, she could then redirect with the left brain through logical explanation and planning, which required that his left hemisphere join the conversation. This approach allowed him to use both sides of his brain in an integrated, coordinated way.


We’re not saying that “connect and redirect” will always do the trick. After all, there are times when a child is simply past the point of no return and the emotional waves just need to crash until the storm passes. Or the child may simply need to eat or get some sleep. Like Tina, you might decide to wait until your child is in a more integrated state of mind to talk logically with him about his feelings and behaviors.


A strategy for dealing with chidren, who lack the emotional regulation for logical thinking. Calm them by connecting to their feelings, and then attempt to rationalize with them.

Folksonomies: parenting emotions

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Human brain (0.982724): dbpedia | freebase
Psychology (0.967437): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
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Roger Wolcott Sperry (0.814639): dbpedia | freebase | yago

 The Whole-Brain Child
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Siegel, Daniel J. and Bryson, Tina Payne (2011-10-04), The Whole-Brain Child, Random House LLC, Retrieved on 2013-12-27
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    05 JUN 2011

     Raising Enlightened Children

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