As a parent, you get a lot of unsolicited advice, but every now and again there’s a nugget of wisdom that sticks and, better yet, actually works. For me, that’s the ‘yes brain’ approach to parenting.
It was originally coined by Dr. Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson in their book Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience In Your Child and it directly counters what happens when all a child hears is no, no, no on repeat.
The ‘yes brain’ is empowering; the ‘no brain’ is threatening, Siegel and Bryson explain.
Here’s how it applies to our kids: It goes without saying that no is a word that comes up a lot when you’re a parent, especially when dealing with the toddler/preschool set. When a kid hears it, it sparks a reaction that’s similar to how we feel when we enter fight or flight mode. For example, your child tells you: “I want ice cream for dinner.” You say, “No way, not possible, no!”