Dr. Daniel Siegel author of The Yes Brain

Newsmaker Interviews
Tuesday, January 9th

Dr. Daniel Siegel of the book "The Yes Brian" with WILK's Sue Henry. His book deals with raising, more courageous, curious and resilient children


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Doctor Siegel what a pleasure to have you on the show today co author with teen Pena Bryson of the sprain. How to cultivate courage curiosity. And resilience. In your child's doctor Al welcome to our show we appreciate it. It is our pleasure and out of work with the with them mindful list. And the brain and the depth the future does lie in the brain and I think sometimes we try to. Overlook changes that can be made. And Ed behavior modification and instead day EC of medication many times so that talk about. How you came to write this book with doctor Berenson. What we found was parents were wondering in this very chaotic world we have in the challenges we have with parenting what a new ways we can actually bring. Strength to the brain of our children. And so the yet sprain is basically a way where you create. This dinner. And guide eight compass really which allows your child to have balance in their lives to love and have resilience. And left in the face challenges where instead of collapsing. They actually have the courage to go forward. And try things out in new ways if they're not working well so in many ways the yes sprain is that way parents can. Build the brain of their child that when they leave home they're ready to face the world that's out there. What are some of the problems you see now. With the today's children and I guess. It in tandem with this it looks like. Parents have to also think differently as well and sometimes that's that's a tough one for them right. Oh absolutely well you know these days I think there's so much it's challenging but apparently parity is one of the hardest jobs. And so are your feelings stripped as a parent you're not alone. These days with so many distractions. It is I have to pacing for example with social media when they get older or even a lot of the things that happened on screen time. People are used to very quick changes in their attention. So for apparent with a child who's having a hard time just focusing. This can be really really difficult because to balance your emotions to learn to connect to other people. To find a way to deal with challenges requires focusing attention and when you learn as a parent these basic strategies of teaching a child had actually cultivate this yes sprint approach. What happens this is based on science what happens is you actually build the part of the brain. That all this distraction doesn't build but you can do that as a parent. And you have the the faces. I have an integrated brain as your model they are flexible. Adaptive coherent energized and let's talk a little bit. About debt flexibility. With the children doctor because as we see kids and their favorite word really is now I know and the that sometimes parents just capitulate immediately how do we how you develop a flexibility you're an openness with with our cans. Good activists say your child says to you. But mom I really wanna have ice cream before dinner I'm gonna have ice cream I got up by its commitment like they did it without a script. Know you have a couple of ways ago. One approach which is what often we do is to say that is ridiculous you're not having as before dinner no way we don't do that missile. Now that's understandable because that's the rule and you wanted to eat a meal before you have a dessert so that's really. A common response but what that says it's doesn't keep your child. The opportunity to learn is skills so here's a yes breed approach verses that view which we call no print because it creates resistance in your child. Here's an alternative way to do it. You say. Gosh I would like to have dinner to. After we have ice cream would be great to speed peace cream first obese so much fun and you're child look at you like what. And then you go you know that's also feeling I have a morning haven't persevere identifying their mind they're fuming. Before you identified the structure and get them. Then that you connect like that. You can say you know something we're gonna have dinner first because you need to eat nutritious things before you had your desserts. And then let's thank you wanna have Vanilla ice cream is strawberry chocolate after we had dinner. So what happens in that approach it sounds as simple but you've identified the money into your child their feelings with they're hoping for. And instead of shaming them forward which is what an overhead approach can often do your actions saying I see why you feel that way this feelings are okay. But we're not gonna carry out that behavior series giving them structure. And then they feel safe and they learn OK I can have a feeling. And even if it doesn't go my way I can have my dinner and don't have to answer. There right now talk about to be adaptive. Part of this. Yeah well you know you've jury sitting on the maintain so flexible would be the chances are right I can't have dessert Argo along with the adaptive as to where they're saying in different situations. That may be. Ways in which they have to say OK I was going to go to my friend's house but my friend has a cold. So I can't go there and act to go to aunt Sally is with my mom and sister. So. Many children. Lock onto the first idea I was going to be in my friend and they can't adapt to the new things that are they're required to do. So adaptation comes from that early in the brain you have this capacity to say here's what I initially wanted to I'm switching gears. And that gears switching mechanism in the brain is something but yes sprint approach actually. Is built by what you do these strategy that we we offer in the book and what it says basically in terms of adaptation. It actually gives your child a sense of strength ironically because. Initially when kids take their heels in and they don't adapt they pick their big strong but you're actually teach me but deeper kind of strength and wisdom. But had to adapt to what's going on. Tirade now let's talk about coherent with our children. Yeah you know that term is wonderful term which basically means how you sustain. Fully functional in different situations so it's really a great term for resilience. And that means like when you get off balance when you're in Stockton rigidity that need to have this or your chaotic. I can exploding and emotions like many of our kids can do. This is your ability to come back to that balanced place to coherence is. Holding weld together over time it's being resilient and would you teach these yes spring strategies. What you're doing is basically building the part of your your child's brain. That allows them to shift gears set to adapt. To be flexible and what they do. But tend to have this capacity to have essentially and inner compass. So imagine when your child can be eighteen and getting ready to leave the house. When you've given them these yet springs strategy you've built this coherence. In their brain. So that. Resilience on polls and when they faced challenges. And sometimes they're really difficult they can come back to balance and that's basically what the coherence. Term means in the faces Akron. Terry and the energized terms sometimes. We just so beaten down and exhausted his. As parents yeah how do we how we can stand you when we feel like we're fighting a losing battle and and and we have a a strong opponent like a child who's. Now in a breeze but absolutely resistant to our ideas. You don't see that it's such a great question and I think you're showing that the basis of experience with becoming a hole and integrated it is something we as parents it is such desire to serve so this disparate apartment it's just as much for us. And so here's the idea. If we moment there's something difficult going on. It's very understandable as parents who say oh my god this is so hard it's too much from town overwhelmed not a burden of this is so difficult. Think about this. Even though. He days are long. Two years short I have kids have in their twenties now so they're out of the house. And I expected years and they are at home. I think about them a lot of fondness now it's hard enough heated battle you know when your kids doing all the different things that parenting demands you do. It's hard to keep in mind this is no way you can think about being energized. If you can realized that the moments that are most difficult. Are actually be opportunities. For not only your child to have some deep learning but you two to learn some new things. Then you actually can reach frame how you perceive these difficulties. And there's a lot of energy that's released from that that's where the word energize comes from he can really. Use a very focused. Strategy this desperate strategy. To create this year's spring yourself which by the way comes from just the idea that you can have a positive. Robust attitude toward life rather than us down. Shut down who waited you live in an over in state. And now finally be an excuse me this stability one excuse me. As it arises and they want that dug out the doctor kids they want stability. Yet you know stability doesn't mean you're rigid and just completely predictable stability means there's a chorus static view it apparent that you can teach it to your child. Where even if things get off you know that there's an inner compass that guides them. And let's say they're young children that it toddler or a preschooler. You can actually show them in your own ways of interacting with them that they have something inside that no matter what's going on with the kids at school or the bit time to step. That there isn't inner child better you your child. That can be stable. Now think about it this way if that toddler preschooler is now an elementary school kid and now gone on to middle school high school. You have taken the time. To build these yes spring circuits which are these sources in the inner compass that gives them stability pica balancing capacity. And that's why I think gift that keeps on giving and that's stability is really part the whole way to the brain to duplicate the brain science to those. It's really built these circuits. That allow. A child to approach. All sorts of difficulties. With clarity. And went and what's called equanimity to kind of way of bringing themselves back to balance. Doctor we have a very bad OP they'd crisis where we live. And the median age for the people getting involved does is younger and younger. How can parents work with their children during brain training to encourage them not to try harmful substances. You know that's such an important issue China and I think I really. Can hear the challenge for any parent who's living in a community like that and so just a couple of things to say about cochlear it's in particular. You know these substances. Locked onto a part of the brain called the rewards system which policy that chemical quote. Dope I mean and what that means is that. When you take no period. It leads to your reward systems saying that was something I should be doing I need to be doing more of it. Then once the open good effect wears off it crashes down so in the brain to reward systems says oh my god something's missing some things and get better do it again. And there's this incredible. Drive. To take you where it's this is this is they're really risky thing. So we that you can build. These things were talking about it really yet springs strategy of saying. Can my child haven't inner compass that guides them and I have a relationship with my child that is itself for warding. And I really build these connections. So that is once steady for example where rats were given. The opportunity to either take water or take a dope mean British substance cocaine in this case and I kept on taking cocaine. But only when they were living in isolation. When they were in a social group or things to play with another rats they didn't do that they didn't die from just keep on using this again. So we need to keep relationships of latter I think every intervention. For drug abuse shows that it certain connections with people around a suit and support us. In in recovering if we have become addicted or even in avoiding addiction. So communities I think need to get together and really. Deal directly as a collective with what's the open or aids crisis is really bringing as a challenge to parenting. And as you're saying soups you know it's so important to not have a young brain. Exposed to these substances because the brain actually resets itself. Two won't want that Simpson did need that substance to have this reward circuit focused on the substance so. The longer you can keep a child away from being exposed to it better the brain will be. And of course it would stay away from it forever that's even better. Do you have any opinion about says marijuana. Wreck recently and medically. You know it's so interesting marijuana. Has a lot of different or surged to show that there are some significant negative effects. On the brain. And in some ways those paralleled a negative effects of alcohol. So you know community where people. Have emotions about alcohol that are positive. But emotions about mayor wondered negative when you look at the search. You really have to ask yourself you know what they're both pretty not so good for the brain. And when they're used it very in wait it's damaging both can lead to serious. Injuries to the connections in the brain and her connections. So I I'm concerned about that I'm concerned that you know people will use marijuana and use alcohol by the way in ways that are really troublesome now the difference that people two point is that while alcohol activate doping system and you can become addicted to it just like to capitol QA or cocaine. Marijuana. Doesn't activate the reward system like that. And so while it can lead to difficulty was focusing attention and motivation and become a habit. It isn't addictive like alcohol would be okay right so. This is where people when they say well look it you can't have alcohol that's legal. And that's addictive and you have marijuana it's not addictive. It let's look at this as a you know playing field and I think that's a reasonable discussion both are very concerned substances. Absolute. All right before we laid out because this is in your wheel house to say a little bit about mine fullness and young children as well as their parents because in this age of connectivity to actors so hard to get away from all this stuff so. Kitty it was a simple mindful news tip that we can apply at today in our own lives. Absolutely bogus the study he can Michael of dealing with drug addiction show that might promises and very helpful intervention. What might solicited basically. Be aware of what's happening as it's happening and here's a simple tip you can do. It's incredibly simple it's rarely done and the research that we've done it at our institution and other places well chose that it's. Really really helpful for how you balance your emotions your thinking your attention even your relationships and here's Erica. If you take that state Eaton thirty seconds a day. To simply sit and chair. And invite yourself to just take a moment and since your breath. And just feel the breath you can do right now. Just feel the breath as it comes in let's say your nostrils. QB in Brad has the interest is there. Since the Arab princes the outbreak is there. In Britain. And outbreak. Now. If you just do this even securities sectors and to combat happened and it. Start there you'll find you may want to do it for a minute. Now we they've been able to show in many research centers is that if you just took the time to sense that Brett. In the brain you'd actually stirred it's called integration. Integrated connecting the different parts. And it leads to columnist. In speech to clarity. At least to a sense of letting the chatter of the mind that often destroy accessing gets people to use drugs often. That that calmed down. And if you just did this alone as a tip to your asked about if you just do this alone you'd be amazed. How you do it as a parent. And then you can teach this to your child. Tanks start to change and I know it sounds simple and you probably think I'm making this up but there wasn't a ton of research to back it up I wouldn't be so. You have clear about it but it's really really clear focusing attention on the sensation of something in this district during the Brett. Is starting place for developing. More of what's called mindful awareness and that. It is the gateway. To strengthen its. Paralleled the yet sprain approached it basically creating its vitality inside this flexibility and adaptability to hear coherence and energy in the stability we talked about. This is one tip of many but it's really good to start with this. Doctor phases in my talk radio callers you do realize you're near wrecked my shower. Because number I don't lose all their head of steam. Oh my gosh what the good news is you can have other that this team you can work onto the there's a lot of other things that talk about. That at doctor Siegel what a pleasure to have you on the show today and I was practicing both are attempts while you were talking. And I felt better already the yes brain is the new book the you have that. How to cultivate courage curiosity and resilience in your child has been our pleasure thank you so much. Aren't.