When we teach our young children to slow down, to notice their emotions, then equip them with tools for navigating their tricky feelings like disappointment, impatience, boredom, sadness, or anger, we lay the foundation for a kinder and more empathetic society.

It was an honor to speak to Dr. Dan Siegel, a pioneer in the field of psychology and the study of mindfulness.

It all starts with us! We’ll talk about mindset shifts parents can make to foster self-compassion and ways we can aid in developing our children’s social and emotional learning. 

We’ll also talk about Dr. Siegel’s new books, how we can reshape our brain through mindfulness, and the role this plays in helping us develop a connection to ourselves, our peers and the entire interconnected world we’re all a part of. 

I walked away from our conversation feeling optimistic, empowered and ready to take on the challenges that await us all in life, and I think you will too!


Dr. Dan (00:00):

Your attention is up to your mind. And your mind is much broader than the brain. It’s bigger even than your body. And the fun thing about that is you can use the mind to change not only the activity of the brain by your focus of attention, but you can change its structure.

Dr. Sarah (00:21):

I am absolutely thrilled to welcome today’s guest to the podcast, Dr. Dan Siegel. I have been a huge fan of Dan Siegel for years, and you’ve probably heard me make mention of at least one of his many books. If you’re a regular listener to the show, Dr. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. He has published an extensive library of books, articles, and internationally acclaimed texts. Dr. Siegel is also the father of the field of interpersonal neurobiology, which we’ll talk more about in this episode. But in a nutshell, interpersonal neurobiology takes an array of scientific disciplines and finds the common thread within each of them that addresses the many factors of the human experience, how we think about ourselves, how we think about others, and how we are interconnected with one another and our environments.


Dr. Siegel’s extensive work in this field has led to a great understanding of how clinicians and parents can use these principles of interpersonal neurobiology to foster compassion, kindness, resilience, and wellbeing in children through their relationships to themselves, to others, to their community, and even to our planet. Central to interpersonal neurobiology is the role of mindfulness and mindful awareness in Dr. Siegel’s new books, two of them that are just coming out now, NowMaps and NowMaps Jr. He, along with his co-author, Deena Margolin, have created an incredible tool that parents can use to teach mindfulness to their children in an engaging and accessible way, helping them to navigate everyday challenges and develop effective coping skills. So I invite you to sit back, try to be present in this moment, and enjoy this conversation with Dr. Dan Siegel.


There is so much learning that can be done through play. Okay, let me geek out on brain science for just a second. When children are playing, their nervous system is in a state of relaxation or rest/digest, aka the opposite of fight or flight. And in this state, the frontal lobes of their brain are firing, giving your child the ability to reason, problem, solve, and acquire new information. So what does that mean? It means that we know from research and science that one of the best ways to teach our children is not in a heat of the moment, not through a lecture, but through calm, connected moments during play. And that is exactly why I’ve created a guide that teaches you how to incorporate emotion regulation, building games into your child’s play. In my free guide, Reduced Tantrums Before They Even Begin, I teach you five fun and simple games that help children develop emotion regulation skills like learning to breathe, inhibit impulse, and calm their bodies down. To download this free guide to strengthen your child’s emotion regulation skills, when their brain is most receptive to learning, go to drsarahbren.com/resources. That’s drsarahbren.com/resources.


Hi, I’m Dr. Sarah Bren, a clinical psychologist and mom of two. In this podcast, I’ve taken all of my clinical experience, current research on brain science and child psychology, and the insights I’ve gained on my own parenting journey and distilled everything down into easy to understand and actionable parenting insights. So you can tune out the noise and tune into your own authentic parenting voice with confidence and calm. This is Securely Attached.


I am thrilled to introduce you to our guest today. This is Dr. Dan Siegel. He is an icon in the field of interpersonal neurobiology, which he’s gonna tell us all about. I’m so grateful for you to be on the show today.

Dr. Dan (04:27):

Thanks, Sarah. It’s an honor to be here with you and I’m really looking forward to our conversation.

Dr. Sarah (04:32):

Thank you. And one of the reasons why I love your work as much as I do is because you have this phenomenal ability to take incredibly complex neurological concepts, psychological concepts, research, and you can distill it down into these like really accessible elemental pieces that anybody can really relate to and identify with and internalize. And I think it’s just makes it, you know, like a bridge to the research in a way that helps parent parents so much.

Dr. Dan (05:03):

Well, thank you. Thank you. You know, I think these last 30 years of being in the field of mental health have been trying to do just that. So it’s great to know that it seems to be working a little bit. So that’s great. Thank you. 

Dr. Sarah (05:17):

Yes. And one of my favorite books that you have written that is like, practically required reading for parents that come to my practice is The Whole Brain Child. And one of the reasons I love that book so much, there’s many reasons, but one is that in the end of each chapter, and you wrote this book with Tina Payne Bryson, at the end of each chapter, you have these illustrated, almost like cartoons that synthesize some of the more complicated stuff that’s for parents in the, in the chapter that parents can then read with their kids to kind of help them experience and understand some of these ideas. And you have a kid’s book out now. And then I feel like that those illustrations in The Whole Brain Child are probably the closest thing previously that existed that you created that was like four kids for young kids with pictures, and now you have NowMaps and NowMaps Jr.

Dr. Dan (06:08):

Absolutely, yeah. And with NowMaps and NowMaps Jr., there’s an opportunity for for NowMaps for older kids, tweens basically like seven up to 12 to really learn these, what I call them mind tools which is basically learning how to have insight into yourself, how to have empathy for other people, and have what’s called integration, which is where you’re not only differentiating and linking, that’s the formal definition, but you’re learning to regulate things. So to know your feelings and be able to calm them when they’re agitated to know what you’re thinking and to take those thoughts and sort through them in a helpful way. So yeah, so with Deena Margolin, we wrote NowMaps as, as a student of mine, and then she came to work at our institute. We were taking these mind ideas and then trying to make them accessible directly for kids. 


With Tina Payne Bryce, she also had been my student. And then she started raising her own kids through this lens of interpersonal neurobiology, where we bring all the sciences together to understand the mind and mental health in, in really exciting ways. So, we decided to work together, collaborate, to write our four books. And even before that, the main textbook on interpersonal neurobiology that started that whole field, The Developing Mind. When that book came out, my daughter was in preschool, so this was many years ago, and the preschool director asked me to teach at the school and teach the parents and the teachers. So she and I, Mary Hartzelll, started doing workshops together, and then we wrote the book Parenting From the Inside Out. So that’s kind of the story of how all these books got started. But they’re all built on exactly what you’re saying. Let’s take the science of development across all the fields of science, and that’s called interpersonal neurobiology.


Let’s make a suggestion of what the mind actually is. And in part it’s a regulatory process. And then let’s show what a healthy mind is. And that’s a mind that is learned to monitor with stability. So what you’re seeing is with depth, detail, and clarity, and then you want to take what you’re seeing and be able to modify it. So that’s, that’s really optimal regulation. All of that comes from, you know, something in relational terms you call secure attachment. You know, you can look at the brain side of a two brains interacting, and there’s all sorts of exciting ways of looking at it for a kid. What we wanna do is teach the child to be able to monitor so they’re able to be aware what’s happening right now. That’s the word now map, and then do something about it. So pause before acting on an impulse, reflecting on a feeling, and rather being swamped by it learn to surf the waves of your emotions. you know, and really learn from memory that sometimes things are really upsetting and understand how to work with your own memories. So in all these ways, it’s, when you look at how the brain develops it’s teaching skills through a story, that’s what NowMaps Jr. Is so that through the narrative process that child’s brain is going to learn through a story, how to regulate more effectively, how to strengthen their mind.

Dr. Sarah (09:21):

I love that. And I think, you know, I have, I have two young kids, One’s almost five, one’s three, and as a parent, I’m, I’ve always sort of like, it’s a, it’s a, it’s tricky to find books for kids. Like I think there’s, there are some very good parenting books out there, some are better than others, but there are books that I think, there are some really good parenting books that translate the science for parents. But then I think oftentimes parents are left feeling like, Okay, I have to then internalize this information, translate it through my parenting to my child, which is great. I mean, that’s the goal, right? But sometimes it’s nice to have a tool to like sit down with your kid and where they, where the child really gets to be the experiencer. And it’s not just like, I joke that like my kids roll their eyes at me every time I say like, take a deep breath. Like sometimes it needs to be coming not from us, the parent all the time. And have a place where your child can like create their own imagery and explore these ideas through books and storytelling. And I think it’s so great that that’s a resource.

Dr. Dan (10:27):

Well, Sarah, I have a great book for your kids. They’re the perfect age NowMaps Jr. And you know, literally in the three stories that are in here, what you’re gonna see in a rhyming kind of way is a way that you learn to have a pause button, you know, to pause and say, I don’t have to act right now. I can be aware of what’s going on. You can then have this okay. Monitor where you’re basically saying, are things okay or not? And if they’re not okay to really take a break and self soothe, Right? Which is so important to do to build resilience. And then this idea of, you know, looking through this telescope is the idea that you can actually build the, literally the neural circuitry. We don’t say that in the rhyming stories, but for you as a parent, you should know.


You’re literally building mindsight circuits that let you have insight to what’s going on now in me, empathy, what’s going on in you. And then integration means I can really build kindness, I can build regulation, I can be compassionate. All these things are built on integration. So, you know, what’s so exciting as a scientist is that these are based on really exciting research findings when you bring them all together as a clinician. What’s really exciting is that so often I’ll seek kids in my practice, I’m a child therapist, you know, where I wish they could have had a book like this early on because now they’re nine or 10 or whatever, and they’ve been dysregulated for so long. Someone could have taught them the skills of regulation when they were younger, cuz they develop early on in preschool. And that’s why we have NowMaps Jr and you can continue developing those skills later on.


So we have NowMaps, which is a more elaborate book but to speak directly to kids. And I guess, you know, I maybe because as a child psychiatrist and as someone who’s had my own kids and also someone who works with adolescents, I just feel from my own experience that, I mean, that’s the way you help people is you speak directly to them. You give them the empowerment to learn that these skills can be their own. So, you know, especially when you know the science of it and you realize this is not just opinion, that this is really hard science then across lots of disciplines. So it’s not just one particular area. Then you kind of had this, this really exciting feeling, like what would happen if you could actually empower someone to grow the circuitry of wellbeing by a story or by a way you interact as a parent. And so that’s what, you know, gets me going in the morning and, you know, I’m so happy to be talking to you about it.

Dr. Sarah (13:16):

Yeah. And I think something you said makes me also think about the fact that when you give parents the science behind something, there’s a way in which that’s very permission giving. Like, I mean, I know that when I help parents understand why a child is behaving the way they’re behaving from a brain science perspective, you know, their upstairs brain, the lid has flipped. They’re in a state of fight or flight, They’re, they don’t wanna feel this way. We as parents can get dysregulated from our own children’s dysregulation. There’s a science to that. There’s, we’re interconnected beings. You know, when I, when parents understand the why behind a child’s dysregulation or quote unquote misbehavior or their own losing it with their kids, I think there’s a lot of peace that comes with that to say, I’m not just a bad parent, I’m a human being responding to a really challenging situation. My child is a human being responding to a really challenging situation. I think it helps us to have empathy for our kid, for ourselves. And I think science is why that works.

Dr. Dan (14:21):

Absolutely. I agree with you completely. And you know, I think in my own experience, you know, when we had our son and I was just starting a research fellowship through the National Institute Mental Health on studying, becoming an attachment researcher sometimes I’d flip my own lid, you know, and it was very confusing to me. And so, even though this was 1989 and this was, you know, before the decade of the brain and we didn’t know that much about the brain, I went on, on a deep search on brain mechanisms that could help me understand myself and why even though my wife and I were loving parents, I, as the father in the family was acting really in not very good ways. I talk about this in some of the books. You know, and so I had to, in a sense be kind to my inner experience, but at the same time do something about it.


And you know, 10 years later, you know, when Mary Hartzell and I were doing these workshops and I was teaching about the brain to the, to teachers in the preschool and the, and the parents, one mom came to me the next day, our kids were in preschool together. And she said, you know, when you taught me about flipping the lid and the hand model of the brain, she said, you know, I realized it’s not my fault, but it is my responsibility. And that clarification from that mom just blew my mind because it was so clear she could let go of the shaming thing that many of us experienced. And myself included, you know, you say, Oh, there’s something wrong with me. Bad person, bad person. Rather you say, Okay, it’s not my fault yet I can take responsibility for changing this. And that’s what’s been so rewarding is to get parents the the clarity that that mom was able to describe by teaching about the brain, for example. And then when you teach kids about it, and I certainly found this with Brainstorm, you know, teaching them directly, this is your brain, this is how it’s working inside of that body you’re in. And you can do something about it. Because guess what? The mind is not the same as the brain. And you go,

Dr. Sarah (16:33):

What? Ooh, talk about this. This is incredible.

Dr. Dan (16:36):

Well, yeah, this is where, you know, I made up this phrase where attention goes, neural firing flows and neural connection grows. Your attention is up to your mind. And your mind is much broader than the brain. It’s bigger even than your body. And the fun thing about that is you can use the mind to change not only the activity of the brain by your focus of attention, but you can change its structure. So this, you know, when there was a feeling about this in the eighties when I was first becoming a therapist, people would say, Oh, you’re no, so it doesn’t make any sense. I said, Well, you look at the deep science of neuroplasticity, it completely makes sense that the mind is not the same as the brain. And you can use the mind to drive energy and information flow through circuits in ways they may not naturally do.


So when you read a story like NowMaps Jr, it’s a story, it’s rhyming, there’s three stories your child can pick which of the three stories. So there’s a feeling of empowerment, and then they get familiar with each of the stories you learn about things like the pause button, things about the okay monitor things about the, the compass, the NowMaps compass. So you can figure out what’s going on. And in all these ways, this, you know, focus flashlight lets you look around and say, What are my feelings? What are my thoughts? All this stuff. And that doesn’t naturally happen. You’ve gotta learn to do that. I mean, I had so many professors of medicine who couldn’t do that, you know? Yeah. And so when I dropped outta school and came back and made up this word mindset, it was that hey, you can actually learn the skills of monitoring and then modifying, and wow, you can make a difference in how your mind is.


So anyway, this is, you know, that was back in the eighties. We now know for sure that what you do with your mind can change the structured brain by making more integrated, which is basically what a healthy mind is dancing with is a more integrated brain. And the beautiful thing about an integrated brain is it’s the number one correlate with wellbeing in every measure of wellbeing they have. So, you know, whether it’s, you know, NowMaps or Whole Brain or Brainstorm or Parenting from the Inside Out, these are all like translating the science to say integration is something you can create in yourself, like the mind book or you know, if you’re a scientist, you’d read The Developing Mind. But there’s all these different ways of approaching integration. And NowMaps is basically saying, let’s do this for preschool kids themselves.

Dr. Sarah (19:04):

Right. It’s like you have, it’s almost like, well, you could talk a little bit about the Wheel of Awareness, but I’m picturing a hub, which is the, the information and all of these different spokes of how to get that information out to different people in different stages of development. And I feel like you have many different ways of communicating these ideas in accessible ways. You know, Brainstorm is for adolescence NowMaps and NowMaps Jr. for little kids, you’ve gotta wear and The Whole Brain Child and all these other great books for parents. And then it’s integrating it all together.

Dr. Dan (19:42):

Yeah. Yeah. And I’m coming out with another book called IntraConnected in November, and I just did a whole international thing for, for people in who running organizations, businesses. 

Dr. Sarah (19:53):

Ah, interesting.

Dr. Dan (19:55):

And yeah, because these ideas, I mean, it’s good for a preschool kid, but it’s really also good for, you know, an executive in a company that has to make a decision between whether to pollute the world or actually make the world a healthier place to be. Yes. So, you know, if they’re gonna make more profit, you know, doing this one way and they’re missing the mindset skills to actually say actually the greater good is a better goal than my individual pocketbook. Right. Imagine a world where people started making business decisions on what we’re trying to teach a preschool kid to do, like, you know, hold hands when you cross the street and share your toys and you know, take a nap when you’re tired. All these great preschool lessons that we learn, you know, we forget them when we run businesses or whatever we’re doing, doing so, So this is the good news for our Human family is that right. These exact ideas are, I’m really excited about are, are gonna be useful if we decide to use them for changing the course we’re on, you know, in this hot summer you can feel it and everything going on in the planet. I think everyone has this feeling like, whoa, something is not going right. But we can course correct if we wake up to it. So that’s the new book IntraConnected.

Dr. Sarah (21:16):

Oh, that’s amazing. It’s funny cuz what you’re saying makes me think of something I’ve heard you talk about before about this idea that when, you know, we are thinking about the state of things and the planet and in our society is at large and, and how do we, how do we raise kids to be human beings who feel connected to other human beings who have a sense of, you know, connection to the planet, to the humanity as a whole. And I’ve heard you tell this really beautiful story about sort of one of the flaws of our society and the way that we, we look at ourselves unfortunately as very siloed individual selves that aren’t necessarily as interconnected as we are. Yeah. And the counter to that actually can lead not just to more harmony among humans, but like better outcomes for the planet. Could you, would you talk a little bit about that.

Dr. Dan (22:19):

Yeah, no, I think, thanks for bringing that up Sarah. I think that you know, one way to begin to look at that is that there’s a deep overlap between the personal, the professional and the planetary. So they may seem like separate domains of what we do working, you know, in our professional capacities in whatever we do or planetary health or you know, your personal wellbeing. But they’re actually all pretty much mirroring the same process of integration. And, you know, when we raise kids to have them realize the fluidity of planetary health, professional work and personal health, then, then the feeling of connection can start arising. So, you know, in this book, Intra Connected, which would be really interesting, if parents read it, it’s super optimistic because it’s basically taking lifespan development. So it goes from before conception all the way to, you know, as you get older and takes you through what is the self really, and why are we getting messages from modern culture that say that there’s a solo self, a that only lives in the body.


So a simple way of even naming this is, you know, we don’t want to go from the modern cultural view of a separate self as me all the way to there is no me. And it’s all just we, you know, because then you’re just losing the importance of a person, for example, knowing their own history, knowing their own inner mental state, knowing their memories, making sense of their life through what’s called the coherent narrative. All that is about the individual, which we’re gonna put the word me around that. So as parents, yes we wanna a deep, rich, resilient me in our child, but they, we also want them connected as a we, you know, where you’re in relationship with not only other people who are like you and share similar interests, but people who are not like you all of hum humanity, you’re human family.


And then realize that we’re also connected to nature. That nature is not something separate like a trash can that you dump garbage into. It is who you are. So how do you do the me and the we and integrate them? Well as you know, integration means differentiating. So we can explore me, we explore we, but then you link them and in the linkage you don’t lose the differentiation. That’s the key. It’s not blending, it’s not becoming homogenous. So when you put this together, it’s more like a, you know, a fruit salad than a smoothie. And then what you, what you get is this incredible harmony that arises when you have that kind of balance of differentiation, linkage. So me and we, you don’t wanna go me to we So what, what do you do? Well, the fun word we have is me plus we is “mwe”, you know, we, so we have been going around the world seeing what languages would translate in their particular linguistic terms that me plus we combo and we have this beautiful list of words.


And what’s fun about it is once you start feeling into we as a parent and having your child grow with that kind of identity, they will feel the connection cuz it’s built into who they are. They’re not just a me and you know, we have a whole school that does this in New York and they, they gave me the honor of doing their eighth grade graduation talk and I talked to ’em about me and everything like that. And the parents wrote to me afterwards and during the summer after their graduation, they were texting each other as we we this, we wants to do this and just try it up for a day. You’ll start feeling the difference and you’ll start feeling the connection. Cuz linguistic terms, the words we use are sitting on top of concepts which are sitting on tops of categories. And if you start getting messages on the internet and social media or in the way you’re raised or you know, in school of you’re separate, you’re separate, you’re separate.


All of those words of separation are gonna have concepts and categories are gonna make you feel isolated and alone. And I think it’s in part of why the viral pandemic led to this terrible increase in anxiety, depression, and suicide even among children. So that connection you’re talking about is vital because the mind is fully relational, not just embodied, it’s fully relational. So when we cut off connections, even by the unfortunate ways we say the self is only in the body or the mind is only in the brain, all that stuff is actually leading to unhealth. And we can bust through those their lies, basically their in fact lethal lies, I think. And we can change that as parents, as teachers, as people in society.

Dr. Sarah (26:57):

Yeah. So what are some things like if parents are listening to this, what’s like one or two things they could do today with their kids to kind of communicate this idea of this intraconnected mwe or like this idea that like, you are you, I am me. Those are important, right? That’s the differentiation, right? We have separate beings. I have my feelings, you have your feelings and then the linking of those things, like I care about your feelings, I’m curious about your feelings, Your feelings impact me, but they’re separate. And then there’s this greater mu this like sort of connection to Yeah. To everything.

Dr. Dan (27:34):

Yeah. Yeah. You know, it’s, it’s great. It’s it’s basically you’re talking about how do we as parents teach kids to feel the relational connections, the relational field is the scientific term, you know, in simple things. It’s a way of realizing we’re not just noun like entities that are separate. We’re verb like unfoldings that are hugely interwoven with each other. And you know that the, there’s a lot to say about it in intraconnected, I talk a lot about how to do that. But, but in terms of the messaging, it’s really, really important not to act as if there is no inner aspect of the self. Because I’ve worked with people where the parents have tried to raise them. It’s all just, you know, everything is everything and there’s no individuality and the, the kid is lost. So you really wanna build a solid inner self for your child.


You can do that by reflecting on them what are they feeling, what are they thinking, what did that mean to them? What do they remember? These are building mind skills of insight for them by your empathic inquiry into what’s going on. These are reflective dialogues is what they’re called. That’s number one. Number two, you know, when you’re having your child reflect on their relationships with friends or family members, talk about the relationship, not just about the other person, not just about grandma, but the relationship of, you know, Sarah and grandma, you know, and talk about, oh it’s so cool, your relationship is so full of love. Not just grandma is a loving person. So there, what you’re doing as a parent, you’re starting to identify the relational field, the relational connection. And then go out into nature. So that would be an example of a human to human relational field.


Go out into nature and have your child feel the forest just be there. And yes, they can say, well look at the tree, it’s got bark and leaves and branches and that’s great too. But in addition to that, it’s what’s their connection to the forest? How do they feel there? How can they actually protect the forest? So I’ll just say this cuz this is, this is built into this book, but, and I’m just doing the audio reading of it, but the, the acronym, you know, I’m an acronym nut, spa, S.P.A. Is a simple acronym for what we mean by self. Subjective experience, check into your child’s subjective sense of something in the forest, let’s say. P is perspective, get their point of view. A is agency. How are you intentionally acting for on behalf of something.


So you have an inner SPA of self. So you have an inner me, there’s also you, I can say Sarah has her subjective experience, perspective and agency. But now that we’ve had this conversation together, there’s a SPA of the Sarah/Dan Relationality and you can start to speak to that act on behalf of it, support it. Of course it’s through empathy and compassion. It’s built from kindness and love. Absolutely. So when people start to feel these relational connections in science, we call them relational fields, you know, you feel into it. This is something that’s very real and very important. And imagine when your child could grow and you’ve got a three and five year old now maps, we try to teach this, imagine that they’re gonna grow and realize that who they are is much bigger than their skin and case body. You’re giving them a gift that’s gonna keep on giving because they will know I’m connected to the human family, not just my personal family.


I’m gonna, maybe I’ll develop a profession to really pursue that. And in fact, planetary health and personal health are kind of the same thing as we’re learning now with what’s happening in the climate change process. So this is a moment absolutely. Of challenge. What we need to do as parents in the world is say, Okay, I can get a feeling of despair, hopelessness, depression. Yeah, you can do that. I feel that sometimes for sure. But we owe it to our kids actually to take a lot of deep breaths, do practices like the wheel of awareness, whatever you do to take care of your inner self, but then realize that what’s feels like an absolute overwhelming state. Instead of seeing it as threat, threat threat, threat, threat. And we’re gonna get exhausted and burnt out. We have to see it as a challenge. And when we shift our own mindset to a challenge mindset, then these challenges become like our dance partners. And instead of feeling overwhelmed, they’re just saying, I can’t do this anymore. Which understandable that you would instead say, No, it’s actually in my space to make these really important issues happening in life challenges that I’m gonna work with and I’m gonna teach my child, this is what the world is. So we come with an inner sense of clarity and hope and resilience and let’s go do it. And that’s, I think kind of how we need to go forward right now. Yeah. In this moment in our human family.

Dr. Sarah (32:38):

No, I think that’s so true. I think that like, you know, I hear from parents all the time that they just, they get shut down and, and paralyzed by the idea of like the world we’re handing over to our kids right now, or when my kids come ask me about this and that or what else to say, I like, I don’t know how to respond. And I think this idea of shifting from, okay, how do you respond to a completely unanswerable catastrophe versus how do I respond to a challenge? Okay, well that makes it feel a little bit more accessible. That makes it feel a little bit more manageable. It’s a challenge. I don’t have the answer otherwise it wouldn’t be a challenge. But I don’t need to panic either. Like Exactly. It’s like put one foot in front of the other, talk to your kids, you know?

Dr. Dan (33:23):

Yeah that’s right. Be open about, Yeah. These are challenging times and, and you know I’m really honored to be here with you, Sarah, because you know, the NowMaps Jr., the NowMaps, all this stuff, The Whole Brain Child approach, all this stuff are tools that you have as a parent to really help you develop your own inner resilience, which is really important. They, you know, and provide the skills your child needs to face this challenging world that we are now really seeing that we are absolutely in.

Dr. Sarah (33:53):

Yeah. So the resources you provide are a great step towards that. And if people have more questions or wanna find out more about your work, where can they find you? Where can they get this book? It’s coming out, soon, right? In October.

Dr. Dan (34:07):

Yeah. October 11th. Yeah. yeah, so please come to our website, drdansiegel.com, drdansiegel.com. We have a link to our school, TheMindsightInstitute.com. And there’s all sorts of, you know, stuff for you to explore and experience there and learn and join a community. So we welcome you.

Dr. Sarah (34:30):

Yes. Wonderful. Thank you so much for being here. We’ll put all the resources in the show notes and thank you. This was a wonderful to talk with you.

Dr. Dan (34:37):

Great. Thank you Sarah. Pleasure.

Dr. Sarah (34:45):

Mindfulness is such a vital skill both for ourselves and for our children in cultivating this practice when they’re young can have a massive impact on their emotional development. One of the best times to teach mindfulness or any new skill is in calm, connected moments. In this state, our child feels safe and their brain’s prefrontal cortex, aka their thinking and learning brain is active and online. And that is one of the reasons why reading books to children can be such a valuable tool for teaching because you’re usually reading books in calm, connected moments. And that’s one of the many reasons why I’m so excited to read Dr. Siegel’s new book to my own kids. And just like reading another time when our child’s brain is able to absorb new information is when they are playing, especially when they’re playing with us as parents, we can capitalize on this piece of information and teach our children during moments when it will make the most impact.

(35:43):That is why I created a resource that teaches you how to integrate emotion regulation, skill building activities into your child’s play. In my free guide Reduced Tantrums Before They Even Begin. I teach you five fun and simple games that help children develop emotion regulation skills like learning to breathe, inhibiting impulse, and calming their bodies down. You’ll know they’re learning, but they will just think they’re playing. To download this free guide, to strengthen your child’s emotion regulation skills, go to drsarahbren.com/resources. That’s drsarahbren.com/resources. Thanks again to my guest, Dr. Dan Siegel for coming. Thank you for listening and until next week, don’t be a stranger.

I want to hear from you! Send me a topic you want me to cover or a question you want answered on the show!

DM me on Instagram at @securelyattachedpodcast or @drsarahbren

Send an email to info@drsarahbren.com

And check out drsarahbren.com for more parenting resources

71. The neuroscience of mindfulness and how teaching these skills to our kids has worldwide impact with Dr. Dan Siegel