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Brain Integration: Part Two. 4 strategies to support parents and teachers in SEL implementation

Welcome back, amazing parents, caregivers, and educators! 🌟


We hope you've been having a jolly time with your children and students, especially during this lovely winter break. It's time to dive deeper into the fascinating world of Brain Integration in part two of our blog series.


Recap: The Marvel of Brain Integration

In part one, we introduced you to the concept of Brain Integration. Think of it as a superpower that resides within every child's brain. There are two key players here: the "downstairs" brain, responsible for quick reactions and survival instincts, and the "upstairs" brain, the mastermind behind higher-level thinking and emotional regulation. When these two work in harmony, children become equipped with essential life skills like self-understanding, emotion management, empathy, decision-making, and resilience.


Why Brain Integration Matters: A Quick Reminder

Before we delve into the remaining strategies, let's revisit why Brain Integration is crucial for your child's development:

- Emotion Management: Brain Integration helps kids understand and control their emotions, leading to reduced stress and anxiety.

- Empathy: Children with integrated brains can better empathize with others, building healthier relationships.

- Decision-Making: Enhanced decision-making skills contribute to success in school and life.

- Resilience: Brain Integration equips children to tackle challenges and setbacks with confidence in their own body and abilities.


Now, let's unlock the full potential of Brain Integration with additional 4 strategies to support parents and teachers in SEL inspired by Dr. Dan Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson's book "The Whole-Brain Child."


Strategy 5: Engage in Connection and Redirection

This strategy involves connecting with your child or student to build trust and then redirecting their behavior positively. For example:

- At Home: If your child is upset, connect by offering a comforting hug and saying, "I'm here for you. Let's figure this out together." Once they've calmed down, redirect their focus to a more positive activity or solution.

- At School: In the classroom, when a student displays challenging behavior, connect by acknowledging their feelings, and then redirect their energy towards a task or activity that promotes self-regulation and positive interaction with peers.


Strategy 6: Foster SIFTing

SIFT stands for Sensations, Images, Feelings, and Thoughts. Encourage children to "SIFT" through their experiences to better understand their emotions and reactions. For example:

- At Home: When your child is upset, ask them to SIFT through their feelings by saying, "Can you tell me what sensations you're feeling in your body right now? Are there any images or thoughts that come to mind?"

- At School: In the classroom, introduce SIFTing exercises during emotional discussions or journaling activities. This helps students explore the different dimensions of their experiences.


Strategy 7: Use Time-In and Time-Out

Time-In is an opportunity for children to reflect and regulate their emotions with the support of an adult. Time-Out, when needed, should be a brief break to cool down and regain composure. For example:

- At Home: If your child is upset, offer a Time-In by sitting together and talking through their feelings. "Let's take a Time-In to figure out what's going on." If they need a break, provide a Time-Out, saying, "Take a few minutes to calm down, and we'll talk when you're ready."

- At School: Teachers can implement Time-Ins during conflicts or emotional outbursts, allowing students to express their feelings in a supportive environment. Time-Outs can be used when a student needs a moment to regain self-control.


A Different Perspective of Time-Out:

Time-In is an opportunity for children to reflect and regulate their emotions with the support of an adult. It's different from the traditional "Time-Out" you might be familiar with.

Here's how:

Time-In:

Time-In is all about connection. It's an invitation for your child to express their feelings in a safe and caring environment. When your child is upset or overwhelmed, you can offer a Time-In by sitting together and talking through their feelings.

For example, you might say, "Let's take a Time-In to figure out what's going on. I'm here to listen and help." During a Time-In, you validate your child's emotions and guide them towards understanding and managing those feelings.

New Approach to Time-Out:

Traditional Time-Out is often seen as a punitive measure where a child is isolated as a consequence for their behavior.


However, we encourage a different approach.


If your child needs a break to cool down and regain composure, provide a brief Time-Out while ensuring it's not a punishment. For instance, you can say, "Take a few minutes to calm down, and we'll talk when you're ready." It's essential to use Time-Out sparingly and always follow up with a Time-In to discuss the feelings and behaviors that led to the Time-Out.


By distinguishing between Time-In and a more positive approach to Time-Out, we create an environment that fosters emotional understanding and regulation, rather than simply punishing behavior. This approach aligns with our goal of nurturing well-rounded, emotionally resilient individuals.


Strategy 8: Promote Whole-Brain Activities

Engage children in activities that stimulate both the "upstairs" and "downstairs" brain regions. For example:

- At Home: Encourage board games, puzzles, or storytelling, which involve problem-solving (upstairs brain) and fun (downstairs brain).

- At School: Incorporate interactive learning experiences that combine creativity and critical thinking, fostering whole-brain engagement.


Unleash the Superpower Within

With these additional strategies inspired by "The Whole-Brain Child," you're well-equipped to unlock the full potential of Brain Integration in your child or students. It's not just about achieving academic success; it's about nurturing well-rounded, emotionally resilient individuals who can thrive in all aspects of life.


Stay tuned for more exciting content and valuable insights from Teaching Through Education! Don't forget to follow us on Instagram @TeachingThroughEdu and subscribe to our newsletter for more brain-boosting tips and exclusive offers going on right now till Nov 30th. Program subscribtion are filling-up fast, spaces are limited.


Together, we're unleashing the superpower within every child! 🧠💪

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