Category Archives: General Interest

No Drama Discipline

NewYorkTimes-NoDramaDiscipline-cover

After Tina Payne Bryson and I wrote The Whole-Brain Child a few years ago, we were struck at how the term “discipline” was often used in our workshops by parents as a synonym for “punishment.” And so we felt it was important in our next book to help clarify that the term discipline really means “to teach,” and that the recipient of our discipline is a student, not a prisoner. Continue reading

Mind, Emotion, and the Spectrum of Autism

The Word Autism On Blank Puzzle Pieces

Last month was Autism Awareness month and I’m writing today to remind us that autism continues to be a compelling global issue that consumes the tireless efforts of families and professionals throughout the year.

In our human family, there are many ways the now seven billion (and rising) of us live in the world.  Our culture shapes our communication with each other interconnecting us across the planet in our fast-moving digital age.  Human societal change unfolds as cultural evolution influences us by way of how our interactions with each other shape us across the generations.  Continue reading

Thriving with the Power of Presence

dan.arianna.kabatzinn wisdom 2

Pictured: Arianna Huffington, Alanis Morissette, Dr. Dan Siegel, Jon Kabat-Zinn

Excited to join in the exploration of healthy ways of living at the upcoming conference, THRIVE, with Arianna Huffington and Mika Brzezinski.  Looking forward to discussing the importance of cultivating meaningful connections in this digital age with Arianna and Alanis Morissette.  Along with many others at this two-day event, including Katie Couric, mindfulness researcher Richie Davidson and songwriter Peter Himmelman, I look forward to immersing ourselves in the art and science of living a meaningful and compassionate life.  This is a gathering to explore Arianna’s call to action, beautifully expressed in her new book, Thrive: Continue reading

How to Bring Presence Into Our Modern, Digitized World

girl with laptop

For the past few years, I’ve attended an interactive conference called Wisdom 2.0, an annual event that encourages the ongoing conversation about how to bring more mindful awareness and compassion to our modern-day, digital world. At the most recent gathering in San Francisco, I was honored to be both a participant and a speaker in a weekend full of presentations, breakout sessions, and discussions.  Continue reading

Changing the Cultural Conversation About Adolescence

three girls chatting with their smartphones

Adolescence has a power and purpose much like a waterfall. We can’t stop the water from flowing, but we can learn to channel its force in ways that are helpful for all concerned. During adolescence, a period that runs roughly a dozen years into the mid-twenties, the brain is busy remodeling itself in order to create integration, the body changes with the onset of puberty, and a need for more independence with adults emerges.  Continue reading

The Self is Not Defined by the Boundaries of Our Skin

Portrait of Happy Family Looking Down Into Camera In Park

Recently, I’ve spoken at several conferences around the country about mindfulness in adolescents, attachment in families, and bringing more awareness and compassion to our digital lives.  One comment in particular that I made at each of these speaking engagements seemed to garner the most curiosity and attention.  The statement is this: The self is not defined by the boundaries of our skin.  Continue reading

Pruning, Myelination, and the Remodeling Adolescent Brain

Loving mother and daughter with laptop in outdoors

It’s not so easy being an adolescent these days.  We become aware of the world around us, are flooded with input through digital media about our extended global family, and learn about the world’s intense and overwhelming problems. And even more, puberty’s onset is getting earlier, and the time between our childhood dependence and adult responsibility over the last century has moved from a couple of years to a dozen or more.  Continue reading

The ESSENCE of Adolescence

The ESSENCE of Adolescence by Dr. Dan Siegel

Our modern culture encourages deeply pervasive myths about adolescence.  Those myths we hear casually in repetition—that teens are driven mad by “raging hormones,” that as people they are “just immature and need to grow up,” or that their “undeveloped prefrontal cortex makes them undependable and moody”—are all misconceptions that not only imprison how we as adults see adolescents, but also influence how adolescents themselves behave.  Continue reading

3 Steps to Disconnecting from Our Phones and Reconnecting with our Teens

Three Steps to Disconnect

These days it’s hard to hang out with parents of teenagers without hearing disparaging comments about how digital devices are devouring our kids’ time and attention. Or how our driving adolescents are driving us mad when they text on the highway, risking life and limb for the sake of a quick LOL or WITW or OMG. All for the sake of what (SOW? I don’t think that one will catch on)? If I hadn’t myself sometimes fought the urge to check my own phone in response to that tempting buzzing sound, I’d find this pattern of repeated dangerous behavior something unique to the teen years.  Continue reading