Second Nature: How Parents Can Use Neuroscience to Help Kids Develop Empathy, Creativity, and Self-Control

Second Nature: How Parents Can Use Neuroscience to Help Kids Develop Empathy, Creativity, and Self-Control

by Erin Clabough Ph.D.


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Use Neuroscience to Raise an Awesome Person—Starting Now

Searching for a roadmap to raise a successful child who makes a positive difference in this world? Neuroscientist and mother Erin Clabough teaches that to thrive as adults, children need to learn self-regulation, a master life skill founded in empathy, creativity, and self-control. The lack of even one of these intertwined skills underlies nearly all of the parenting problems we face.

The good news is that you can build these strengths in children at any age, from infancy to adulthood. Here, using key insights from brain development research, you'll learn how.

With scientific depth and in clear language, Erin gets you up to date on the vast tide of emerging neuroscience discoveries and how they can help you parent better.

Practicing these skills requires a new mindset, but "second nature" parenting is low effort and high impact. It only takes a few minutes each day to nurture the skills your kids need, simply by using everyday situations that you're already facing in a different way.

A hands-on exploration of

• Empathy, creativity, and self-control—three key, interrelated skills that support your child's decision-making, emotional regulation, happiness, and independence

• Self-regulation—where the three key skills come together, giving your child the power to blaze a trail towards a personal goal while preserving healthy relationships

• A wealth of tools based on neuroscience principles—from quick "do anywhere" games to long-term strategies—for creating positive lifelong habits

• How to better understand and deal with tantrums, impulsivity, inattention, bickering, bullying, and other common challenges

• In-depth guidance on how to build motivation, enhance critical thinking skills, encourage accountability, create space for play and reflection, cultivate compassion, solve problems, and much more

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683640790
Publisher: Sounds True, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/08/2019
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 722,427
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Erin Clabough

Erin Clabough is a mother of four who holds a PhD in neuroscience. Her parenting style has been highly influenced by her background in brain development research. She teaches biology and neuroscience, and heads an active research program that investigates questions about how the brain functions, including developmental areas such as fetal alcohol syndrome and lifespan topics such as neurodegenerative disease. She is also interested in incorporating neuroscience principles into the classroom, in service learning, and in providing hands-on learning experiences to students of all ages. She participated in a developmental cognitive neuroscience program at the University of Denver, where she was involved in Down syndrome, autism, and schizophrenia research. Erin received her PhD in neuroscience from University of Virginia in 2006, specializing in the molecular genetics of neurodegeneration. She subsequently held a three-year postdoctoral research position at the University of Virginia. Her scientific research has resulted in many peer-reviewed journal articles. She writes for Psychology Today, mindbodygreen,TODAY Parenting, and other publications.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Preface xi

Part 1 Second Nature Parenting

Chapter 1 Creativity, Empathy, and Self-Control: Why These Are the Skills Kids Need 3

Chapter 2 Practical Neuroscience for Parents: Key Facts and Processes 21

Chapter 3 Second Nature Parenting: Methods for Developing the Three Skills 43

Part 2 Raising Creators

Chapter 4 The Neuroscience of Creativity 69

Chapter 5 How to Raise a Creative Child 79

Part 3 Fostering Compassion

Chapter 6 The Neuroscience of Empathy 103

Chapter 7 Applied Empathy Is Compassion 125

Part 4 Cultivating Self-Control

Chapter 8 The Neuroscience of Self-Control 151

Chapter 9 How to Help Kids Develop Self-Control 161

Part 5 Self-Regulation for the Win

Chapter 10 What Is Self-Regulation? 171

Chapter 11 How to Win at Parenting: Motivation, Discipline, and Game Theory 185

Conclusion: Parents Shape Future Free Will 205

Appendix 1 Commonsense Neuroanatomy: Ten Building Blocks to a Human Brain 209

Appendix 2 Epigenetics: The Intersection of Nature and Nurture 215

Appendix 3 Neuromyths Versus Neurofacts 221

Glossary 225

Notes 229

Acknowledgments 259

Index 261

About the Author 267

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