Connect, then Redirect: Helping Calm Your Child’s Brain and Emotions

Finding the best way to help calm your child’s emotions can be challenging. Dr. Dan Siegel is an expert on neurodevelopment and parenting. He has an extensive list of credentials and achievements. He has also written several books and given numerous speeches on the calming the brain.

Here is a short video where he explains the first step, with a very simple and insightful strategy to calm a child’s emotions and how it works in the brain.

To highlight what Dr. Siegel is saying, when your child has strong emotions, engaging through connection instead of with logic is an opportunity for parents to calm their child’s brain before redirecting to problem-solving.

The sequence is important: connect, then redirect.

Connection creates calm for your child’s emotions, and the key for parents is being willing to allow the pain their child is feeling, which offers the ability to soothe. Then you can engage in the next step.

After connecting, the second strategy is what Dr. Siegel calls “Name It To Tame It” how to use the strategy and again how this process functions in the child’s brain. Here he is in another brief video explanation on redirecting and further calming the emotions.

To summarize the second step, when your child can name the accurate emotion, and not just any emotion, this will further help to calm the brain and help your child make sense of their emotions.

Use these two strategies the next time your child needs help bringing connection and calm to their brain. Stay tuned, as I will be sharing more of Dr. Siegel’s outstanding resources in the future.

Dustin Ellis, CIT