Building our Children’s Developing Brain

Building our Children’s Developing Brain: a resource for parents and carers.

Challenging behaviour from children creates pressure on parents. It is often a sign that children cannot handle their big emotions (e.g., mad, sad, sacred). When children feel overwhelmed, they cannot self-regulate. Self-regulation is the ability to monitor and manage emotions, thoughts, and behaviours in ways that are acceptable and produce positive results.

Research shows that when children learn and practice self-regulation skills, they are forming pathways in their brains that increase their ability to manage stress in the future.

Isn’t that the hope of every parent? To teach our kids to manage stress and challenges that life can throw at them.

Building  our Children’s Developing Brain helps  increase that emotional regulation by exploring with parents how the brain works from The Whole-Brain Child’ by Dan Siegel & Tina Bryson with  practical strategies to help the different parts of our children’s brains work together.

A pilot of delivering this to parents in groups via zoom has been undertaken with the social workers from the multi-disciplinary team in Down with encouraging feedback from the parents involved.

Now in February 2021  training has engaged 10 originations including Action for Children, Barnardo’s, Lisburn YMCA, Parenting Matters, The South Eastern Trust, Multi-disciplinary Teams in Down, Belfast and Newry , Home Start, Bryson Care  and the Family Nurse Partnership to deliver it in groups or one to one and strengthen the evidence of its effectiveness. Feedback is coming in from these workers using it. What parents have said about this week:

“It has given me ideas of how to deal with difficult situations.  Mother of a 3-year-old

I found it useful to recognise that the left side of a child’s brain is only starting to develop. The steps in the booklet ‘Getting the parts of the brain working together’ are something I wish I’d known about years ago – I have printed them out so I can keep them as a quick reference”. Mother of 8, 3, 2

A worker who delivers Incredible Years said, “This work really compliments what we do in Incredible years and will take it a bit further.”

For more information contact Ed Sipler at