Friday, June 19, 2015

How to Increase the Family Fun Factory by Daniel Siegel, M.D., and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.,

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge,from PR by the Book, for review and giveaway purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it


And now for an excerpt from The Whole-Brain Child Workbook, which I'll be reviewing (and giving away!) later today!  

dad and kids water fight
Courtesy of Pixabay

Laughter, being silly, and having fun with your kids is one simple way of switching the mood when everyone is feeling overly reactive. Of course children need boundaries and structure, but “playful parenting” and positive experiences as a family add more to your child’s life and development than you may be aware of: 

• Prepares children for relationships 

• Encourages connection with others 

• Offers positive reinforcement about being in a loving relationship 

• Reinforces positive and healthy desires as dopamine is released from the reward system in connection with enjoying family relationships (i.e., fun and play is a reward) 

• Reinforces bonds between parent and child 

• Improves sibling relationships 

• Helps to shift negative emotions 

• Improves child’s receptivity, reduces reactivity 

• Reduces power struggles and encourages cooperation! 

Of course we all have busy lives, and responsibilities outside of family time are often very important. But if you ever feel like the bulk of your time with your kids is spent correcting behavior – or just “managing” them until you can make it to bedtime – stop and ask yourself, 

Courtesy of Pixabay
“How much fun are we having together as a family”? If the answer to that falls into the category of “not enough,” how do you think you could be more intentional about enjoying your time with your kids? What could you do so that having fun with them is at the front of your awareness more often? 

Now think about that question from the perspective of your kids. What do you think they would say about how they feel about family time? Would they say they got a boost of dopamine – a sense of excitement, pleasure, or interest – when the family is together? Do they get excited about family time? Do you think they’d say that there’s more tension and fighting than fun? Will they grow up knowing that, even though no one was perfect and even though there was conflict at times, you had plenty of fun together as a family? 

mom and child snuggling
Courtesy of Pixabay
Remember, family fun doesn’t mean only big events. Bedtime snuggles, fort building, even laughing at corny jokes together can all be moments that bring your family together and help your children build those relationship skills we mentioned earlier.

Your assignment this week? Brainstorm some ideas of ways you can bring even more fun and laughter into your family time. It might have to do with setting up a weekly game night, or getting out a joke book your kids love at dinner, or going for a bike ride, or buying tickets to the circus that’s in town. Whatever comes to mind—just brainstorm some ideas for increasing the family fun factor!

good idea graphic
Courtesy of Pixabay

About the Authors:

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry. He is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, founding co-director of UCLA s Mindful Awareness Research Center, co-investigator at the UCLA Center for Culture, Brain and Development, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute. 

Dr. Siegel s psychotherapy practice spans 25 years and he has published extensively for the professional audience. Dr. Siegel s books include Mindsight, Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, The Developing Mind, Second Edition, The Mindful Therapist, The Mindful Brain, Parenting from the Inside Out (with Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.), and the three New York Times bestsellers: Brainstorm, The Whole-Brain Child (with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.), and his latest No-Drama Discipline (with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.). He has been invited to lecture for the King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Google University, and TEDx.

Dr. Tina Payne Bryson is the co-author (with Dan Siegel) of two New York Times Best Sellers: Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline. She is a pediatric and adolescent psychotherapist, the Director of Parenting for the Mindsight Institute, and the Child Development Specialist at Saint Mark s School in Altadena, CA. She keynotes conferences and conducts workshops for parents, educators, and clinicians all over the world. Dr. Bryson earned her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, and she lives near Los Angeles with her husband and three children. You can learn more about her at, where you can subscribe to her blog and read her articles about kids and parenting.

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