School is fast approaching and as a result, so is my child’s anxiety. Fortunately, I’ve been reading The Whole Brain Child by Drs. Siegl and Bryson this summer and have become familiar with the concept of “Mindsight” which they define as ” . . . understanding our own mind as well as understanding the mind of another.”¹ I have also learned about “The Wheel of Awareness” and have adapted it to work for my young daughter, who is entering Kindergarten.
My daughter has attended two years of pre-k at the same school so it isn’t as if this is totally new territory.
I began our activity by asking her to describe what she loves about school and drew illustrations in the center (I’m no artist). She loves drawing, playing with friends, toys and playing on the playground. She loves celebrating the holidays.
I then drew four paths to school and asked her to explain how she feels about going to school. We came up with “Happy, Sad, Curious, and Scared” and placed them in the color path of her choice. After discussing each path, I had her point to the one she would like to take to school, which, of course, was “Happy”.
I explained that sometimes we feel sad and miss mommy and walk along that trail and that it is ok to feel this way, but that after a short while, doesn’t it feel better to move on over to the “Happy” path? She smiled in recognition.
Fill the center. Every day we choose a path. Sometimes we get trapped on the broken one, but after while we do ourselves a service when we refocus our mind to the good, the positive, the things to look forward to once we reach our destination.
Siegel, Daniel J., & Bryson, Tina Payne. The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind. New York: Random House.