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  • Dr. Dan Siegel presenting a hand model of the brain

    I use this model with many of the students to whom I talk. I explain the pre-frontal cortex controls rational thought while the amygdala which is part of the limbic system is our animal brain. The animal brain is responsible for our 'flight, fight, freeze' response. We have to gain control when we 'flip our lid' by getting our body to recognize that we are not in danger before we are capable of being reasonable/rational. 

    Dan Siegel, author of The Whole-Brained Child, uses the phrase, 'name it to tame it' meaning that many kids learn control simply through learning to recognize they have 'flipped their lid'. 

    The Pre-Frontal Cortex or the Lid is responsible for:
    1. Regulating the body. It regulates our parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. These are our brakes and accelerator. It tells the body to quicken our heart rate, breathing, etc. or to slow down those same functions.
    2. Our ability to tune in to someone else.
    3. Our ability to feel compassion and empathy.
    4. Response flexibility. The space between an action and a response. 
    5. Our ability to calm fear.

    Without these functions, when a child has flipped their lid, they are incapable of hearing or learning from the experience. When a child flips their lid their body is interpreting that there is danger (whether real or imagined) that the child needs to react to with fight, flight, or freeze. Their body needs to calm down so they can think rationally before being able to process information. Its okay to hug or hold your child till their body calms down even when they are in trouble for their response. For example: Your child is screaming and yelling at you. You hold them, you might say something like "I know this is tough for you" until the child calms down.

    I hope you find this model as helpful as I do in understanding your child's reactions. 

    Uploaded Mar 01, 2018by Lindsay Wonstolen
  • School Violence Prevention Video

    Uploaded Feb 23, 2018by Lindsay Wonstolen
  • Sandy Hook PSA

    MARCH focus on Awareness around School Violence (Red Alerts).
    "Gun violence is preventable when you know the signs. Learn them at"

    Uploaded Feb 23, 2018by Lindsay Wonstolen

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