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Bubbles Academy Book Recs for Grown-Ups: The Yes Brain by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.


That is all I can say! The Yes Brain does such an amazing job of synthesizing research about brain development, children’s behavior, mindfulness, play, parenting and more and translates it into actionable steps parents can take to foster the skills children need to develop in order to thrive in the modern world.

A “Yes” mindset is something that improvisers and other collaborators recognize as a necessary state in order to work together to create something larger than themselves. We need to be open to others’ ideas and treat them like a gift in order to add on and develop something together. In The Yes Brain, that concept is expanded and backed up by brain research to help parents and children find awareness of their own mental states in order to say yes to their ideas, experiences and emotions instead of melting down or withdrawing.

A Yes Brain, is a child’s ability to create a mental state of flexibility, curiosity, imagination and freedom from paralyzing worry. “The Yes Brain mindset is what we want for our kids, so that they learn to view obstacles and new experiences not as paralyzing impediments but simply as challenges to be faced and overcome and learned from.”

Siegel and Payne Bryson break down the four fundamentals of a Yes Brain as:

  • Balance
  • Resilience
  • Insight
  • Empathy

They provide clear and concise tips as well as images and a downloadable pdf to help parents and educators understand how their daily language and interactions can help develop new neural pathways for children, creating long term capabilities for confidence, curiosity and creativity.

I can’t say enough great things about this book and encourage you to pick up a copy at Volumes Bookcafe!


Natalie Monterastelli

Natalie Monterastelli is the Executive Director and Co-Owner of Bubbles Academy. She is passionate about incorporating the skills of improvisation and arts education in daily life, teaching artist development and providing resources for parents and children in Chicago and beyond.