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Dear Reader: Brain-Building and Brain Freezes

Stretching our minds with boggling new brain-science research and savoring summer with brain-freezing treats

Alayne Sulkin

Published on: July 28, 2015

ParentMap, August 2015 Issue

“Every mother knows too much screen time or sugar is bad. You can Google it. But now we can show evidence of what it does to the brain.”

— Jan-Marino Ramirez, Ph.D., professor of neurological surgery and director of the Center for Integrative Brain Research at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

Welcome to our brain issue. Mine hurts a bit and feels markedly stretched reading our managing editor Natalie Singer-Velush’s magnificent article “Mind-boggling!”. This thoughtful deep-dive into the extensive brain-science research happening throughout our region certainly contributes to that shared feeling that greater Seattle is the center of the universe. Magic happens when we apply great scientific discoveries to our kids, our classrooms and even what we do in our family kitchens. Understanding what is happening inside kids’ brains allows parents and teachers to skillfully coach stressed, hyperactive and over-stimulated kids on how to best regulate their emotions so they have better chances to succeed.

August means we’re all hesitantly progressing away from summer and thinking back-to-school prep. But we’re hoping to help your family hold onto this favored sunny season by sharing our scrumptious scoop on where to rack up the brain freezes. We think you’ll agree that there is an “ice cream renaissance” happening here. Slurp your way through with the help of our writers, who pair favorite outdoor biking or boating adventures with wacky and wonderful frozen flavors like tahini cardamom or Molly Moon’s mouth-watering orchard blondie. 

Our friend Sarina Natkin at Grow Parenting is spot-on as she guides us to create a family-meeting habit and discipline ourselves to conduct these weekly (“Meeting of the minds"). Start meeting now, in this glorious transitional season, to give your family the best chance to elevate its functionality and cooperation before the school bell officially rings. Natkin’s analogy of how we function skillfully in our workplaces, but not necessarily in our families, to solve problems by having a common vision, mission and goals is brilliant! Why is it that a high-functioning manager who solves problems big and small outside the home ends up collapsing trying to translate those good practices to her family? Let’s change that!

Savor summer!

October lectures—save the dates!

Exploring Your Atypical Learner

Dr. Ned Hallowell

Wednesday, Oct. 14 

The Spiritual Child

Dr. Lisa Miller

Monday, Oct. 19 and Tuesday, Oct. 20



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