In the course of one week, a fellow parent and a parenting class teacher both recommended to me the book No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. I enjoyed the prior book in this series by the same authors, The Whole Brain Child, and this one was very similar and built off of the same psychological/emotional approach but with a focus on discipline, teaching, and problem solving.
I enjoyed this book and found a lot of the examples and strategies helpful. I also liked that the authors were very upfront about the fact that they fail on these principles all the time and that the principles themselves don't always work out with fairytale endings. But having more tools available to deal with tricky situations is always nice.
Discipline about teaching
Build brain connections
Connect and redirect
Clear and consistent limits
Appeal to higher thinking part of brain instead of lower more reactive one
1 rethinking discipline
Before responding to misbehavior, consider 3 questions
Why did my child behave this way
What lesson do I want to teach in this case
How can I best teach this lesson
Shifting out of autopilot mode
Connect and model how you want child to act and what to say. First acknowledge feeling.
Give alternatives to bad behavior
Discuss in receptive state of mind and ask questions to problem solve together
Sometimes kids can’t behave the way we want them to instead of won’t. Based on developmental stage.
Difference between can’t and won’t
Spanking less effective
Time out ineffective
Instead, ask to practice better behavior
What are some ideas you have to solve the problem
Time in. Time to reflect. Time in relationship. Mindsight.
Calm zone with plush toys where Can shift out of overload and relax and think
Model calm and self control
2 your brain on discipline
3 brain c’s
house under construction
Developed at birth
Fire ready aim.
Undeveloped at birth
Takes very long to develop (mid 20s)
Mindsight: sensing mind in others
Understand kids point of view
Teach kids to tune in to others minds
Need external boundaries to help upstairs develop
Can be molded intentionally by experience
Changed by mindfulness and piano lessons
Neurons that fire together wire together
Purposefully create downtime and timed boredom to force creativity from available resources
Can appeal to different parts of brain for different parts
Engage with upstairs brain when in tantrum
Don’t poke the lizard by triggering downstairs reaction via your body language and tone
Can’t be in both reactive downstairs brain and rational upstairs brain at same time
Quietly ask what child feeling in separate place
Naming emotions discharges emotions
Name it to tame it
Logic not always best approach during meltdown
Take a moment and be there during emotional moment
Hold child until their body softens
Try to come up with plan to make kid happy and offer choice like telling story over speakerphone or leaving work early to spend special time. But if not accepted then acknowledge kids desire but say it can’t work today and offer choice of walking to car or being carried. Can walk with big steps or little steps.
Don’t turn back on kids even when not happy with their behavior
When you’re angry, where do you feel it in your body?
I don’t know. What do you think you should do?
Allow kids to make own decisions and see consequences
Building brain by setting limits
Teaches going between both parts of autonomic nervous system: sympathetic (accelerator) and parasympathetic (brakes)
Have to teach which behaviors are acceptable and not
Tolerate tension and discomfort they experience when stopped
Yes with condition like later instead of no
By misbehaving they give us info on what they need help learning
Misbehavior is cry out for help
3 from trantrum to tranquility: connection is the key
Teaching for future can happen later in call moment. Right after tantrum need to first connect emotionally. First need to soothe sadness and anger.
Allow child to feel felt
To avoid discipline
Predicting when misbehavior is in kids future
Guide them to right behavior around potential landmine
Look for warning flags like frustration when hungry
Give warning before leaving park
Consistent bedtime so not overtired
Step in when hearing conflict brewing
HALT before responding (consider if child in any of below conditions)
Connection moves child from reactivity to receptivity
Before teaching, ask is my child ready to hear and learn
Connection integrates parts of the brain
Chaos and rigidity are symptoms of acting out
Connection moves away from these extremes
Sit down hold and say I know Buddy
Connection builds the brain
Integration of brain helps executive function
Connection deepens relationship with child
Parental empathy is right response to tantrum instead of completely ignoring
Connection doesn’t spoil. Giving too much stuff and giving in to whims does.
4 no drama connection in action
When kid breaks rule: What happened here? You really were curious about that and wanted to see x. What are our rules? I know your choices tonight didn’t follow our rules. Is there anything you can do differently next time?
Response flexibility in the moment
Turn down the shark music and our own thoughts or prejudices from the past or other siblings. Listen for soundtrack in your head.
Chase the why. Search for underlying reasons. Be curious.
Think about how u talk and ask for things and tone of voice
No drama connection cycle
Communicate to comfort
Body language communicating I’m not a threat
Get down to child eye level or below and very relaxed
We hear them and get it
Validate their subjective experience
Don’t deny or minimize
Identify the feeling. I see you’re feeling x.
Stop talking and start listening
Child already in sensory overload
Reflect what you hear
5 123 discipline
Ask if child noticed how other child is feeling
Ask why he thinks other child feels that way
Redirect to using upstairs brain to get desired behavior
1 definition: teaching
Allow child to sit with natural guilt felt when stealing something. Allow child to feel the consequences of actions. Do this before giving consequences or judgment. Then jointly problem solve solution or way to fix mistake.
1 wait until your child is ready
Only teach once child calms down
2 be consistent but not rigid
Ask child to come up with solutions
Encourage more practice when doesn’t act right
Apology note and using allowance money to replace broken item
3 desired mindsight outcomes
See our own mind and others
Name emotions you observe
See how Julianna feels when x happens
3 integration and Repair of ruptures
Ask what step you can do to fix this
What’s something you can do to help us build trust in you
6 addressing behavior by redirect
Before you redirect, keep calm and connect
Kind tone of voices
Redirect acronym for strategies
Kids usually know what they did wrong
1 Connect and address the feelings behind behavior
2 Address the behavior
3 give alternatives
4 move on without giving too much attention
Allow emotions as valid
Describe don’t preach
Just state what you observe
Kids already know what behavior is not ok
I know you know how important trust is in our family. So what happened here?
I see shoes at the front door
I know you were studying so I’m surprised to see a D on that test. Were you surprised?
What’s going on? Can you help me understand? What happened?
Involve child in the discipline
Ask what else you could’ve done for next time
I notice you’ve been x but it’s not working very well. We need to come up with a new plan. Do you have any ideas?
Reframe no into conditional yes
Say can get more time this weekend
Creating future actions to meet needs
Practice at delaying gratifications
Emphasize the positive
Instead of saying no whining, say can you ask me again in your big boy voice or I like it when you use your normal voice
I need you to put on your shoes and backpack
I love it when you’re encouraging like that
Creatively approach the situation
Creative way to get into car
Create secret word to replace bad word
Teach mindsight tools
Can teach tools like using imagination to delay gratification
Hand model of brain like scripts in whole brain child book
Tools to observe own brain in progress in events. Like actor and director.
Move it or lose it technique
4 messages of hope
1 there is no magic wand
Sometimes just need to wait and no technique will work
2 kids benefit even when you mess up
3 you can always reconnect
4 never too late to make positive change