No Drama Discipline Summary Author says Effective discipline aims for two primary goals. The first is obviously to get our kids to cooperate and do the right thing. In the heat of the moment, when our child is throwing a toy in a restaurant or being rude or refusing to do homework, we simply want her to act like she’s supposed to.
No Drama Discipline By Daniel Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson
No Drama Discipline Summary
Author says t’s hard to figure out how to discipline our kids. It just is. All too often it goes like this: They do something they shouldn’t do. We get mad. They get upset. Tears flow. (Sometimes the tears belong to the kids.)
Author says every child, like every parenting situation, is different. But one constant that’s true in virtually every encounter is that the first step in effective discipline is to connect with our children emotionally.
Connection means that we give our kids our attention, that we respect them enough to listen to them, that we value their contribution to problem solving, and that we communicate to them that we’re on their side—whether we like the way they’re acting or not.
Connecting with our kids during discipline doesn’t mean letting them do whatever they want. In fact, just the opposite. Part of truly loving our kids, and giving them what they need, means offering them clear and consistent boundaries, creating predictable structure in their lives.
Author says fear and punishment can be effective in the moment, but they don’t work over the long term. And are fear, punishment, and drama really what we want to use as primary motivators of our children? If so, we teach that power and control are the best tools to get others to do what we want them to do.
Disciplinary approaches are going to change depending on who your child is and what her personality is like. Maybe homework is a struggle for her and she feels frustrated, like it’s a battle she can never win. Maybe there’s something about it that feels too hard or overwhelming.
YOUR BRAIN ON DISCIPLINE
A child’s brain is like a house that’s under construction. The downstairs brain is made up of the brainstem and the limbic region, which together form the lower sections of the brain, often called the “reptilian brain” and the “old mammalian brain.”
A child, though, who is still developing and whose upstairs brain which includes his right TPJ and prefrontal regions—is still under construction, will often be unable to consider motives and intention when he looks at a situation or problem.
Author says we need to help develop our children’s upstairs brain—along with all of the skills it makes possible—and while doing so, we may need to act as an external upstairs brain along the way, working with them and helping them make decisions they’re not quite capable yet of making for themselves.
When we give a child the opportunity to decide how he should act, rather than simply telling him what he should do, he becomes a better decision maker.
Many parents say no, or a form of it, far too often. They say it automatically, often when it’s not necessary. Stop touching that balloon. No running. Don’t spill. Our point here isn’t that we want our kids to hear the word “no” a lot.
CONNECTION IS THE KEY
Author says when our children misbehave, there’s one thing we have to do: we must remain emotionally connected with them, even when—and perhaps especially when—we discipline. After all, it’s when our kids are most upset that they need us the most.
Connection calms, allowing children to begin to regain control of their emotions and bodies. It allows them to “feel felt, ” and this empathy soothes the sense of isolation or being misunderstood
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
DANIEL J. SIEGEL, M.D., is a physician; child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist; and clinical professor at the David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine. He has been responsible for the publication of dozens of books as author, co-author, or editor, including authoring Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation.
TINA PAYNE BRYSON, PH.D., is the co-author (with Dan Siegel) of the bestselling The Whole-Brain Child, which has been translated into eighteen languages. She is a pediatric and adolescent psychotherapist, the director of parenting for the Mindsight Institute and the child development specialist at Saint Mark’s School in Altadena, California. She keynotes conferences and conducts workshops for parents, educators, and clinicians all over the world.