No-Drama Discipline By Daniel J.Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, Phd (Intro & Chap 1)

Through a friend, I was introduced this book and boy am I glad I got my hands on it. So far, reading just the intro and chapter 1 and I am still chewing on it. This book as suggested, advocates No-Drama Discipline. ‘Time out!” “I’m going to spank you!” “..because I said so.” “ah!!!!”

As KX moves into this AGE TWO category, discipline becomes an every day affair. I wrestled with God recently about spanking because personally, that’s not how I was brought up with.

Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death. Proverbs 13:13-14

Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
    but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. Proverbs 13:24

But the bible teaches to discipline and to discipline with the rod…and so I did. After I wrestled with the Lord for a long time and was clear about when I would spank spank her. Conclusion: Spanking is not THE solution BUT it must be ONE of the tools we choose to use because it is the most effective and appropriate one for that act of sin. Sometimes… the ones who requires discipline are very much the parents ourselves. ‘Patience’ and ‘love’ are two of which the Lord is constantly pruning in my life. Numbers 14:18. I need to engrave that in my heart.

And so, I was indeed glad to find out more ways to disciplining through this book. *happiness*

1. The book suggests to reclaim the word “Discipline”

“Discipline” comes directly from the Latin word disciplina, it means to teach, learn and give instruction. The ultimate goal to disciplining our kid is ‘not to punish, give a consequence, but to teach’.

Punishment might shut down a behavior in the short term, but teaching offers skills that last a lifetime. pg xiv

2. The Dual Goals of No-Drama Discipline

Short-Term Goal: Getting cooperation from the kid

Long-Term Goal: Teaching our children in ways that cultivate in them, skills and the capacity to resiliently handle challenging situations….that might make them lost control.

Effective discipline means that we’re not only stopping a bad behavior or promoting a good one, but also teaching skills and nurturing the connections in our children’s brains that will help them make better decisions and handle themselves well in the future. pg xvii

3. Connect and Redirect

When a bad behavior occurs, the book suggests that we should connect with our children first. i.e empathy. This apparently helps to calm the child down and then receptiveness will emerge and we can then redirect to doing right.

Personal Reflection: I tried this with KX and I see that it worked better than if I were to just dish our the consequences. She was more ready to listen.

4. The Three Questions to Ask Before You Respond to a Misbehaviour

a. Why did my child act this way?

b. What lesson do I want to teach in this moment?

c. How can I best teach this lesson?

Personal Reflection:KX was creating a din while I was talking to the Papa in the car today. The 3 questions helped me to regulate my own emotions too. Because on the surface, KX was just plain rude to interrupt our conversation. But when I try to ‘connect’ with her deeper,

Me: “Are you naughty because you want to talk to Mama and Dad dad and I can’t talk?” (Just before me talking to LY, KX and I were having a conversation. Well I definitely din think she wanted the conversation to continue til she made noise.)

KX: Yes

Me:No wonder you are upset. I see, Mama din think you wanted to talk more. Ok, let Mama finish up the conversation with Dad DAd and I will talk to you.

I felt that, she was more calmed after I acknowledged that she was upset and upset for a reason. Then I told her that I belong to God and she has to learn to ‘share’ me. Meanwhile I taught her to say, “Ma ma I want to talk to you”. I believe this takes rounds of repetition and I agree with the author that the disciplinary approaches revolves with age. What an art…. *sigh*

The book further discourages strategies such as ‘time outs’ and ‘spanking’ but regarding the latter, my views still differs esp. if its a clear sign of rebellion.

The chapter closes with a challenge. – What is your discipline philosophy?

The main point we’ve communicated in this chapter is that parents need to be intentional about how they respond when their kids misbehave. pg 30


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