- Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Gr
- Date: Sept 2014
From the book
Siegel / NO-DRAMA DISCIPLINE
Here are some actual statements we've heard from parents we've worked with. Do any of them resonate with you?
Do these comments sound familiar? So many parents feel like this. They want to handle things well when their kids are struggling to do the right thing, but more often than not, they end up simply reacting to a situation, rather than working from a clear set of principles and strategies. They shift into autopilot and give up control of their more intentional parenting decisions.
Autopilot may be a great tool when you're flying a plane. Just flip the switch, sit back and relax, and let the computer take you where it's been preprogrammed to go. But when it comes to disciplining children, working from a preprogrammed autopilot isn't so great. It can fly us straight into whatever dark and stormy cloud bank is looming, meaning parents and kids alike are in for a bumpy ride.
Instead of being reactive, we want to be responsive to our kids. We want to be intentional and make conscious decisions based on principles we've thought about and agreed on beforehand. Being intentional means considering various options and then choosing the one that engages a thoughtful approach toward our intended outcomes. For No-Drama Discipline, this means the short-term external outcome of behavioral boundaries and structure and the long- term internal outcome of teaching life skills.
Let's say, for example, your four-year-old hits you. Maybe he's angry because you told him you needed to finish an email before you could play Legos with him, and he responded by slapping you on the back. (It's always surprising, isn't it, that a person that small can inflict so much pain?)
What do you do? If you're on autopilot, not working from a specific philosophy for how to handle misbehavior, you might simply react immediately without much reflection or intention. Maybe you'd grab him, possibly harder than you should, and tell him through clenched teeth, "Hitting is not OK!" Then you might give him some sort of consequence, maybe marching him to his room for a time-out.
Is this the worst possible parental reaction? No, it's not. But could it be better? Definitely. What's needed is a clear understanding of what you actually want to accomplish when your child misbehaves.
That's the overall goal of this chapter, to help you understand the importance of working from an intentional philosophy and having a clear and consistent strategy for responding to misbehavior. As we said in the introduction, the dual goals of discipline are to promote good external behavior in the short term and build the internal structure of the brain for better behavior and relationship skills in the long term. Keep in mind that discipline is ultimately about teaching. So when you clench your teeth, spit out a rule, and give a consequence, is that going to be effective in teaching your child about hitting?
Well, yes and no. It might achieve the short-term effect of getting him not to hit you. 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.
Again, it's completely normal to just react when we get angry, especially when someone inflicts physical or emotional pain on us. But there are better responses, responses that can achieve the same short-term goal of reducing the likelihood of the...
"With lucid, engaging prose accompanied by cartoon illustrations, [Daniel J.] Siegel and [Tina Payne] Bryson help parents teach and communicate more effectively."--Publishers Weekly
"A lot of fascinating insights . . . an eye-opener worth reading."--Parents
"Insightful . . . The ideas presented in this latest book can actually be applied to all of our relationships, as it will help us in many circumstances to be able to calm down, have empathy for another person, and then communicate in a constructive way about our concerns and proposed solutions. What works to help children learn and behave better might also help our world's leaders and large groups of people get along better, as many of us adults failed to develop these mindsight skills as we were growing up and we tend to sabotage our relationships with others as a result. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, or just a person who wishes to learn to get along better with others, you may find some valuable insights in No-Drama Discipline." - Examiner.com
"Wow! This book grabbed me from the very first page and did not let go. Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson explain extremely well why punishment is a dead-end strategy. Then they describe what to do instead. By making the latest breakthroughs in brain science accessible to any parent, they show why empathy and connection are the royal road to cooperation, discipline, and family harmony." - Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D., author of The Opposite of Worry
"Using simple and clear explanations, practical advice, and cartoons that make the how-to guidance come alive, this book is a rich resource for families trying to navigate meltdowns and misunderstandings. It explains how neurobiology drives children's infuriating and puzzling behavior and will help parents make their way through the trenches of a typical day with grace, mutual respect, and a good helping of delight."--Wendy Mogel, Ph.D., author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee
"What a relief! Siegel and Bryson take the difficulty out of discipline, for parents or anyone who has to help kids behave. No-Drama Discipline offers a research-based, commonsense approach that any grown-up will be happy to use, and any kid will benefit from."--Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence
"Frustrated parents often ask me why the disciplinary techniques they are using with their children aren't working, or are even making things worse. I have not always known what to say, because I was not always sure I understood what was going wrong. Now I know. No-Drama Discipline unlocks the secrets of discipline: what works and what doesn't, and why--and what to do when you are pulling your hair out. Simply put, Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson's insights and techniques will make you a better parent. I know I will be using the concepts from this extraordinarily helpful book for years to come." - Michael Thompson, Ph.D., co-author of Raising Cain