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No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson

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In the English language the word “discipline” comes from the word “to teach”, remember this so you can think of reframe disciplining to teaching.

Short term your aim is often to get your child to stop doing what they are doing or start something, obtaining their cooperation, this can be thought of as the external goal. The more long-term goal focuses on instructing your children in ways that develop skills and their capacity to resiliently handle challenging inevitable situations.  This can be thought of as an internal goal as not visible but potentially useful later in a variety of situations, allowing them to overcome frustrations, and emotional storms that might make them lose control. 

If you provide a dramatic volatile response the child shifts their attention to parents behaviour rather than focusing on their own.  A parenting style focused on control and fear, stressing that a child needs to toe the line all the time, undermines their feeling of safety. If a child lives in constant worry that they might mess up and make his parents unhappy or that he’ll be punished, they won’t feel the freedom to do all the things that grow and strengthen their brain. This would include considering others’ feelings, exploring alternative actions, understanding themself, and trying to make the best decision in a given situation.  You want to avoid your child developing rigid or chaos states of mind instead more of a happy flow state which you cant respond to things around.

To help them develop self-control and a moral compass the book recommends connect and redirect.

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. It is important to note that connection is not same as permissiveness, part of truly loving our kids, and giving them what they need, means providing clear and consistent boundaries, creating predictable structure in their lives, as well as having high expectations for them.

It is important to help children understand the way the world works: what’s acceptable and what is not.  Understanding of rules and boundaries will help them achieve success in relationships and other areas of their lives in future. When they learn about structure in the safety of their home, they will be better able to flourish in outside environments—school, work, relationships—where they’ll face numerous expectations for appropriate behaviour.

To assist learning children need repeated experiences that allow them to develop wiring in their brain that helps them delay gratification and overcome urges to react aggressively toward others. 

The redirect component works after the child has calmed down. When we give a child the opportunity to decide how they should act, rather than simply telling them what he should do, they become a better decision maker. This kind of predictable, sensitive, loving, relational discipline allows kids to feel safe.

The book suggests as a result, the child grows into independent individuals whose brains are wired in such a way that they are better able to think through decisions, comprehend what they actually feel about a situation, consider others’ perspectives, and come to a sound conclusion on their own.

So by providing emotional and physical safety you provide your child the capacity to act responsibly and make good choices.

Suggests communicating “I’m with you. I’ve got your back. Even when you’re at your worst and I don’t like the way you’re acting, I love you, and I’m here for you. I understand you’re having a hard time, and I am here.” No parent can communicate this message all the time in every scenario. But we can send it consistently and repeatedly, so there’s never any question in our children’s minds.

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