No-Drama Discipline by Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson

(New York: Bantam, 2014), 288

The concepts from these authors here and in The Whole-Brain Child have been helpful for me and Jordan with the kids. I listened to part of this, but ended up flipping through the rest because of the helpful cartoons with example dialogue, and well-organized headings and italics to emphasize main points. Some key takeaways:

  • two goals: encouraging cooperation and building the brain
  • focus on the relationship
  • connect and redirect
  • be intentional




Rational, low-drama discipline: encouraging cooperation while building a child's brain

  • The word Discipline is about teaching and skill-building
  • Two goals of no-drama discipline:
      1. Encouraging cooperation: Stopping bad behavior and promoting good behavior
      1. Building the brain: 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
  • Consequences and punitive reactions are often counterproductive to both the short and long term goals
  • Foundation of no-drama discipline: Connect and redirect (our relationship with our children should be central)
  • Reference: The Whole-Brain Child bib
  • →though: parent our children the way the Lord parented Israel in the Old Testament: patiently and focusing on the relationship

Chapter 1: ReTHINKING Discipline

Summary: We're not perfect but should try to approach discipline with an intentional philosophy.

  • Ask three questions before responding to misbehavior:
    1. Why did my child act this way?
    2. What lesson do I want to teach at this moment?
    3. How can I best teach this lesson?
  • Can't vs Won't behave: our capacity to behave well fluctuates based on a number of factors (sleep, stress, etc.): we need to account for these in understanding why our children are acting the way they are
  • Don't spank and don't put kids in time-out (gives some research: avoid the brain disconnect from wanting the parent to comfort but also wanting to flee from pain)
  • We need to show our kids that we always love them, even when they are not behaving well

Chapter 2: Your Brian on Discipline

_Summary: _

  • The Brain is Changing, Changeable, Complex
  • We need to help develop our children's upstairs brain
  • Repeated experiences change the physical architecture of the brain, and it is paramount that we be intention about the experiences we give our children
  • No Drama Discipline: communicate to your child that you love them even when they are at their worst: The way we interact with our kids when they're upset significantly affects how their brains develop, and therefore what kind of people they are
  • Instead of an outright "no", try a "yes" with a condition

Chapter 3: From Tantrum to Tranquility: Connection Is the Key

_Summary: _

  • See bad behaviors developing and head them off
  • Connect first:
    • Connection moves a child from reactivity to receptivity
    • Connection builds the brain
    • Connection deepens the relationship with the child
  • An upset child is suffering, and needs us to be there for them
  • Kids need us to set boundaries and communicate our expectations, but the key is that all discipline should begin by nurturing our children
  • When your child is at his worst, that's when he needs you the most

Chapter 4: No-Drama Connection in Action

_Summary: _

  • Connection principles:
    • #1: Turn down the shark music and connect with your child
    • #2: Chase the why
    • #3: Think about the how
  • Connection strategies:
    • #1: Communicate comfort
    • #2: Validate, Validate, Validate
    • #3: Stop talking and listen
    • #4: Reflect on what you hear

Chapter 5: 1-2-3 Discipline: Redirecting for Today, and for Tomorrow

_Summary: _

  • #1: Wait until your child is ready
  • #2: Be consistent, not rigid

Chapter 6: Addressing Behavior: As Simple as R-E-D-I-R-E-C-T

_Summary: _

  • How your respond to your child's behavior will greatly impact how the whole scene unfolds
    • Reduce words
    • Embrace emotions
    • Describe, don't preach
    • Involve your child in the discipline
    • Reframe a no into a conditional yes
    • Emphasize the positive
    • Creatively approach the situation
    • Teach mindsight tools
  • Great cartoon to teach your kids about the upstairs and downstairs brain on pg 205

Conclusion: On Magic Wands, Being Human, Reconnection, and Change: Four Messages of Hope

_Summary: _

  • There's no magic wand
  • Your kids benefit even when you mess up
  • You can always reconnect
  • It's never too late to make a positive change

Topic: Parenting



file:(2023-05-06-No-Drama Discipline)

Created: 2023-01-10-Tue
Updated: 2023-05-06-Sat