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No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind Paperback – July 12, 2016
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“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
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, the founding co-director of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, and executive director of the Mindsight institute. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Siegel is the author of several books, including the New York Times bestseller Brainstorm and the bestsellers Mindsight, Parenting from the Inside Out (with Mary Hartzell), and The Whole-Brain Child (with Tina Payne Bryson). Also the author of the internationally acclaimed professional texts The Mindful Brain and The Developing Mind, Dr. Siegel keynotes conferences and conducts workshops worldwide. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife.
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. Dr. Bryson earned her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, and she lives near Los Angeles with her husband and three children.
From the Hardcover edition.
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In just a couple of weeks, the advice in this book has really turned around my interactions with my daughter and has enabled me to almost universally nip her tantrums in the bud. As a work-at-home parent, this translates to more happiness, greater productivity, and much, much less stress.
I can't speak to how well this will work with older children with better verbal skills (but since the crux of it is paying attention and connecting, it seems like good advice even for dealing with adults), but with a toddler with a pretty good ability to understand but quite a limited vocabulary and ability to express herself verbally, this method has worked wonders.
Most of the trick is in the nanosecond before you react--simply asking yourself why. Why is my kid being a jerk? Usually the answer is obvious (in our case, she wants either attention or some object/situation she can't have), but being mindful of the cause shades your response just enough to connect. In the past, if I just tried to put her off for a few minutes to finish my task, her distress would quickly escalate and she would become whiny, clingy and a little insufferable.
While it does take more effort to actually engage instead of acting on autopilot, I'm learning that a little upfront investment (like, seriously, a minute or two) of genuine connection at attention when my toddler just starts to go sideways can put out the fire and quickly yield plenty of extended, quiet play. Magic.
The practical tips of just taking a second to physically connect, make eye contact, offer a moment of comfort, etc., before explaining and redirecting make the process easier. And the authors' trick of pointing out how much if it would annoy you if someone was treating you in the same way really helps internalize the flaws in the conventional parenting advice. I also like they detailed distinctions between giving love/attention/setting boundaries and spoiling (e.g., shielding child from negative feelings/situations, never requiring accountability, making excuses, or giving the kid too much *stuff*).
While, like all self-help books, the same basic ideas are repeated many different ways, and you can start to feel like "okay, okay, I *get* it," I do feel like the repetition and examples did help me internalize the methods, and--just as importantly--helped give me a good enough sense of it to explain the concepts well to my partner (I'm the reader/filterer of the parenting books in our family). The other upshot is that hammering the ideas into your brain really does help stop you when you start to react in your default, autopilot way, so you as a parent can stop your own bad behavior and model how a smart, thoughtful person should act, even if wise choices don't always come naturally ;).
Good stuff, and effective.