Hello Homesong readers! Welcome to our first of two discussion over No-Drama Discipline. I am so looking forward to seeing how this book has impacted you thus far. Andrew and I are learning so much and I’ll be sharing some of our takeaways below!

Like our last discussions, I am going to put the questions below for those who care to reference. I would love to hear how you liked this book, things that made you smile, takeaways that you found to be inspiring, quotes you were drawn to, or questions you may have come across while reading. Write them below, spark discussion, and let’s go from there! You can respond to those who comment, leave a comment of your own, or do as you please. It’s important for me that you know this is our book club, not mine, so I will start things off and let y’all go from there.

 

No-Drama Discipline Reflection Questions Part I

 

1. What does discipline look like in your home? What does your “autopilot” look like? Go through how you and/or your partner currently handle discipline situations with your kids to get a clear idea of what you are doing and where you want to go.

2. How does the way you were disciplined affect your current disciplining style?

3. I find that when I am stressed about getting something done I tend to be on patience, and little sleep can also affect the way I choose to respond to misbehavior. What specific things make disciplining difficult or overwhelming for you? How can you change your habits to help affect the way you choose to respond to your children?

4. What does having a schedule or a rhythm at home have to do with discipline?

5. Is the “why, what, how” method practical for you? How can you use the information given in this chapter to help you slow down and choose a “time-in” method that considers both short-term and long-term goals, as opposed to one that punishes and shames?

6. What are three “aha!” or takeaway moments you had while reading this first chapter? Write them out and reflect on why those particular things struck a chord with you. Share them with your partner and talk about ways you as a family can learn from these takeaways.

7. Visualize the metaphor, “A child’s brain is like a house that’s under construction.” How does this image of incompleteness help you have more empathy and grace towards your young ones when disciplining or correcting their misbehavior? What other metaphors or kinds of imagery did you connect with in these chapters?

8. I really enjoyed the quote, “If repeated experiences actually change the physical architecture of the brain, then it becomes paramount that we be intentional about the experiences we give our children.” Pg. 42 What kind of intentional experiences do you and your partner want to give your children? How do these experiences reflect your values as a family?

10. What is your biggest takeaway from the 3 C’s – the brain is changing, changeable, and complex? I really loved learning about how to engage the upstairs brain by naming emotions, and have found this strategy to be so helpful when deescalating situations and tantrums at home. I have never really considered putting names to emotions for Theodore and this is really helping him expand his emotional vocabulary while simultaneously being felt and heard by us. The way he looks at me when I connect with him now is so different, I can feel his thankfulness that I am his source of control and calm. How has this book helped you at home?

11. One of the biggest lightbulb moments for me in the second chapter was on page 65 when the author said, “But when you realize that these ‘misbehavior moments’ aren’t just miserable experiences to endure, but actually opportunities for knowledge and growth, you can reframe the whole experience and recognize it as a chance to build the brain and create something meaningful and significant in your child’s life.” In what ways can you remind yourself in the heat of the moment that your child is not acting out to hurt you or others, but simply that they are not able to control themselves? How did this section make you feel?

12. What specific kinds of connection do you think you child(ren) will best respond to when they are in the middle of a tantrum? Each of our little ones are different and therefore require different kinds of connections. What then, do you as their parent or caregiver need to make sure your needs are also being met?

13. How has this book changed your personal views of discipline thus far? I never really considered discipline as teaching before, and that has really stuck with me. If you were to recommend it to a friend, what tokens of wisdom would you pass along?

 

With Care, Amanda

 

 

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  • admin

    One of my favorite things that this book has introduced into my life as a mom is that discipline should be viewed as a “teaching moments” and not “punishment”. This new more empathetic perspective has helped me slow down so much more before reacting off the cuff when the kids misbehave. Instead, both Andrew and I have taken a much calmer, more connecting approach that we’ve with each of our kiddos, Theo (age 3) especially, respond well to.

    The quote, “But when you realize that these ‘misbehavior moments’ aren’t just miserable experiences to endure, but actually opportunities for knowledge and growth, you can reframe the whole experience and recognize it as a chance to build the brain and create something meaningful and significant in your child’s life” is one I am going to reference for years to come! – AmandaReplyCancel

    • Kirsten

      I completely agree about the teaching moments! I used to feel like I should not give my child attention when he throws a tantrum (hes 17 months old) because I thought it would reinforce tantrum behaviors. I can now see how not comforting him could actually harm him and make him not feel safe or unconditionally loved. I have already changed how I am approaching discipline even though he is not able to fully communicate or understand all of my words.ReplyCancel

      • admin

        Kirsten, yes about the tantrums! I have begun holding each of them when they have a meltdown and my babes start calming down right away. I can tell they feel so felt and heard, and that’s enough for them to express how they feel and move on. Somewhere along the lines I learned that ignoring the behavior would make them calm down and stop, and it never does! What a humbling learning experience this is for me. – AmandaReplyCancel

        • Kirsten

          It is very humbling! I feel like this book has made situations more enjoyable because I can understand them better, understand how to approach them better and my son responds to my new “actions” better.ReplyCancel

          • Jacinthe

            I do the same now. Love the idea of “time-in”. He feels better, the situation don’t escalate and I feel much more at peace with this parenting style.

          • admin

            Jacinthe, yes to the “time-in” such a simple but brilliant concept!

        • I completely agree with the insight connecting during tantrums has been. I always tried to ignore them because it had been the professional advice I had read, but it always felt so against my instinct to nurture. That said, reading through this book has been enlightening in how I parent, but an unexpected nugget has been how I can see how this all applies not only to my children, but to my own adult brain, especially during my own tantrums.. (maybe that’s just me though? I’ll be brave and admit it.) If I just get a little connection that assures me that I am seen and valued despite my shortcomings, a connection of empathy, then I am so much better at thinking with my full brain and reason. I am hoping there is a bit of advice about when parents go reptilian, I am hoping apologies are among the things that heal because that’s how we currently cope. Daily apologies.

          A bit of insight that has really impacted me is the idea of healthy shame vs toxic shame. The clarification of this really opened my eyes to the ways I discipline my daughters and how what I say or the way I say something is perceived and therefore what type of shame I am communicating. It can be heavy, especially as I navigate my own shame habits, but it’s a work worth persisting at.

          Also the discipline/disciple clarification really touched my heart, as well as parenting from a place of empathy. We are all in this life experience learning and giving it all we have, all we are, where we are, giving and receiving graces to each other with our empathy and imperfection, it’s a life practice, and the beauty of that is just so lovely.ReplyCancel

          • Lauren

            Not just you! 🙂

      • Lauren

        I completely agree! My baby is only 5 months but I really think this will change how I address his tantrums in the future.ReplyCancel

  • Jacinthe

    This book as changed my entire perspective on discipline. Viewing those moments as a teaching opportunity and a moment to connect with my boy helps me keep my emotions in check.
    Question 3 especially, struck a nerve with me. I need to take better care of myself, to sleep more. When I am tired it is a lot harder to keep that downstairs brain from taking over. I need to create “me” moments as well, to feel less overwhelm.
    Which leads to question 4. We really don’t have a clear routine. My husband’s work schedule is irregular and we kind of always go with the flow. I think we need to establish a routine to planned more moments to connect. The three of us together but also as a couple and with ourselves.
    But the most Aha passage for me was about the neurons that fire together wire together. That the brain changes with the experience we give him. It made me rethink our day to day, regarding screen time ( both his and mine), meal time, etc.ReplyCancel

    • Kirsten

      oh yes! I had forgotten the part about the neurons that fire together wire together. It makes so much sense! It has really made me want to make sure I am fully present to make sure I am reinforcing positive experiences and routines. (we also have very strange schedules, but try to stick to feeding and bedtime routines more than anything else)ReplyCancel

  • Caren

    I really like the acronym HALT. I find myself asking if my toddler is hungry, angry about something, lonely, or tired when he’s having a meltdown. I also really love when they talk about the definition of spoiling. It is often very muddied I feel like. Holding our babies or being attentive to their needs isn’t spoiling them. Spoiling is giving them an over abundance of wants over what they need. Being there for our babes is really all they need to be happy kiddos. I’m really enjoying this one! Looking forward to reading further.ReplyCancel

    • Jacinthe

      Yes! I read the HALT part today and I used it already twice. I also loved the why, what, how? I find that having reflections to ponder, questions to ask myself when he’s having a meltdown, helps me keep my upstairs brain engage instead of my reptilian part.ReplyCancel

    • Lauren

      Thanks so much for this comment Caren. Being there for them versus giving them an overabundance to distinguish “spoiling”… So helpful yes! (Also, I think HALT applies to my husband too haha… At least the hungry or tired part!)ReplyCancel

  • Paige Deathe

    I recently ordered the book and am still waiting for it to come in! I have read Whole-Brain Child and noticed the ties between that and the intro for No-Drama Discipline. Regarding #3, I am trying to be much more efficient with my time by prepping food ahead or cleaning while the kids are engaged in an activity, sleeping, etc. Instead of giving them attention, I find myself getting frustrated that I just can’t finish the dishes or vacuum the floor!ReplyCancel

  • Katie

    This. Is. My. FAVORITE. Book! I’m blowing though it SO fast! Connection is super important in all relationships. I have a 16 month old son and I’m taking tons of notes! Rethinking discipline.. teaching moments.. not punish.. promote good external behavior and build the internal structure of the brain for better behavior and relationship skills. There are a lot of “hidden” ABA (applied behavior analysis) principles. We have to think about the function of a misbehavior. Why did this happen? What lesson? How can I teach it? Trting to engrave those in my brain but definitely agree that stress and lack of sleep affect my ability to do anything. A major take away moment was the section on spanking and the brain. 100% a complex and highly charged topic but research shows that parents who are warm, loving, and nurturing are more effective in changing behavior. I love this book! I hope I got all my thoughts out in one comment 😜ReplyCancel

  • Ashlee

    I just got off the waitlist for the book yesterday, but from what I’ve read, I’ve already told my husband he needed to read it to. It’s so helpful to understand how the brain works! Much of what I’ve read so far seems similar to the approach used in “The Danish Way of Parenting” but understanding the science behind it is eye opening. One part that has stood out to me so far is how just because we know our kids are capable of behaving a certain way, doesn’t mean they are capable of doing so, right now. I think my husband and I tend to expect a behavior we have seen in the past, regardless of the current situation.ReplyCancel

  • Lizzz

    I wasn’t able to join earlier but I’m really enjoying the book and have been using it on a daily (if not multiple times) basis.

    I became interested in this book when time outs and “ignoring bad behavior” weren’t working. I feel that being with my son and holding him are so helpful. Sometimes he doesn’t want me to touch him so I tell him I’ll wait until he’s ready.

    I also feel that naming emotions has been extremely beneficial as he has started telling me how he’s feeling.ReplyCancel

  • victoria shaw

    Firstly, just to say I’ve been reading all the books but this is my first time commenting (The book of joy is still having such a profound affect on me)! This is the quote I’ve underlined IN PEN!! The connection seems to be working instantly but my shark music is still causing me to react negatively. Just understanding better how much our reactions can affect them long term has been very powerful. I feel I still have lots to learn so eager to read on for more ideas and suggestions.ReplyCancel

  • Ironically, I am behind reading this book and missed the official discussion last night because of toddler-won’t-stay-in-bed drama. 😉 But I am already putting into practice the little I did read. Namely, thinking about discipline as teaching (my husband is a teacher so he really likes this approach), appealing to his higher brain rather than lower (which really, applies to me too!), and being empathetic instead of internalizing his emotions and getting frustrated/worked up myself. I was encouraged to see that a few things suggested we already do without having really thought about it, like saying yes with a condition instead of no (we can have another Popsicle tomorrow after dinner, won’t that be fun? We can sit on the front porch …). With our son I do find that sometimes he needs just a little bit of drama to help him flip the switch – which I know does not align with this book. It’s like he needs the invitation to start crying and the cathartic release, and inevitably, me to offer a hug. And then he’s fine.ReplyCancel

  • This book has been very eye-opening for me and I keep telling my husband that he also needs to read it! I am reading it at the perfect time — we were trying different discipline methods and just wondering how to deal with our daughter’s tantrums, emotions, and sometimes failure to listen and this book has answered so much of that already!

    I have begun trying some of the phrases and methods this book suggests and I can already see a change in my behavior and my daughter’s. I’m more aware of my mood or what I say or do or how the rhythm of our days plays out. Still a work in progress, but I’m glad I have this book to reference!

    When I read the definition of disciple, I immediately thought of Jesus and his disciples. These were people who were taught about love, forgiveness, and peace and then because of what (and how!) they learned, were able to continue teaching others. I imagined them sitting with people who had trouble listening or following rules or were driven by their emotions. These disciples must have used each of those moments as opportunities to practice patience, generosity, and understanding. While difficult, it was necessary. So now I use that imagery while I read & learn and I place myself in the spot of a “disciple” as I connect with and teach my daughter.ReplyCancel

  • Mandy

    I’ve been in a major parenting slump since my second son was born 9 months ago. My 3.5 year old just can’t deal with the change. He loves his brother but is constantly hurting him and otherwise acting out. I know a lot is age appropriate but if my husband or I are one on one with him he’s amazing. This attention seeking behavior is draining and depressing, I want to be there for both of my children but someone always gets the short end of the stick. I’m trying to schedule in pieces of each day to connect with each of them. As for the tantrums, the no drama discipline methods are helping ME more than him right now. I’m learning to stop before I react and solve the problem rather than punishing. I love that this book focuses on the fact that children are human beings and are ever changing. Learning to surf on these waves of change is my greatest challenge as a parent.ReplyCancel

  • Whitney

    This book really seems to dovetail nicely with The Hidden Life of Trees. I keep thinking about how trees grow with the long term in mind and this book emphasizes teaching with the future in mind.ReplyCancel

    • Jessica

      Whitney, that’s amazing, as I found while reading The Book of Joy, there were times when I felt it connected back to Hidden Life of Trees! Amanda has done a fabulous job in curating this season’s books so far.ReplyCancel

      • Whitney

        I agree! I’ve loved reading them! I love that they are books you can turn to again and again for refreshment.ReplyCancel

  • HI Y’all! I am the co-author of NO-Drama Discipline with Dan Siegel and I just got a google alert about the book and found your book club. I am so touched by all of your comments. This approach to discipline is counter-culture and so different from how most of us are advised to discipline. I love hearing how you all are rethinking discipline and learning yourselves that it’s about teaching, and we can best teach our kids if we’re connected and if they are soothed. Here’s a 5 minute video of the book in a nutshell! Enjoy! http://www.tinabryson.com/news/no-drama-discipline-in-a-nutshellReplyCancel

    • Shawna

      Your book has helped me so much with my toddler and almost four year old. I was at a point where I was getting so frustrated (and angry) and taking my daughter’s behavior personally. Your book has been enlightening to me and I now see my kids and their growing brains in a new light. This book club couldn’t have come at a better time since I’m expecting my third child later this year and am so glad I now have a solid resource to go back to anytime I feel stumped by a new behavior. I feel like I respect my children much more now and I don’t feel overwhelmed as I used to by repeated behaviors. Now I’m focused and determined to teach and mold their little minds instead of scolding them for their behavior choices. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Whitney

      Thanks so much for stopping in!! I’m going to show the clip to my husband tonight.ReplyCancel