Homesong Book Club | ‘No-Drama Discipline’ Discussion Pt. II + Intro to ‘An Everlasting Meal’

 

Hello Homesong readers! Tonight we are having our final discussion over the parenting book, No-Drama Discipline. I’ve decided to take a new route for the summer months and share the discussion questions for our reflections here on this journal so you don’t have to rely on checking email each week. We’ve had so many new signups I cannot keep up! What a wonderful problem to have. It makes me so ridiculously happy that y’all want to spend more time reading, and I want to make sure everyone wanting to participate to has the things they need, so you’ll be able to find questions for An Everlasting Meal right here in one of this week’s postings. I hope this helps!

Alrighty so let’s wrap up No-Drama Discipline by Siegel and Bryson. Y’ALL! How transformative has this book been? Andrew and I have been sharing bits and pieces with one another throughout this month and have each tried so many new techniques with the kids. We are so thankful this book is in our lives right now, and I wish I would have known about it sooner. Here’s my take on the book and why I think it’s such a good reference to have in your parenting toolbox.

  1. It is research-based and chock-full of important information. This book piggybacks The Whole-Brain Child, which I have not read, and delves into insightful solutions to dealing with discipline for kids of all ages. It does not read like a textbook one bit, but informs in a way that helps form an understanding of how the young brain works with regard to discipline and learning.
  2. There is something to take away no matter how old your child is. NDD has also helped Andrew and I when having difficult discussions to know that connection before just spilling out information will help us both. In this way, it’s more than a parenting book and really a book about how to better communicate with others.
  3. It’s practical and gives you real-life examples. I love how up to date this book is when it comes to the scenarios given so I don’t end up feeling like a major turd. It is not written in a condescending way at all, but rather in a gentle tone that is both realistic and reassuring. I was so familiar with many of the ‘wrong ways’ to discipline but I was never left feeling ashamed for how we used to do things.
  4. It’s a bit redundant, yes, but for good reason. Many of the applications presented are new so it helps reading about them more than once and how they apply in different situations.
  5. It reinforces the simple but powerful message that neither you nor I are alone. We are in this parenting gig together, and it’s never too late to make a positive change. I quite enjoyed the hopeful way no-drama disciplining was presented and will be revisiting it for as long as my kiddos are living under our roof!

Summary notes from the book: 

  • First connect, then redirect.
  • Turn down the “shark music” and let go of past worry or future fears.
  • Chase the why and look for what’s behind the actions.
  • Ways to connect with your child: 1). communicate effort, 2). validate 3). stop talking and listen, 4). reflect what you hear
  • Discipline is teaching.
  • Be consistent but not rigid.
  • Mindsight = Empathy + Insight

For those who read along this month, what did you enjoy or learn from this book? What strategies have you tried and loved? What components of the no-drama redirection strategies do you think will help you when dealing with misbehavior? Have you made your disciplining more teaching-based? What is your biggest takeaway if you had to name one? Leave your reflection(s) in the comment section below, dears! For those wanting to read along with our next book, An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler, here is what you can look forward to!

 

“Great meals rarely start at points that all look like beginnings. They usually pick up where something else leaves off. This is how most of the best things are made – imagine if the world had to begin from scratch each dawn: a tree would never grow, nor would we ever get to see the etchings of gentle rings on a clamshell… Meals’ ingredients must be allowed to topple into one another like dominos. Broccoli stems, their florets perfectly boiled in salty water, must be simmered with olive oil and eaten with shaved Parmesan on toast; their leftover cooking liquid kept for the base for soup, studded with other vegetables, drizzled with good olive oil, with the rind of the Parmesan added for heartiness. This continuity is the heart and soul of cooking.” – An Everlasting Meal

 

I read this book four years ago in our old condo overlooking the park. It was given to me by a dear friend whom I met in the restaurant industry years ago in college. She knew it was right up my alley, and she was right. It’s a meditation for cooking, eating, and living, written in the most beautiful inviting way. Tamar takes you in with her words and not only talks about meals made from humble ingredients, but also how to cook simply with whatever it is we have on hand. I think the summer months are perfect for a book like this because it can take us out of cooking ruts and present feeding ourselves in a wholesome, non-pretensious way. Adler takes things down to brass tacks and approaches food with passion and simplicity unlike anyone I’ve ever read. I hope you love this book as much as I do, and look forward to a few fun reflection questions and cooking experiments to come within the week! Our read after An Everlasting Meal for August will be two-fold: Upstream by Mary Oliver and Big Magic by Liz Gilbert. Reading for those will begin on Tuesday August 1st. September will take us into Simplicity Parenting, and Autumn more wonderful reads that you can see here.

With Care,
Amanda

 

 

  • Caren

    One of the most valuable pieces of information in this book for me was learning that I can actually change how my kids brain works by the way I discipline. Through teaching(discipline) I can alter how my sons brain works by giving him problem solving skills which he will eventually learn to use more often without my help. This book has been really wondering for my husband and I but also intimidating. I hope to integrate much of what this book has to offer without losing my mind with trying to be the perfect parent. Anyone else feel parental perfection pressure?!ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Caren, parental pressure…oh, goodness yes. I think social media and everyone sharing everything all the time can make this seem really BIG. I try and keep in mind that we are all doing our best, and everyone’s best is different. The perfection trap is something I fall into very easily, so I completely understand where you’re coming from. x AmandaReplyCancel

      • Lauren

        I absolutely do as well! I try to remember Amy Poehler’s mantra: “Good for her, not for me”. I am such a perfectionist when it comes to mothering and often get down on myself, so this is a great reminder for me.ReplyCancel

  • Oh man, I think I underlined something on every page. I’d read The Whole Brain Child when my little guy was still pretty new, so not too much applied to him yet, but the timing of this one was perfect. He’s 18 months, just starting to develop his will and it’s been so helpful and hopeful to know how to establish boundaries and at the same time, base my parenting on connection.

    Aside from influencing my own parenting, I felt like these books gave me a lot of insight into my own childhood experiences and cleared up so many situations where I felt hurt or misunderstood by my parents. It was healing to realize that those experiences were valid, could have been handled better, and then be able to remember that my parents are just people like me, and let it go.

    So looking forward to a change of pace with the next read! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Kali, do you recommend reading The Whole Brained Child after reading this or would that be pretty redundant? I love that you were able to make connections to your past as you read this book, that’s really special. Onto An Everlasting Meal! And per your suggestion, I am going to start watching the Great British Baking Show! Eee! x AmandaReplyCancel

  • I really enjoyed this book and already have plans of passing it to my sister because it is so helpful in providing a positive parenting mindset. I was a little surprised to see that some of the ideas conflict with some Waldorf philosophies, since the authors also wrote the Whole Brain Child, which I know is often read by Waldorf parents. For instance, naming your emotions is not something Waldorf would suggest introducing to a young child. And although the book is grounded in science, sometimes I question how grounded something is when it lacks footnotes and makes bold statements and assumptions based on a few general facts. I guess I’m a skeptical reader and actually love the text-book, scientific-study type read 😉 The biggest takeaway for me is simply showing empathy during moments of tension/conflict/discipline and letting your child know that you are there for them especially when they are having a hard time. I’ve also found the entire book applicable to other types of relationships, like Amanda mentioned above. Sometimes I can be quite the toddler, haha!ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Carolyn, gosh I am so glad you wrote about this and the comparison to Waldorf philosophies. I too think some of those emotion words are WAY over our kid’s heads and can even confuse them if used inappropriately. I wished it talked more about where to draw the line on that. And great point about the footnotes (or lack thereof). I love when book club readers challenge the text and are open about how they felt whilst reading, so thank you, thank you! It’s important to form our own opinions outside of what’s presented, and I love that you’ve done that here and shared it with us. 🙂 And I can be quite the toddler, too. Just about everyday. Haha. xx AmandaReplyCancel

    • Lauren

      I appreciated your comment about questioning the text. While I overall really appreciated the books (and highlighted so many excerpts!) there were a few bold assumptions that I didn’t agree with. I’m a teacher- I’m not sure I agree with the idea that you can’t spoil your children with attention. There is a fine line here I think. And to your point about naming emotions: I would agree that doing so with older children is beneficial, but I don’t know where I stand on that with young children yet (mine is only 6 months old). It does conflict with our upcoming read (that I was so excited about I read already), Simplicity Parenting.ReplyCancel

  • Courtney

    Loved this book so much. I’m not big on reading parenting books but I’m so glad I read this one. It made me feel a bit guilty how I’ve handled past situations but I’m comforted in knowing the brain is like “plastic” and can change in time so I’m hoping I can “make up” for my previous actions. Which aren’t actually bad but I basically wish I read this sooner! My daughter isn’t much of a toucher so I was wary of the initial “connect” bit when she’s upset but I found she reacted fairly well to a bit of a back rub when she was upset about her dad wanting to pull her tooth out. Lol (it’s still intact).
    This book has benefited me in identifying my own reptile brain. Hahahaha and to think things through rather than discipline by taking things away (like her tablet) instead of addressing the “why”.
    Yay! Such a great pick Amanda. <3ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Courtney, GRACE mama dearest, grace. And bless those beautiful plastic brains. Parenthood is full of mistakes made, but I think as long as there is love behind them we are all doing a great job. Sometimes our best isn’t where we want our best to be, and that’s okay. I too loved the comparison to a “reptile” brain. It has really reshaped how I see my babies and their growing process, and for that I am forever grateful! So glad you enjoyed it, love! x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Jenn

    I love how the book gave me some of the background as to what is going on in their little heads. That is very helpful.

    Most of our misbehavior comes from not listening. I feel like I repeat myself a hundred times a day then by 7pm my patience is long gone. I wish there would have been more focus on that type of scenario because homegirl here is struggling!ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Jenn, Andrew and I were just talking about how sometimes we direct or redirect even when they are not listening and it frustrates us, but how can we be upset if they didn’t hear or listen in the first place!? This book has been so humbling as my patience runs thin at the end of a long day. I am trying to work more on connecting with them before redirecting them so I know they they really here and understand me, something I didn’t do much of before. Maybe that will help ya? x AmandaReplyCancel

  • I’ve just started reading ‘No Drama Discipline’ actually! Got intrigued by your first post about it and I have to say I’m so glad I ordered it. From the first few pages I can already see that this book is going to make a difference for us (my husband, me and our three kids). With three very young kids (4, 2 and 3 months) we all loose our tempers from time to time and we are dying to know how to handle these situations differently and more sensibly. Because I’m so enthusiastic about this book, my husband noe also wants to read it! So, thank you for putting this book on our path!ReplyCancel

  • Sophie

    I have read quite a few parenting books and I have to say that this has been the most helpful one so far. And I loved the humor of this book. Sometimes I had to laugh out loud while reading, because all these cartoons and scenarios felt so familiar and funny in retrospect.

    The book made me think a lot more about my daughters’ perspective and what it must be like to be a toddler with all your emotions going wild and the downstairs brain taking over controll.

    I agree with Carolyn that the biggest takeaway is the showing empathy during moments of tension/conflict/discipline and letting your child know that you are there for them especially when they are having a hard time. To be honest, sometimes my daughters “tantruums”(such a horrible word but currently lacking a better one) can be so overwhelming that holding her in my arms or sitting next to her while being silent and waiting for her to calm down is the only thing I manage to do in these situations.

    Oh, and I tend to sort of autopilot comment on my kids behavior while doing other things, which is such an awful habit (e.g. don’t do this, stop that, hurry up, wait a minute, etc.). So I am really trying to be more aware of what I actually communicate.

    To conclude, thank you for this great pick, Amanda! I am very glad I read it (and translated the refrigator sheet into german for my husband, so he knows what I am talking about, hehe.)ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Sophie, I so agree with you that it made me turn around and think about how the tantrums have been affecting my kiddos and their emotions and not how they have been impacting me. What a difference! And I think autopilot is so normal….I am guilty of that a lot. It takes a lot of patience to be intentional but this book didn’t make it seem so daunting! So glad you enjoyed it. x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Katie

    Goodness, I’m 1000 years late to comment 😭 But I really wanted to participate and share how much I truly loved, loved reading this book! So thankful you chose this book, Amanda! My husband is reading it next and then my mom so we are all on the same page. We printed the refrigerator sheet and that’s where it is! As a reminder to first connect, ask why and and how am I going to teach, double check if everyone is ready, including myself, and to stay calm. I didn’t mind the redundancy. I actually enjoyed it and I feel like it helped me remember all the teachable moments. I have recommended this book to basically everyone I know!ReplyCancel

  • Whitney

    I know I’m also so late, but I loved the name it to tame it advice. So often my little girl just wants to know I “get” her when she’s upset. I try to remember how upset I would be if my husband just “mm-hmmed” and “oh, you’re okay!” If I was upset and trying to communicate it. Often if I just say, “you sound upset because you want to play and I said we need to go.” Etc she calms down.ReplyCancel

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