Picture this, you finished bathing your toddler when suddenly he starts screaming and running around with no clothes on, saying, "NO BED, NO BED!" You chase after him, trying to get him dressed and calmed down for bed. What do you do next? Timeout? Yell? Take toys or favorite items away? It can be hard to figure out how to get them to stop running and screaming and to just get dressed. This might be something that happens all too often. Toddlers do what they aren’t supposed to do. We tend to get upset or frustrated with them. They get upset. Everyone is crying. All we as parents want to do is discipline in a way that calms the situation and helps the child and ourselves.
In the book No-Drama Discipline, authors Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson show us that we can discipline in a way that is full of respect and nurturing but also maintains those clear and consistent boundaries we try so hard to teach. In this book, they define discipline and explain the difference between discipline and punishment. Discipline is defined as a means of teaching, learning, and giving instruction. Punishment is trying to get the child to do what YOU want them to do and is usually unpleasant to the child. Punishment might shut down the bad behavior, but does it teach the children how to behave?
I would like to take the next few months to highlight ideas from No-Drama Discipline. Each month I will summarize concepts the authors discuss such as giving strategies that will help you communicate the lessons you are trying to teach, provide facts on brain development, provide strategies on helping your child through a tantrum, and how to set clear and consistent limits. It is my goal to provide strategies and tricks on how to handle those tough situations we all encounter (sometimes multiple times in one day). Next month I will dive into the first concept - "Cooperation”.