No Drama Discipline- Book Recommendation

Written by Dr. Rana Tayara

Authors: Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson Paperback: 288 pages


Publisher: Scribe Publications (24 September 2014) ISBN-10: 1925106152


The word discipline is often associated with punishment. Parents and carer think to discipline a child behaviour, you need to use corporal punishing such as spanking on the hand or sending them for time-outs or grounding them, hoping that this will “teach the child a lesson”.


In fact, the word discipline has a root with the word disciple, a word that elicits a perception of someone positively influencing, mentoring another. Siegel and Bryson No Drama Discipline book introduces practical strategies for parents and caregivers transforming the perception of the word discipline from the popular negative term it is associated with (i.e., punishment) to the more positive term that it should be associated with (i.e., discipleship). 


According to Siegel and Bryson, the goal of discipline is to build skills in order for kids to handle themselves more positively in the present moment and make better decision in the future. This is done by encouraging cooperation from our children by guiding them to think about their actions in a creative way and through play-based learning. 


Paying attention to our kids’ emotions is the first step in discipline. Children’s misbehaviour is due to their inability to handle big feelings well and do not yet have the skills to make the right positive choices.


Parents are to be attentive to their kids’ emotional experience behind a certain behaviour.  


Connect with your child in a time of discomfort, distress, anxiety. Comfort them, support them, be present, validate their feelings and provide them with empathy, then redirect their behaviour.  Once children feel this connection, they are more ready to learn and listen. 


What does discipline look like in your house? Do you have a philosophy, or are you just winging it? How could applying the principle of connect then redirect allow you to positively work with your child on their behaviour?