What’s the One Parenting Tool We Overlook?

What’s the One Parenting Tool We Overlook?

It’s the most powerful and the most accessible to everybody… our brains. Our thinking. Our children’s thinking.

Our thoughts are at the foundation of everything!

How can we utilize this awesome tool that we forget we have because we’re often just trying to survive?

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite resources for families in my coaching business. It’s NOT your typically helpful, yet predictable, parenting book.

No-Drama Discipline by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. 

THIS IS THE BOMB! And a MUST read for my clients who are coming to solve family challenges.


The author’s address “discipline” with your child from a BRAIN perspective. I personally wouldn’t call this discipline. Rather, I would call it No Drama PRINCIPLES for living a drama-free life.

The authors explain why connecting first, then redirecting is key in communicating with your child.   

They have what they call a CONNECT AND REDIRECT REFRIGERATOR SHEET that you can find at the following link.

https://www.drdansiegel.com/pdf/Refrigerator%20Sheet--NDD.pdf

Why connect first, you may ask.

  1. Short-term benefit: It moves a child from reactivity to receptivity. 

  2. Long-term benefit: It builds a child’s brain. 

  3. Relational benefit: It deepens your relationship with your child. 


The authors share some amazing principles for connecting with your child. They look like this:

  • Turn down the “shark music”: Let go of the background noise caused by past experiences and future fears. 

  • Chase the why:  Instead of focusing only on behavior, look for what’s behind the actions: 

“Why is my child acting this way? What is my child communicating?” 

  • Think about the how: What you say is important. But just as important, if not more important, is how you say it. 

How do you implement these principle? You help your child feel felt by:  

  • Communicating comfort: By getting below your child’s eye level, then giving a loving touch, a nod of the head, or an empathic look, you can often quickly defuse a heated situation. 

  • Validate: Even when you don’t like the behavior, acknowledge and even embrace feelings. ing

  • Stop talking and listen: When your child’s emotions are exploding, don’t explain, lecture, or try to talk her out of her feelings. 

  • Just listening. Look for the meaning and emotions your child is communicating. 

  • Reflecting what you hear: Once you’ve listened, reflect back what you’ve heard, letting your kids know you’ve heard them. That leads back to communicating comfort, and the cycle repeats. 

Once you have connected, the author’s recommend REDIRECTING. It looks like this: :

R.E.D.I.R.E.C.T. (A fancy little acronym is always useful, right?)

• Reduce words

• Embrace emotions

• Describe, don’t preach

• Involve your child in the discipline

• Reframe a no into a yes with conditions

• Emphasize the positive

• Creatively approach the situation

• Teach mind-sight tools

Discipline is most effective when it is actually looks like teaching. Otherwise, it could just be punishment, or at the very least, something that is ineffective.

They suggest that you ask the following three questions: 


1. Why did my child act this way? (What was happening internally/emotionally?) 

2. What lesson do I want to teach? 

3. How can I best teach it?

All of these principles are described in this book in DETAIL and they are FABULOUS. Please study them. 

You can find this book here:

No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
by Amazon.com
Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/034554806X/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_mPh1CbMF9FSX4

These are tools that I find very effective for families to use. They coincide very nicely with the coaching tools that I use with my clients. If you want to work with me and learn how to implement these kinds of strategies (principles that work), go to my home page and sign up for your free session. Let’s get life working for you and your family.

Sue NelsonComment