When it comes to discipline, does one approach work all of the time with your child?

What works?

First, you’ll need to have a clear set of goals. What is it that you want to accomplish when your child is doing something that you don’t want them to do? You’ll also want think about what is meant by the word “discipline.”

When we say “discipline,” what comes to mind? The literal meaning of the word is to train, to teach, to instruct, and to regulate. So in keeping with this description of discipline, think of a scenario involving your child behaving in a manner that is unsafe. In the book, No-Drama Discipline, Dan Siegel and Tina Bryson talk about three main questions to ask yourself when teaching your child: first you ask, “Why did my child act this way?” Secondly, “What lesson do I want to teach in this moment?” And lastly, “How can I best teach this lesson?”

Same old same old

Unless you’ve been taught this “thoughtful way” of parenting, most individuals repeat the same discipline techniques that their parents used or at worst, chose to use various forms of violence as a way to control the child’s behaviors. Consider the type of future adult you would like to nurture and cultivate within your child when you are choosing a style of discipline. Taking the time to reevaluate your own way of “teaching” your child could result in your own internal shift as a parent. Remember, a child’s brain continues to grow well into their mid 20s. When choosing how you will discipline, know that your particular style is also helping to shape her brain.

If you are interested in learning more about healthy and restorative ways of parenting your child, contact the Universal Parenting Place at (901) 207-3694 to sign up for the monthly parenting support/educational group based on the book, No-Drama Discipline.

ebony picEbony K. Bailey, LPC MHSP has been practicing psychotherapy since 2005. She currently serves at the Clinical Coordinator of the Universal Parenting Places for the ACE Awareness Foundation. On a regular basis she meets individually and in group with the UPP site directors to discuss clinical programing that primarily focuses on mitigating adverse childhood experiences through family systems therapy.


Related Reading

No-Drama Discipline, by Dan Siegel and Tina Bryson