~ A whole brain way to calm the chaos and nurture your child’s developing mind ~

Authors: D.J Siegel (M.D.) and T.P Bryson (PH.D.)

Reviewed By: Kelly Westerman (B.Sc. OT)

One of the most common question I get from parents of toddlers, is how should they go about disciplining their toddlers. Parents are constantly struggling to find a balance between setting clear and healthy boundaries and also trying to give their children space to enforce their will when appropriate; and all this is done with less than 3 hours sleep a night. A simple Google search will leave you more confused than ever with what is the ’right’ way to strike that perfect balance when it comes to discipline.

No-Drama Discipline offers parents and caregivers some insights in to where behaviours come from and offers a method of dealing with challenging behaviours that is clear, respectful, and based upon years of scientific research in to behaviour and developmental psychology. The book is easy to follow, easy to understand and highlights the link between a child’s neurological development and the way a parent reacts to so-called misbehaviour.  No-Drama Discipline helps parents, and any person who spends time with or works with children, plan for dealing with tantrums, tensions, and meltdowns without any drama.

Sound too good to be true? It would appear that a cure for tantrums seems about as likely as winning the lottery; and it must be said that both would probably bring parents equal amounts of joy. It is however true, Siegel and Bryson start off by redefining the word discipline as a method of instruction and not punishment. They encourage parents to use challenging times as an opportunity of growth for your child, where problem solving is favoured over punishment.

Still sound too good to be true? Below is an outline of some of what the books has to offer:

  • Strategies for parents to use in order to identify their own discipline philosophy. Many issues around discipline arise when parents have different ideas of what appropriate boundaries are and what is the best way to discipline your child when those boundaries are pushed. When two parents consciously get on the same page when it comes to discipline it offers a level of consistency and takes the pressure off just one parent bearing the brunt of the discipling responsibilities.
  • Parents are also guided to master the best methods to communicate the lessons they are trying to impart to their children.
  • The book offers many facts about child brain development, but the information is presented in a very easy to understand way. It also highlights what kind of discipline is most appropriate and constructive for all ages of stages in child development.
  • They provide a step-by-step method to calmly and lovingly connect with a child; no matter how challenging the behaviour; while still setting clear and consistent boundaries.
  • There are also practical tips for helping your child through a tantrum in order to help them gain insight, empathy, and repair.

The book includes the authors own stories of when they have NOT been able to apply their own principles. This has the effect of normalising the struggles that parents have and helps parents to feel that being ‘good enough’ is in fact enough. The book is filled with candid stories and playful illustrations that bring the authors’ suggestions to life.

No-Drama Discipline is one of the most insightful discipling books that I have ever had the joy of reading. It shows parents how to work with their child’s developing mind in order to peacefully resolve conflicts, inspire happiness and strengthen resilience in everyone in the family. A must read for any one who spends time around children.

Contributed by Occupational Therapist Kelly Westerman
Tel: 076 100 4737
Website: www.clamberclub.com