What is discipline?
When you think about discipline, what first comes to mind? Is it punishment? Is it a spanking and a time-out? Maybe it is some other type of consequence like taking away a favorite toy? Whatever it is that came to mind, Siegel and Bryson wrote that, “the root of discipline is the word disciple, which means student, pupil, and learner. A disciple, the one receiving discipline, is not a prisoner or recipient of punishment, but one who is learning through instruction.” Siegel and Bryson want to reclaim the term so that it’s, “not about punishment or control, but about teaching and skill building— and doing so from a place of love, respect, and emotional connection.” Sounds wonderful, right?
This book is chock full of wonderful techniques and data that supports a different type of discipline. One takeaway I have found useful in my own parenting in helping parents build stronger relationships with their children is the, “connect, then redirect,” technique.
Connection and Redirection
Connection is giving our kids attention. Such as, respecting them enough to listening to them or valuing their contribution to problem solving. Most importantly, its a way of communicating to them that we are on their side even if we don’t like the way they are acting. Siegel and Bryson wrote, “deep, empathic connection can and should be coming with clear and firm boundaries that create needed structure in children’s lives.” Therefore, lest you think that connection is equivalent to permissiveness, it is quite contrary. Rather, it is a more effective and loving place in which we discipline from. Redirection happens once we have connected. Then, we can redirect our child to a more appropriate behavior and help them handle themselves in a better way.
Click here for a Refrigerator Sheet to refer to for further clarification. It is a cheat sheet to remind parents of a better way to discipline their child. However, if you find yourself longing to learn some of these skills, I would urge you to pick up the book. Order the workbook along with it. Make your way through these skills.
As always, if you are still feeling stumped, we are here for you. In no way do I think that learning these skills are easy. We will never have a 100% batting average when it comes coming to bat at parenting children. Perfection is not the expectation, but growth is.
Give Amy Wine Counseling Center a call at 832-421-8714 if you have questions about our therapeutic services or would like to make an appointment.