This post is written as part of the Round Table Discussions with Natural Parent Network volunteers. In an effort to discuss, support, and promote a kinder, more gentle world, we are taking an in depth view of various books. Our current book is No Drama Discipline by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph. D, authors of the book The Whole Brain Child. We hope you will join us with an open mind and a desire for change and growth.
If you have been reading along with our posts the past few months as we have discussed No Drama Discipline, perhaps you have found yourself longing for a calmer, more effective way to discipline – one without so much drama. Change can be daunting, but the authors have four messages of hope to share with us:
There is No Magic Wand There will be times when the techniques you try just aren’t helping to prevent or alleviate the drama of a situation. Sometimes, unless you have managed to acquire the ever-evasive magical wand, all you can do is be loving and present. Don’t give up. Just as we don’t want our children to give up because something didn’t happen perfectly the first time, you shouldn’t give up on having a more peaceful home. Make certain your children know you love them and be available for when they are ready to talk.
Your Kids Benefit Even When You Mess Up You will mess up. This is a given. Everyone makes mistakes. You don’t need to beat yourself up about it. No one is perfect. You learn from the experience, make it right, and try to do better next time. Know, too, though, that everything is a learning experience for your children, including your own mistakes. Turn mistakes into something better:
- model apologizing and making things right
- let them understand that everyone makes mistakes and can take ownership of those mistakes and make things right
- help them learn how to repair relationships
You Can Always Reconnect Conflict happens. When it does, you address it and reconnect with your children. Think of mistakes as holes in a ship. If you never repaired the holes, eventually the ship (aka your relationship) would sink. Instead, you reconnect with your children and repair the conflict between the two of you. Don’t worry about the individual mistakes; stay focused on your relationship and the journey you have together. Everything else will fall into place.
It’s Never too Late to Make a Positive Change Thanks to the study of neuroplasticity, we know that the human brain is amazingly adaptable across a person’s lifetime. That means that even if you aren’t parenting the way you want to be right now, you can change.