Tips to Connect & Redirect Conflict with your Children
From the book – No-Drama Discipline
by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.
FIRST – CONNECT
- Why connect first?
- Short-term benefit: It moves a child from reactivity to receptivity.
- Long-term benefit: It builds a child’s brain.
- Relational benefit: It deepens your relationship with your child.
- No-Drama Connection Principles
- 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.
- The No-Drama Connection Cycle: Help Your Child Feel Felt
- Communicate comfort: By getting below your child’s eye 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.
- 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 listen, looking for the meaning and emotions your child is communicating.
- Reflect 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.
SECOND – REDIRECT
- 1-2-3 Discipline – The No-Drama Way
- One definition: Discipline is teaching.
Ask the three questions:
- Why did my child act this way? (What was happening internally/emotionally?)
- What lesson do I want to teach?
- How can I best teach it?
- o Two principles:
- Wait until your child is ready (and you are, too).
- Be consistent but not rigid.
- Three mindsight outcomes:
- Insight: Help kids understand their own feelings and their responses to difficult situations.
- Empathy: Give kids practice reflecting on how their actions impact others.
- Repair: Ask kids what they can do to make things right.
• No-Drama redirection strategies
- 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 mindsight tools.
5 WAYS TO DEAL WITH FRUSTRATIONS AS A PARENT
ACCEPT YOUR CHILD AS THEY ARE
- See and know them for who they are rather than who we expect them to be.
- Tell them from the start that you will love them…and repeat it all the time.
- Be awake to who they are; feeling seen is an essential part of feeling loved.
- A great way to connect with your child is via their love language, you can make them feel seen and appreciated.
ALLOW YOUR EMOTIONS
- All feelings are okay!
- When a strong feeling arises, observe It. Pause and take a breath.
- When frustration arises, use the helpful practice S.T.O.P.
S – Stop what you are doing
T – Take a few deep breaths
O – Observe your thoughts and feelings as they are
P – Proceed with whatever you are doing
KNOW THE “90-SECOND RULE”
- When we resist a feeling, we inadvertently remain stuck in the same feeling.
- When we accept the feeling, it’s gone in under 2 minutes!
- In the critical 90 seconds of an emotion, be sure to communicate your strong feelings to your child and how you plan to cope with them. “Mommy is feeling very tired and grumpy right now.”
PARENT FROM A PLACE OF GRATITUDE
- Practicing gratitude improves mental and physical health, increases empathy, and improves sleep. It even changes the brain!
- Each time you’re about to say, “I have to” to, replace it with “I get to.’
- “I have to take my daughter to ballet” versus “I get to take my daughter to ballet”.
- “I have to put him to bed” versus “I get to put him to bed.”
APPLY GROWTH MINDSET TO YOUR PARENTING
- No one is born knowing how to parent. When frustration overtakes you, use it as an opportunity to grow from the experience, and decide what you’d do differently next time.
- When it all seems too difficult, remember the feeling of things being hard is the feeling of your brain growing.