Whole Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline

What better way to start Mental Health Month than a great early childhood mental health conference?! 79Really, it was more like a two-day intensive class on healthy parenting. Kay, Magen, Lori, Lezli, Becky, Teresa and I got to learn from Tina Payne Bryson, PhD (http://tinabryson.com/) about how we can use the latest brain research to establish healthy and effective parenting styles (i.e. Discipline = Skill Building) in our own homes and to help parents that we work with learn them, too! Her strategies are based out of the research that the healthiest families have parents that are high on two dimensions:

  1. Setting limits and Boundaries
  2. Being emotionally responsive and nurturing.

Think it might be hard to do both of those at the same time? Me, too.
But I tried it. (Dr. Bryson was right, my kids didn’t wait long to give me a chance to try it!)


8 thoughts on “Whole Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline

  1. Great personal story Stacy and application of the wonderful information Dr. Bryson shared. Connection- hard to do as a first response. You nailed it! Every behavior is a message- I think of it as our kiddos using a megaphone stating ” I need a skill or strategy here.” And you helped identify what both your kids needed. Kudos Mama!


    1. Great post, Stacy! Dr. Bryson is probably my favorite speaker of all time, and having the brain research behind the theory makes it all the more convincing! Another thing that is convincing is the fact that the practical apication worked for me. I had a number of “opportunities” to practice Dr. Bryson’s teachings this weekend, and it was very reinforcing to see that soothing first (as difficult as that can be at times), works! It was a good reminder that there is always an emotion behind a behavior, and that when kids are out of the green zone (when their little nervous systems are in reactive mode) they aren’t going to learn anything. Therefore soothe first to get their brains in a place where they can learn. I love that that your daughter was able to come up with the emotion chart and your son was as excited as his sister so he could stop trying to read her mind. Fantastic! This stuff is life changing! I can’t wait to share it with my families!


      1. Kay, me too! Is anyone else finding, though, that they have a spouse/partner who is challenged by how much time it takes to do this?


    2. Lezli, I keep remembering you at the conference, with your hands cupped around your mouth, calling out, “We need some skill-building over here!”


  2. Stacy
    I have had several opportunities to practice at home too. I have found that I am personally not as anxious or stressed during situations that previously would have ended with nobody feeling really good about it. And my kids have noticed too. And I think that the most important thing for me to remember that discipline is at its heart an opportunity for teaching, and that it is more effective than just dulling out consequences. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about all the wonderful info Dr Bryson shared with us. Thank you for sharing your experience!


    1. It really makes me think about why I respond the ways I do to my kids, and what it is actually teaching them!


  3. Sounds like a Win, Win, Win situation w/ you and your babes, Stacy! The conference was great!!! I think it goes so nicely w/ the information that we gained from Promoting First Relationships! Thnx for the great blog!


    1. I agree, it does go so well with Promoting First Relationships. And this approach (Whole-Brain Child, No-Drama Discipline) also seems very similar to Becky Bailey’s Conscious Discipline, don’t you think?


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