Book Review: No Drama Discipline

no drama disciplineFor many years now, I would have told you that my absolute top two parenting book recommendations would be Between Parent and Child by Dr. Haim Ginott and Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon. They are both fantastic books about moving away from punishments and rewards and instead working with your children, with advice and techniques included, something many parents feel is lacking in gentle discipline books.

After reading No Drama Discipline by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, I have to amend that. No Drama Discipline is now my number one recommendation to parents wanting to understand what is going on with their children and how to change their way of thinking when it comes to parenting.

The authors go into enough depth about how your child’s brain works to explain while managing to write in a conversational manner which appeals to tired, frustrated parents. The book is a fast read, with enough information in early chapters to help parents begin changing how they interact with their children right away. Real life examples will appeal to many parents, helping them both to understand how to use techniques while offering hope to those attempting to make drastic changes in the way they parent.

This is a game changing book and one I highly recommend, not only to parents looking for something better, but also to parents who have been working to parent gentle from the beginning. This is also a good book to share with your parenting partner. Order your own copy and keep it handy. It might just change the way you view parenting.

To Discipline, To Teach

NPN RTD featureThis 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.

Discipline. What does it mean? When speaking of one’s self, discipline means having control over one’s self in order to act in a way you feel is appropriate. Maybe that means not saying the first thing that pops into your mind to the rude lady at the supermarket or perhaps it means ignoring the siren song of that chocolately, ooey, gooey brownie down in the kitchen.

Photo by Sean DreilingerWhen it comes to talking about raising our children, discipline literally means to teach. When our kids screw up, and they will just as we have countless times, it is our job to help them learn to do better. When our children were babies and learning to crawl or walk, we didn’t punish them when they weren’t able to do so. We understood that they would get there when they were ready. We encouraged them. We helped pick them up when they fell down. We lent a hand when they were wobbly-kneed and trying to make it across the room. We didn’t yell or hit or threaten or lecture. We loved them and were there for them.

When our children are trying to learn something new, whether it is reading, multiplication, or a foreign language, we understand that it takes time to fully grasp the concepts. We encourage them. We answer questions. When they get something wrong, we help walk them through the problem so that they know how to do it the correct way. We don’t ground them or punish them in some other way because we don’t help people learn to do better by making them feel bad.

Fundamentally, we understand that these are the things we need to do in order to help them learn. This is what disciplining our children is all about. We want to be there for them to help them learn, because that is our ultimate goal. So when they make mistakes, we should ask ourselves what we want them to do differently next time. Then ask yourselves what you can do to help them to learn to do things better.

By helping them walk through the process, we help build those neural connections and help them build the skills needed to respond better next time. As they learn these skills, they will be better prepared to handle future situations, with or without an authority figure present.

Parenting: What To Do or Not to Do

NPN RTD featureThis 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.

 

Articles and online threads regarding gentle parenting often find themselves subject to a frantic cry from parents who want to do better but don’t know how. “How?” they ask. “You tell us what not to do, but what is it that we should do?”  This is a valid question. If someone was trying to teach you to use a computer and only told you what not to do, it would be difficult for you to figure out what exactly it was . Imagine going to orientation for a new job and only being told what not to do. It would be frustrating at the very least. You might feel like screaming, or crying, or just flat out giving up.

Now imagine a similar scenario except as a child. In families that use punishments, you often find a similar situation, times one hundred. “Don’t hit your brother.” “Stop leaving you stuff all over the house?” While you may be frustrated at work, at the end of the day you get to go home and take a break. If the situation is really bad, you might request a change or even decide to leave and find a better job. But what if you didn’t have any recourse? A child doesn’t have those possibilities. Home is supposed to be their safe place. If all, or even a significant amount of, what they hear is what not to do, they aren’t learning what they should do.

Parents may say that punishments are set up to help children learn responsibility and to do better, but the truth is that punishment is set up to make child feel bad. Punishment, whether hitting (i.e.spanking), time-outs, or grounding, is the easy road for parents. They can feel like they did something while putting very little effort into the situation. Your child hits her brother? Punishment. He forgets to take the dog out? Punishment. She got home later than the agreed upon time, left his homework at home, didn’t take the trash out, questioned an adult, wanted a different pair of pants than you wanted to buy, chose his words poorly, and on and on. Frankly, when you are a child living in such a world, everything you do is subject to judgment and punishment. And you thought the work scenario was bad.

Kids are going to screw up. We, adults, aren’t perfect, either. We screw up quite a bit. Kids haven’t even had the same opportunities we have in order to learn how they should be handling all of these situations. And yet, many adults, parents included, expect kids to be able to handle everything perfectly. It is bad news for the kids who don’t have everything figured out yet. In this punishment mindset, we can just hope they figure it out for next time.

Right about now, you may be thinking to yourself that I still haven’t told you what to do, You would be right, and there is a reason for that. Every situation is different. Every person is different. While punishment takes a one-size-fits-all attitude, life isn’t like that, though. I can’t tell you what you should do in any given situation, because I am not there. I am not you. I don’t know your child or the background. There isn’t one thing you should do.

So, how do you know what to do then? You have to think about it. Sometimes you have to put yourself in your child’s place. Ask yourself why they did what they did (there is always, always a reason behind why a person does something, even if they, themselves, don’t know it). Talk with your children. Listen to them. Work with them. Connect with them. Help them to figure out a better way to do whatever it is. I won’t lie. It is not always easy, especially when you are first starting out and especially if you grew up with the authoritarian mindset. But you know what? No one ever said parenting was easy. But it is definitely worth it.

Giveaway: Captain No Beard ~ 10 Winners, $10 ARV {11.24; Worldwide}

This is a joint giveaway with Living Peacefully with Children and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked “Win it!” for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.

Carole P. Roman is offering ten of our readers  their own copy of Captain No Beard, a value of $10 x 10 (combined total ARV $100).

Captain No Beard is a full color picture book for children about a young pirate named Alexander, his cousin Hallie, and a menagerie of a crew. Follow their adventure and discover the important truth inherent to all children.

From our reviewer, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children:

About the Book:

Captain No Beard, by Carole P. Roman, is a delightful tale of a young boy on an adventure of his life. Alexander, the pirate captain extraordinaire, and his cousin and first mate, Hallie, are joined by a menagerie of a crew: Mongo, the “mast-climbing monkey,” Linus, the “loud-mouthed lion,” and Fribbit, the “floppy frog.” Together they travel on their ship called the Flying Dragon, whose name was chosen for its fear-inducing qualities.

Every morning is greeted with orders of the day with pirate loving phrases such as the swabbing of decks, pumping of bilges, climbing of the mast, and the ever popular chorus of “Shiver Me Timbers!”

Alexander expects a lot from his crew, but when Hallie asks a question and points out that she won’t know an answer unless she asks, he digs down and pulls out his trusty pirate dictionary to find out. This captain business is hard work.

When a storm rolls in, the crew must work together to save themselves from falling overboard. Avoiding possible catastrophe, the calm after the storm brings a voice from below. Hallie deduces that the voice must be from a mermaid, and the crew proceeds cautiously.

Appearing on the deck of the Flying Dragon, the mermaid comes prepared, with a treasure of golden doubloon cookies and a sense of humor that all parents need.

Roman’s book is a full color picture book suitable for children of all ages. The pictures are large and bright, bringing a wonderful visual to the engaging story. I read this story with my four children, ages 10, 8, 5, and 2 1/2, and I have to say we were all engaged.

Pirate lingo provides plenty of opportunity for audience participation! Captain No Beard has a deeper message to its older audience. As Alexander often exclaims, “Being a captain is hard work!” The book reminds us that our children, engrossed in fantasy and pretend games are also hard at work every day, learning through play.

So gather your family, and prepare to drawl some pirate lingo. A word to the wise, though? Limit your pirate voice and don’t attempt to read the entire book as a pirate. It left my throat raw and when the cheers of “Let’s read it again!” rang out, I needed a tea break.

About the Author:

 

Carole P. Roman is former teacher and current businesswoman. Her favorite job is that of grandmother, and she loves to snuggle up in a chair, reading stories to her loved ones. Carole is proud to be able to go on daily adventures with her grandchildren, traveling all over through books and always being home in time for dinner. As the dedication in the book reads, her grandchildren have “reminded [her] how much fun it was to go from the bottom of the sea to the most distant star. All in one day!”

 

 

BUY IT!

You can purchase your own Captain No Beard at Barnes and NobleAmazon, or Create Space. The book sells for approximately $10 and shipping ranges by site. Carole has another children’s book coming out soon in which yoga is incorporated into every day life: I Want to Do Yoga, Too Other adventures of Captain No Beard are also in the works. To stay connected with updates, Like her page on Facebook.

 

WIN IT!

For your own chance to win a copy of Captain No Beard from Carole P. Roman, enter by leaving a comment and using our Rafflecopter system below.

Ten winners will receive a copy of Captain No Beard. Contest is open WORLDWIDE.

MANDATORY ENTRY: Tell us about some of your children’s imaginary adventures or how they remind you to enjoy each day!

Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. Please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries.

This is a joint giveaway with Living Peacefully with Children and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we’ll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!
BONUS ENTRIES:
See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Give it a try, and email or leave a comment if you have any questions!

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Book Review: Prophecy

 

R. T. Kaelin, author of the fabulous Progeny, has done it again. Prophecy, the second novel in The Children of the White Lions series does not disappoint fans. The addition of  new characters, races, and warring duchies manages to add to the complexity of the novel without undermining the purity of the purity of the book. Bereft of any conventional notions which tend to limit many novels and add a level of predictability, Kaelin follows the story of the characters, allowing the book to take on a life of its own, driving the story line with a reality that adds a new level to the already complex richness. With beautifully deep characters and a well developed story line which follows it’s own unique path, the series continues to fulfill its promise to provide an entrancing book which enthralls readers and leaves them wanting more. I can’t wait to read the next novel when it comes out.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the author. 

War of the Seasons: The Human

War of the Seasons: The Human

Sad and lonely after the deaths of her father and younger siblings, Story finds herself visiting one of her childhood romps, a cave she used to visit with her family. In a headstrong moment, she forgets the cardinal rules of spelunking and falls down into a deep chasm. Finding a way out, she finds herself in Ailionara, a world in which elves, gnomes, faeries, and dryads are real…and humans are myth.

Janine K. Spendlove’s War of the Seasons: The Human brings a lovely blend of Celtic lore and YA fantasy while full of beautiful Celtic names. The reluctant heroine provides a nice change to traditional masculine leads in the genre, with a romance that is only a tertiary line, as opposed to love struck girl mooning over a mythological man. While a bit flat at first, Story’s character grows as the book gains momentum, driving the reader to the finish. If you like books such as Inheritance Cycle (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, Inheritance) and Progeny: The Children of the White Lions, you won’t want to miss checking out this up-and-coming author who only promises to be better with the next book in the series.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the author.

For more information about War of the Seasons or the author, check out Ailionara.

Double

Double

He never claimed to be the missing Cassiel. He just neglected to deny it. Given the choice between being a nobody, nameless and homeless, or being a somebody, with everything you’ve never had,  who wouldn’t hesitate? However, pretending to be someone else isn’t easy, especially when no one is who they seem.

Jenny Valentine’s young adult novel, Double (available for purchase tomorrow), begs the reader to ponder the essence of a person’s character – what defines a person and how that affects, or is affected by, an individual’s choices. Slow to build momentum, plot turns in the later portions of the book are certain to build suspense. Many of the characters seem lacking in dimension, but Chap’s struggles with ethical and moral decisions help readers identify with him. Despite annoying changes in tense during parts of the book, Double is an enjoyable book for teens and may lead to discussions.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.