How can I discipline my children more effectively?

Tina Bryson, PhD Psychotherapist and Author, shares advice for parents on how they can discipline their children more effectively to ensure that they learn the right lesson in an effective manor
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How can I discipline my children more effectively?

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So one of the biggest mistakes I think parents make when it comes to discipline is to discipline on "auto-pilot." Instead of really thinking about what they're doing, they just think, "Oh, my child's done something wrong, what consequence should I give them?" And we tend to return to the same thing over and over again. When it comes to discipline, we ought to ask three questions; anytime our children misbehave, we ought to think about why did my child do this misbehavior? When we ask that question, it allows us to get some insight into why and when we know why, we might be able to address it so that doesn't keep happening over and over again. The second question is: What is the lesson I want my child to learn here? After all, the whole point of discipline is to teach; that's what discipline means, that's what it's about. So we ask what is the lesson I want my child learn? And the third question is: What is the most effective way to teach that lesson? And when we ask that question, it kind of opens up the possibilities of our toolbox. And sometimes maybe writing a letter of apology or drawing a "sorry" picture or replacing something that they broke out of anger - these types of things can open up other possibilities because then we're thinking about how can I effectively teach this lesson in the moment.

Tina Bryson, PhD Psychotherapist and Author, shares advice for parents on how they can discipline their children more effectively to ensure that they learn the right lesson in an effective manor

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Tina Payne Bryson, PhD

Psychotherapist & Author

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, is a psychotherapist at Pediatric and Adolescent Psychology Associates in Arcadia, California, where she sees children and adolescents, as well as provides parenting consultations. She is the school counselor at St. Marks Episcopal School in Altadena, CA, and a Developmental Consultant to Camp Chippewa for Boys. She speaks to parents, educators, and clinicians all across the country. Dr. Bryson earned her PhD from the University of Southern California, where her research explored attachment science, childrearing theory, and the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology. Her best-selling book The Whole-Brain Child (co-authored with Dr. Dan Siegel) gives parents practical ways to transform difficult moments into opportunities for children to thrive.  Dr. Bryson has written for a large number of publications, most recently the PBS series “This Emotional Life.”  She lives near Los Angeles with her husband and three children.  

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