Does discipline matter to you? Do you think discipline has a role to play in your parenting? Do you recognize the value of healthy self-discipline in your own life?

I just read a great book Mindful Discipline and it reaffirmed that there are healthy versions of discipline and self-discipline.

Here’s the link to Mindful Discipline on amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Mindful-Discipline-Approach-Emotionally-Intelligent/dp/1608828840

Here are the four reasons why a loving and mindful discipline is important:
1. Discipline creates harmony in your home.
2. Discipline supports mental health and a sense of well-being.
3. Discipline helps kids function well and reach their full potential.
4. Discipline ultimately leads to the resolution of “behavioral problems.”

Harmony in your Home
We all want out home to be a place of rest: a place where we can enjoy some amount of quiet, flow with our projects, and sweet intimacy with each other. To do this, we need to create a certain amount of structure and habits of respectful and heartfelt interaction. When we focus on meeting our children’s needs first, they feel better, act out less, and become more capable of contributing to harmony in the home. Meeting your child’s needs is the basis of Mindful Discipline, and leads to more harmony in the home.

Mental Health and Well-Being
Your child’s overall health and experience of life depend on the development of her body and nervous system—and many factors go into that development. But the area of the brain that is perhaps most responsible for mental health and the experience of well-being is the middle regions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This area—often called the CEO of the brain—is responsible for the following 9 functions:
1. Bodily regulation
2. Emotional balance
3. Down-regulation of fear
4. Impulse control/response flexibility
5. Attuned communication
6. Empathy
7. Ethical behavior
8. Self-insight
9. Intuition

This list—created by Dr. Dan Siegel—is the basis for mental health and the experience of well-being and is optimally supported by the Mindful Discipline approach.

Optimal Functioning and Becoming Fully Ourselves
A disciplined mind and brain not only feels better, but functions better. Full brain development takes at least twenty-five years, and every step of the way the PFC supports our functioning in life. It is the basis for emotional and social intelligence, allows us to remain focused when under stress, and allows us to choose the most appropriate response given the needs of the situation. This is how we not only come to function well, but also how we become able to pursue our dreams and reach our full potential in life. Don’t we all want that for our children?

The Resolution of Behavioral Problems
And finally, one of our jobs as parents is to guide our children toward taking responsibility for greater and greater portions of the “work” of daily life as they mature. We all hope that one day they will be able to brush their own teeth, get along with each other, and do their homework without our having to badger them. The more we can turn the work of parenting over to them, the more we can relax into the joys of being a parent.

For these reasons (and more), we parents should find a way to incorporate a healthy and loving discipline into our homes. Mindful Discipline does a fantastic job at detailing what children need in order to grow up into emotionally intelligent, self-disciplined, and resilient beings who deeply appreciate their parents.

You can read the book’s introductory chapter here:
http://www.essentialparenting.com/book/intro-mindful-discipline/

With gratitude to the authors, Dr. Chris White and Shauna Shapiro Phd.

Carmen Gamper
www.newlearningculture.com

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