The Science of Parenting

The Great Guidance and Discipline Debate | S.8 Ep.1

February 03, 2022 Season 8 Episode 1
The Science of Parenting
The Great Guidance and Discipline Debate | S.8 Ep.1
Show Notes Transcript

Discipline is one of the most requested topics we get as parenting educators. Learn how we define discipline, explore different types, and learn a straightforward flip to help your child meet your expectations more often.

Send us an email: parenting@iastate.edu.
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Lori Korthals:

Welcome to The Science of Parenting podcast, where we connect you with research based information that fits your family. I'm Lori Korthals, parent of three in two different life stages. Two are launched and one is still in high school. And I'm a parenting educator.

Mackenzie Johnson:

And I'm Mackenzie Johnson, parent of two littles with their own quirks. And I'm a parenting educator. Today we'll talk about the realities of raising a family and how research can help guide our parenting decisions.

Lori Korthals:

Hey, did you catch that fancy new intro? Yes.

Mackenzie Johnson:

I had to fight the urge for like, what was that? Fancy intro. So we don't do that anymore?

Lori Korthals:

I didn't just jump in. It is still in fact, just us. Lori, Mackenzie, and Barb and Mackenzie back stage, right.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, they're there. It does kind of feel like we need to do like reintroductions though, at the beginning of the season. Like hello. Hello, I still have young children and I'm a parenting educator. That all stayed the same. Nothing changed.

Lori Korthals:

Yes, yes. Okay, so here we are season eight. Mm hmm. Crazy stuff. Right. I know. And I'm super excited about this season, the great guidance and discipline debate. Right.

Mackenzie Johnson:

I'm excited, I'm so excited.

Lori Korthals:

So here we are season eight. We're going to take a look at guiding children from multiple perspectives this season. We're gonna try to bring in all different kinds of theory, history, all kinds of nerdy stuff. And we dig it that way.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Full nerd. No worries. Full nerd. Um, but yeah, getting dorky. It's been exciting, you know, digging through the research to get ready for the season. You know, but also thinking about, yeah, like, what influences the decisions we make around guidance and discipline, whether we realize them or not. And so in looking at that, looking at how we make the decision process, even if it doesn't feel like a process, even if it's like a natural thing, there is. So we'll talk about that, very excited. Like I said, full dorky. Every episode, there's gonna be some kind of like parenting theory, and I'm very excited about it.

Lori Korthals:

Well, okay, and that's because this entire season is coming from a book that's actually titled, The Handbook of Parenting. Yes, there is such a thing. Alright. And we have volume five. So this is edited by Mark Bornstein. But that's what we're gonna use. And, you know, so yeah, we did get a little geeked out and nerdy. But it's a handbook. Okay. Like who doesn't love a handbook? Give me a handbook, right?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. We had to really think intentionally about, we need to phrase this so that it's not so nerdy, right? That it like is real for real people. And so we did, we dug into the chapter from that volume five, the practice of parenting, we dug into the chapter by Dr. Jennifer Lansford, and it's focused on discipline, as you maybe could have guessed?

Lori Korthals:

Yes, yes. And you know, so our goal here at The Science of Parenting is to just help you fill your parenting toolbox, right? And so this season, we're going to stick this big thick book of parenting in there. And then we're going to just help you sift out the easy parts that you can quickly grab and have at your fingertips.

Mackenzie Johnson:

We like to use the word translate. So yes, we want to translate the research so that it's like, okay, cool you said that, barely know what it meant. How do I actually do that? So that's what we hope we can do.

Lori Korthals:

Well, okay, so let's start with this definition. Right? We like to start off with definitions so we're all on the same page. Right? So shoot us a definition here.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. So defining discipline and guidance. Lansford tells us that one of the most important ways that parents shape their children's behavior is through the use of proactive discipline to encourage desired behavior in the future, and reactive discipline to respond to misbehavior after it occurs. And so I love that, what is guidance and discipline? It's about shaping our kids' behavior. I love that. Right? So what did you catch in there that you like?

Lori Korthals:

Gosh, so I love it that what you said was like, guidance and discipline is like two things, right? So it's this use of proactive discipline to encourage desired behaviors in the future. And then it's also the opportunity to respond to misbehavior as it occurs, right? So it's two things and it's guidance and discipline. It's one tool and another or it's tool number 65 and tool number 38. Right, so we have options all throughout our children's lives. Guidance and discipline is still about options. There is not just one tool that you're always and forever going to use for each and every situation. Options.

Mackenzie Johnson:

For sure. And that, for me, it's like the desired and undesired behaviors. Yes, we're shaping their behavior by trying to reinforce the things we do like, and we're shaping their behavior by trying to correct the ones we don't like, and that those are all a part of guidance and discipline, and that they make up the relationship we have with our kids. That discipline is like a huge part of that relationship because it we do shape their behavior as their parents.

Lori Korthals:

I love that word picture, shaping, molding creating together.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah, yes. So this idea of undesired and desired behaviors. This is subjective, right? It's according to each of us what we define as desired or undesired. And so what would you say are some desired versus undesired behaviors for you?

Lori Korthals:

Okay, so, I'm going to say right now with my children at the age that they are, right, so I have one high school and two that are launched, they're out of college, they have big girl jobs, right. But I think standard to me has always been desired behavior, communication, and undesired behavior, lack of communication, right? Desired behavior, being respectful towards yourself and others. Undesirable behavior, disrespecting yourself, disrespecting others. And you know, even as young children, those are my personal family values. And so where other parents, you know, would have valued something differently, those are my key that I hung on to. Yes. How about you?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Littles? Okay, well, I will say right now, the first undesired behavior is like physical aggression. I mean, kids at that age are starting to disagree and fight a little more. They're two and five. And so even like, my son will say to my daughter, it's playful and funny and not funny. My daughter will be like, well, I'm hungry, or I'm something and he'll be like, no, you're not. That's what little brothers do, I guess. But then with that type of behavior and interaction is sometimes leading to things like hitting, pushing, shoving, kicking, yanking, right? Yanking that back out of their hand. And so definitely, like that kind of behavior is not a desired behavior, right? We're trying thinking about, so what is the flip side of that? What is the desired behavior? Using your words to communicate, right? Like, I would like a turn with that toy, or I don't like when you do that. So trying to encourage them and give them phrases they can use with each other, that's a more desired behavior. Yeah. Um, okay. And then another one. I will not show you what the rest of my office looks like, you will only see this frame. I'm such a bad example because the mess in this room right now is my mess. But leaving messes for other people to clean up, age appropriate, right. So like, I don't expect my two year old to vacuum his room. Right. But so leaving messes for other people is like that is an undesired. Desired is to clean up after yourself or make a plan for when you're going to clean it up. And that kind of stuff. But those are like the very concrete things.

Lori Korthals:

I'll go ahead. Okay. So that reminds me of another, accountability. Like being able to just say, oh, yeah, I messed up, you know? Yeah. Accountability, so that cleaning up messes, that reminded me, accountability and desired behavior.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Well, and you talking about the communication and respecting people, which I mean, I should have guessed, respect, always. But I think another thing that is a desired behavior, something we work towards in guiding our kids' behavior, is the idea of being tactful. Which to me is a little bit different than being polite, you know, not I have to accommodate everybody else's feelings kind of polite, but instead of screaming at your brother, I disagree. Or like I've shared before, my child that is less adaptable saying, that's wrong, and it's not wrong. It's maybe different than you expected. Yeah. And so I think teaching a desired behavior for me is for my kids to learn, it's okay to have an opinion. But you need to be tactful, not disrespectful. And so that's another one that's just like, I am shaping my kids' behavior around that. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. And so yeah, but it's so different for everybody. It is, you know, like the ones that jump out of my head and mouth. Yeah, even people who have the same similar age kids for me, that's not what I worry about.

Lori Korthals:

So yeah, definitely when it comes to different ages. And gosh, that reminds me of season two when we talked about, you know, the parental judgement. Guidance and discipline brings on a whole other level of parental judgment and self doubt.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Right. Wait, yeah, that was in season one.

Lori Korthals:

Was that season 1?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Towards the end of season one, but all the way back. But yeah, judgment for sure. Like, this is the thing I'm choosing to address with my kids. Yeah. And it might not be the thing you're choosing to address with yours. And yeah, it can be easy to compare and judge and you don't need that. We don't need that.

Lori Korthals:

Okay, so I have something special for you. This is a framework and you're gonna love it.

Mackenzie Johnson:

For me?

Lori Korthals:

Yes, for you, a framework for you. So Hoffen and Solstein give us an overarching framework when it comes to understanding some different forms of discipline. There are three main categories. There's power assertion, love withdrawal, and inductive reasoning. So let me let me go through those again. So power assertion. It means basically, when parents exert power and authority over the child.

Mackenzie Johnson:

So some ways we do that would be like corporal punishment or spanking, yelling, grounding, or removing privileges. Yeah. Right. That's like asserting like, I am the adult and so I get to decide these things. Yes, yeah. Okay. Yep. Power assertion.

Lori Korthals:

Okay. So the second one in this in this framework of three categories of guidance and discipline. The second category is love withdrawal. And this essentially means that we manipulate our children's emotion by, you know, expressing disapproval or anger. So it's kind of removing love by expressing anger or disapproval.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. So, I mean, so this could be things like name calling, belittling, even sometimes in drastic situations, threatening to leave. Sometimes even maybe, people might consider the silent treatment. Yes. Right. Like, I'm not going to talk to you.

Lori Korthals:

Yes, yes. Okay, so that's the second category, right, love withdrawal. So the third category then is a category called inductive reasoning. And that involves kind of discussing how other people are affected by the child's behavior. So you're helping the child understand what it is about their behavior that's impacting others.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. So that is, you know, reasoning. It's explaining why you make the decisions you do. I even think some people talk about when they talk about timeout, they flip it and talk about time in. Yes. So that we have this very specific time where we're talking about the behavior and how it affected people. You know, with my littles, it's even things like using distraction or redirection. Yeah. So yeah, there's a wide variety of ways we can kind of use this reasoning to guide their behavior.

Lori Korthals:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, so three ways. So three ways, yes. So okay, as we think about these, is there one that's better than the others? It's a framework. So to me, a framework says there might be pieces and parts of all of them that are okay when it comes to guidance and discipline?

Mackenzie Johnson:

So I have an answer for that.

Lori Korthals:

Okay, good.

Mackenzie Johnson:

So actually Lansford, the author of this chapter, specifically addresses it. So inductive reasoning is the one we're explaining, it's a little more logical than the other two, that has been shown to have exclusively positive outcomes for kids. The power assertion can be kind of some negative, some positive. And it seems like the love withdrawal is mostly negative. And so I mean, based on that, you could say the inductive reasoning is probably the best strategy that we can tap into, but yeah, well, there's some benefit in that power assertion but there's a caveat of why, right?

Lori Korthals:

Yes, I did know that there was this little twist. Let's talk about the twist.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. So basically that there's two types of power assertion. So which I mean really comes back to this idea of authoritative parenting. And so you've heard us talk about that before, Bomerin's theory, basically that an authoritative parent, kids who have authoritative parents tend to have really positive outcomes from their parenting, that we provide warmth, and we provide appropriate expectations. So coercive is one category, and confrontive is the other one. In coercive power assertion, it's about manipulating behavior. So this can feel it's not always with reason, right? It can feel like out of the blue, it can feel like it's about controlling behavior, okay, um, is what that coercive kind of style is. Versus sometimes we use confrontive power assertion, which is about shaping behavior. It typically involves some kind of like negotiation and logic, and so that there's a difference within that category of, are we manipulating our children's behavior with their feelings, right? Like, I want you to feel bad, so that you'll stop it, versus I want to reason with you about why that's not appropriate. And so sometimes I need to assert that power. Yes.

Lori Korthals:

And in that, when you said that just this time around, I heard confrontation confrontation. Right. And some people say, I don't like confrontation. But in this case, it's super important to confront and talk about and reason. And, you know, that's a prime learning opportunity is to confront this, what's happening? And so it's not confrontational. It's, let's step up to the plate and confront what's going on.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. And I think that sometimes there's, like, this generation of parents kind of thing around like, we're too soft on our kids, or whatever. And I think that it can be when the pendulum swings from, if we've maybe felt like our parents were very controlling or something. And then it's like, no, me and my kids are going to be friends, you know, but it can get permissive. If we're not ever asserting power as like, I am the adult, you are the child and I can't let you do this, like, I can't let you be unsafe. I can't let you hurt others. I can't let you you know, whatever that behavior is. And so there is a level of like, we need to confront and address inappropriate, unsafe behavior. So yeah, it does require some level of asserting our power as the adult over the child, because like, I can't let you play in the street. It's a bummer. You're mad. And you can't. As a teen driver, I can't let you make unsafe driving choices. It's a bummer. But so you're right, that power assertion, it's about not confrontation, but we're gonna address the behavior or the issue.

Lori Korthals:

And you get to model that for the child, right, you get to model how to have healthy conflict, how to have healthy assertion, how to have healthy standing up and supporting family values. And those opportunities are fabulous for parents and children to do together. As opposed to, you know, like you said, that silent treatment in the second framework category, which is ...

Mackenzie Johnson:

Oh, love withdrawal.

Lori Korthals:

You know, it's that silent treatment, that love withdrawal. That's not modeling to the child, what is the behavior you want them to do? What is it you want them to do?

Mackenzie Johnson:

So as we think back on our list of what we talked about in that, power assertive types of behaviors, like parenting and discipline strategies. You know, the things that might be coercive would be things like inflicting physical pain, it could be things like yelling, and it could be things like I even think of hearing stories about kids getting grounded from basic needs. Oh, yes. You know, and so it's not like you're grounded from this event. Right? It's like you aren't allowed to have basic things, right. So you know that is really about manipulating the behavior rather than trying to work with your child to shape it. You know, so the more confrontive things that are like, we're removing privileges when we need to, or sometimes time out and time in and that opportunity to like, yep, sometimes I do need to ground you. You were dishonest with me about this. I don't know if I can trust you to do this safely. Exactly. You know. And so sometimes that's the case, even with my little daughter, there was a period where she is watching TV in the morning. She likes to get ready and then watch a little bit of TV. And as long as she's ready, there were some days, we had a little streak where it was like, You're not ready to go. And I'm okay with you doing that, as long as you're okay with being independent and getting yourself ready. Tomorrow, we're not going to be able to. But it was related to what was happening, like, Okay, you were able to have that privilege because you had demonstrated responsibility. And if we don't have the responsibility, I need to help you with it which means we don't have time for the TV in the morning. Exactly. And so yeah, but it does, it looks different on how we can do that. But I thought that distinction between coercive and confronted was an important one as we think about our power as parents. Exactly. Are we trying to manipulate them to make them feel a certain way? Or are we trying to guide and shape that behavior?

Lori Korthals:

I love that. So we've got power assertion, removal of love, love withdrawal. I'm gonna get it. And then inductive reasoning. Those three categories of how we pull in discipline strategies, which is where we're going next. Right?

Mackenzie Johnson:

There was one more quote that I just caught and saved, because there was a word in here that I thought was so good. So confrontive power assertion is marshaled to promote compliance with a responsive relationship where the child's dissent is heard and respected. And I was like, I want to be marshaled. Like you're right. I'm not manipulating it. My emotion, it's like it's marshaled. I want compliance, but I'm promoting it, not like manipulating to get it. And then yeah, my kids can say like, Hold on, wait, this doesn't feel fair or like, wait, the reason I did this was. And respect, your favorite word.

Lori Korthals:

So marshaled is essentially allowing them to have some input?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, yes. But so I liked that word in that quote. So yes, power assertion. There are ways that seemed to be more beneficial and ways that seem to be not as beneficial. But you're right. So we're gonna move into the strategy. So thinking about those three kinds of discipline, thinking about that mix of, we're shaping behavior, proactive, reactive, etc. This season, we're switching it a little bit, I mean, not terribly, but we're gonna focus in on a strategy for the week, almost kind of an assignment. Homework or activity, which one will make people not feel yucky about it?

Lori Korthals:

Oh, yeah. An activity.

Mackenzie Johnson:

For this week, I think as we think about guidance and discipline, to look for opportunities to flip some of those reactive discipline things we do into more proactive or thinking about when we respond only to an undesired behavior to how we can help them understand what the desired behaviors is.

Lori Korthals:

Okay, so give me a negative and I'll see if I can flip it off. Okay, flip it. Okay.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Okay. Okay. Yeah, I'm ready. Yeah. All right. Okay, well, one, don't hit.

Lori Korthals:

Okay, so, but what I don't want, undesired behavior hitting. What I do want is not hitting, nice touches. Okay. So I would say, the reactive way you said it was don't hit. Can I just add this in right here? So I've always been, you know, okay, me like brain development, right. So what is the last thing you want your child to hear? You want your child to hear what you want them to do. Right? Tell them what you want them to do. Okay, so say it last? Yes. So the last thing I'm

Mackenzie Johnson:

Say it last. going to say is what I want you to hear. I would like you to use nice touches. Nice touches, please. Mackenzie, please use nice touches. I will do my best.

Lori Korthals:

Instead of use nice touches, don't hit? Mm hmm. What was the last thing you still heard me say?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Just don't hit? Well, I don't know what I'm supposed to do instead. But I want my way.

Lori Korthals:

I want my way. Yeah. So use nice touches. As much as I want to say, so don't hit. No, I'm gonna just stick with use nice touches.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. Well, I even think my kids are getting old enough now that I can do the, are you wanting to ask for a turn? Right? What is behind that behavior I don't like? Are you wanting that toy back? So sometimes it's also like, Okay, what's appropriate? That sensation or that urge of wanting the toy back is not a bad thing. It would be appropriate, use nice touches. Yeah. Did you want to ask for a turn? Like did you want to use your words to ask?

Lori Korthals:

Giving them words. Giving them words for the feelings they're feeling. Oh, that made you mad? Should we ask if we can have that toy back?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, yes, yes. Okay, so here's another one. Actually, I was still hitting my sister if I'm honest. I was hitting my sister. That is not good. I'm not modeling. Okay, but one that's a little more typical of teens. Okay, watch your mouth. Oh, watch your mouth.

Lori Korthals:

Watch your mouth. Watch your mouth.

Mackenzie Johnson:

I am telling you what I want you to do. A desired behavior.

Lori Korthals:

Yes. Okay. So that actually brings in a question to me. And my brain is saying, Well, what was it that they said exactly that you don't want? What was the phrase?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Was it like a curse word? Or was it like,

Lori Korthals:

Or was it the tone? Yeah. Was it the tone? Was disrepectful? it a word? So okay, yeah. Um, so I might have been known to say things like, would you like another shot at asking me more politely? If it was the tone that was undesirable. Yeah. Did you want to try to use a different word this time? Yeah, I think I've definitely asked those questions in my household. Because it's almost like, I want to make sure that I'm making my point. I don't like this phrase, this word you're using, it's undesirable. And I'm actually going to give you another shot at trying it again before I get upset.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. You don't know if it is like a curse word scenario, or like a word that your family is like, no, that's not a word we use. Mm hmm. You know, it could be as simple as like, instead of watch your mouth, it could be as simple as choose a more appropriate word. Yes. Or you know what, let's be honest. Maybe you say watch your mouth first. And they're like, and the desired behavior?

Lori Korthals:

What I'd like you to say instead.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Let's use a more appropriate word.

Lori Korthals:

Yes. And let's try it together. Let me model it for you.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Okay, another one that I remember the first time you said this to me I was like, I know exactly what you're talking about. You don't need to explain it. The stop it syndrome. Oh, yes. When as parents, we get in that mode of like, stop it, knock it off. And we're not even telling them what the specific undesired behavior is. Whatever that is, stop it.

Lori Korthals:

And that was something I learned as an adult vividly remembering the story. I've told you the story, you know, but it was an adult that I said that to, stop it. And that adult said, what, what are you talking about? And it was kind of at that point, and my kids were little thank goodness at that point, that I thought, Oh, if that adult has no idea what stop it means, then how can I expect my my four year old to understand what stop it means? And I get it like, oh, Lori, you aren't in my house when my kid is looking at me just about to put their hand in the potting soil and toss it. Yeah, it's always the plants. You know that they know what they're doing. I think okay, but stop it. Do I want you to stop throwing? Stop looking at me? Stop with your fingers in the dirt? What piece of action is it that I want you to stop? But more importantly, what would I like you to do instead? Right? What is it I want you to do? The desired behavior is the key.

Mackenzie Johnson:

And so we had this one, we were in a store recently. And it's like one of those gifty type stores that I'm scared to be in because I don't trust me to not break things. But in there with one of my kids and it's like, okay, instead of don't touch, don't touch. It's like, okay, naturally you want to see this thing. Let's look with our eyes, not with our hands. Yes. These things are for looking with our eyes. And yes, if you want to, get close around it, rather than pick it up. And okay, what do I want you to do? I want you to look with your eyes.

Lori Korthals:

I want your hands in your pocket. And I want you to look with your eyes.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, yes. All right. And I mean, it's worth addressing. Even sometimes when it's like what I want you to do is stop what you're doing. Sometimes when I'm prone to do is yell or for some of us that might be spanking. You know, like, I want you to stop it and I want you to stop it right now. So how do we flip that into teaching a desired behavior instead of just trying to stop it?

Lori Korthals:

Well, I think there's this flagship thing that we talk about here. It's three words, three words. Oh, I know what it is. Stop, Breathe. And talk. Do you want to remind everyone what that is?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. So Stop. Breathe. Talk. is that flagship strategy of helping us get regulated because you know, when we think about things like yelling, or spanking, or even, like name calling, belittling, type of behaviors we can unintentionally get into as a parent, emotions are running high. I'm not prone to yelling if I'm calm. I'm prone to yelling if I'm having a hard time or angry. Um, you know, and so, stop is that opportunity to recognize that those emotions are like, Oh, they're big, they're here, I feel them. Taking a nice long, deep breath, is that opportunity to get your body and your mind regulated again so you can think clearly. Because we are not logical when our brains are overwhelmed. So taking that breath is that pause. Maybe it's walking away, maybe it's taking a breath, maybe it's taking a little more than a minute. You know, but then also the Talk. The speaking with intention, the opportunity to this is what I want, right? This is the desired behavior. And I mean, honestly, using that inductive reasoning is what we're trying to get. Absolutely, yes. explanations and reasoning.

Lori Korthals:

Get back into that upstairs brain.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So yeah, we can look for these opportunities throughout this week to teach what we want. It's easy to get in those cycles of just like, stop it. And so figuring out what's the behavior I want you to do instead? What can I teach you? Where are opportunities to maybe practice that when the risk is a little bit lower? And so yeah, let's just look for those opportunities. Let's be proactive, and try to think about when we can teach them what we want, instead of what we don't want.

Lori Korthals:

I love that idea of practicing, like, recognizing. I can think of a situation right now where I definitely feel a higher stress level where I might, you know, use some of those coercive tactics. So if I knew that going in, I might be thinking, Okay, this is how I'm going to practice. This is how I'm going to practice. This is what I'm gonna say, because I know that this is going to happen. Yeah, I love that idea.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Okay. And I literally yesterday was, I had picked up my daughter. We're riding in the car, and I was just like, a hot mess. All kinds of hot mess. And I told her in the car, I was like, I'm having a hard day. I'm feeling overwhelmed. I'm feeling stressed. I'm feeling frustrated. I don't want to be a grouch is usually how we talk about it. And just because I'm stressed, I still want to talk to you nicely. And I'm like, and so you can tell me, I'm like, I really am gonna try to be calm. And it's okay if you need to tell me like, Mom, I want you to talk nice to me or, but we did. I literally was like, I'm a mess. And I want to be chill and hang out. And that is not how I feel. Help me okay. But it's like, okay, but you're also a kid and you're allowed to have that too. Maybe someday you'll be able to tell me like I'm a hot mess. Help me. Help me.

Lori Korthals:

Hello. Okay, so, Season Eight, eight seasons of having our Stop. Breathe. Talk. moment. I don't know how many episodes that makes. But yeah, we invite our producer, Kenzie, in and she gets to just give us a chance to practice that flagship strategy of Stop. Breathe. Talk. But welcome. Welcome, Kenzie. Thank you for joining us today on the Science of Parenting podcast.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Thank you for having me.

Mackenzie Johnson:

All right. What do we got off the cuff here?

Mackenzie DeJong:

So since we are in the first episode, I like to start off the season. I feel like I've done this a couple of times but as we start talking about guidance and discipline, and all of the wonderful things we'll talk about the season, what is one thing you'd like parents to keep in mind or one piece of advice you would give to parents as they begin to explore or maybe re-explore or think about differently the idea of discipline?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Okay, I know mine. Okay. Mine is a direct tie into the next episode so you go first.

Lori Korthals:

So of course, I would say Stop. Breathe. Talk. is a flagship strategy. And then my flagship Child Development pieces to go with that strategy are temperament and brain development. So no matter what strategy or technique or tool you pull out of your parenting toolbox, the basis for all children's behavior is their temperament and their brain development, like where are they at developmentally? And how is that strategy going to connect with them on that level. Is the strategy you know, the perfect fit for their temperament and where their brain is at developmentally. And I honestly can say that, you know, my kids were young enough. And luckily, I had that background in child development to be able to say, man, that tantrum is so awesome for 17 and a half months. You know, and so I was like, okay, 17 and a half months. Yeah, this So it's that caveat as you're going stop it, the development is that, you know, and the next piece of the tantrum that she's going to add onto this is. So I think I feel confident in saying that if you can look at all misbehavior from the standpoint of there's brain development involved in that misbehavior. And then there's your child's temperament, which remember part of it they got from you. So no matter what is happening, if you can just take that Stop. Breathe. Talk. moment and turn on those two lights in your brain that says, Ooh, okay, their brain development right now is impacting this behavior. And their temperament is. Okay, which tool is going to fit with both of those? and temperament talk?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah. Yes. Yeah. All of it? Yes. Okay.

Mackenzie DeJong:

What are we leaning into next week with?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Okay, so one of the things that I think was like a huge aha, for me, in helping put together this season. And as I've learned more in my undergraduate degree and my graduate degree, about parenting and how we develop as humans, that we have default settings, Hmm, yes. Right. So like, temperament is like a default setting, factory setting, factory reset. But also in our discipline, like also in the way we interact with our kids, that the way we were raised, and all the stuff we're going to talk about next week, but there are things that influence the reasons why we behave the way we do as parents and the way we respond to undesired behavior that may not even be on our radar. And that is the case where our kids do. Yeah. Like that our kids have reasons for their behavior. Right. So like, my kids are pushing each other because. I mean, I don't know, it really depends on the situation.

Lori Korthals:

Right? There is always because.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Because they would like to sit next to us, they really could use some connection from me, from my spouse, from whoever. There's a reason behind our kids' behavior. And sometimes it's really hard to figure out. Sometimes it's not that hard, but sometimes it is, but understanding that we have some default settings and so do our kids, and that that impacts how we discipline, how they behave, how we behave, how we react when something is a frustrating situation. Challenging, frustrating. But yeah, so I do. It's hard not to say more. But yeah, next week is all about it.

Mackenzie DeJong:

And I'm sure some of this will come up next week. But it makes me think of the conversation that we've had. And I know Lori referenced when I said something about the archives, right? Sometimes there are archives, we're pulling from our archives, and we don't even know it. And sometimes we, you know, those files are closer to the front. But our brain knows the archives in the back better.

Mackenzie Johnson:

You know, we talked about in some seasons, we have upstairs brain and downstairs brain, those archives are in the basement They are not on purpose. Right. Right. Right. They can sneak out. So yeah, figuring out what are those things? What are those things that can make us behave certain ways without us even realizing it? Yeah, yes. So that fascinates me to no end. So we're gonna keep talking about it. We're gonna talk about discipline, and all these influences, and how do we make decisions? So I'm excited.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Yeah. All right. Well, I will get out of here and let you wrap things up, so we can prepare for next week.

Lori Korthals:

Okay, deal. Thank you.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. So this week, we got to look at, you know, these different categories of discipline, and we're going to keep looking at them. And we're going to keep looking at new ways of thinking about this idea of shaping our kids' behavior. So that's kind of the definition we're going to operate from. We can be proactive and reactive. That's a part of discipline, and that we get to shape their behavior, which is cool. So we're going to look for strategies that research tells us are most effective, and that can lead to positive outcomes for our kids. More to come.

Lori Korthals:

Good one. Yeah. And next week, we talked a little bit about you shared that next week we're going to talk about those unseen, unheard, unspoken kinds of impacts on our discipline choices. So hang with us because I think next week is going to be super exciting, but there are influences that we just sometimes have to recognize are making us choose the tools that we use. So thanks for joining us today on The Science of Parenting podcast and just a friendly reminder, you can subscribe to our weekly audio podcasts on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app podcast app, right? And don't miss the rest of season eight episodes.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, please do come along with us as we tackle the ups and downs, the ins and outs, and the research and reality all around The Science of Parenting.

Anthony Santiago:

The Science of Parenting is hosted by Lori Korthals and Mackenzie Johnson, produced by Mackenzie DeJong, with research and writing by Barbara Dunn Swanson. Send in questions and comments to parenting@iastate.edu and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext