Controlling behavior, consequences, and connection with your young child | Podcast Episode 311

Continuing in this end-of-year “big idea” line of thinking, one of our beloved Ninja Parenting Community members recently asked a huge, and great question:

“How can I relax and enjoy our relationship more and not feel like I’m always on the edge of discipline mode or like I should have handled things differently [with my 3-year-old]?”

Effectively she’s asking: do I have to control my young child’s behavior all the time, or is there anything else besides that?

Today’s episode is my response.

Video, the notes I posted in NPC, and links to everything we talk about are located at

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Here is my video response.
And the cliff notes:
I see this as kind of a continuum, with “controlling behavior” at one end and “enjoying the relationship” at the other.

It’s high level stuff!

Not that that means it must be only considered, after learning other parenting tools. Sometimes understanding the mindset first is really helpful for everything else! So wherever you are in your parenting journey, I hope this is a helpful video.

Basically, it’s not always about an action and reaction. Or a broken rule and a consequence.
It can depend on circumstances.
Mama Llama gives a great example of a time when you need direct consequences (when her son is breaking the rules in a parking lot), and a time when you need to kind of go with the flow (when he is hitting and kicking her, during a temper tantrum.)

So there will be times when direct consequences are necessary. Making them as positive as possible will be helpful, as will getting out of discipline mode quickly.

And there will be other times when we just need to be in that present moment.
Sometimes for a not so good reason, such as abiding through a temper tantrum.

But other times because we are just in the moment, it’s not discipline time, it is relationship and connection time.

I do try to make that clear in the video. I also highlight a mom and child that I recently saw at breakfast, and how concerned I was because, in the 45 minutes I observed them, I sought not one single positive interaction.
It was chilling. And I hope this video helps you understand why, and move away from that yourself.

I leave you with a wonderful quote from the Life of Fred school math curriculum: “there are times in life to swim and times to float.”

Key Links:
Click here for my first book, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, which dives into HEART, the method I developed to help you handle every temper to them.

Click here for Dr. Shefali Tsabury on Jonathan Fields’s show, Good Life Project.

Click here for the NPC forum post that started us off down this wonderful rabbit hole : )

Not an NPC member yet? Click here to become one.