The Conscious Discipline Methodology, with Dr. Becky Bailey

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This week’s episode is a deep dive into the Conscious Discipline philosophy. And my guest is the woman who originated the methodology, Dr. Becky Bailey, an award-winning author, speaker, educator, and expert in childhood education and developmental psychology. For more than twenty years, Dr. Bailey has been a pioneer in the movement to change the way children, and in particular differently wired children, are treated. Conscious Discipline is an evidence-based, comprehensive approach to behavior using the principles of safety, connection, and problem-solving. Initially conceived for classroom application, the Conscious Discipline techniques are now used all over the world in classrooms and homes alike, leading a “revolution of the heart” rooted in brain science.

This conversation is full of the kind of powerful reframes and helpful tips that will leave you not only thinking about your parenting differently, but will give you step-by-step changes you can begin implementing immediately in your interactions with your child. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have this conversation with Dr. Bailey, who generously shared so much wisdom and insight with us.


About Dr. Becky Bailey

Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D., is an award-winning author, renowned teacher and internationally recognized expert in childhood education and developmental psychology. She touches thousands of lives each year through live events. Over 2M of her top-selling books are in circulation, and Conscious Discipline has impacted an estimated 20M children. A pioneer in social and emotional learning, Dr. Bailey has a proven track record of success spanning more than 20 years. She is the founder of Conscious Discipline, a company dedicated to creating positive, brain-smart environments for children, families, schools and businesses. As an educator, Dr. Bailey has worked with the most difficult children for 40+ years and has developed curriculum and taught at the college and graduate level.


Things you’ll learn from this episode

  • What Conscious Discipline is and how it is connected to neuroscience
  • How to reframe our ideas and judgements about behavior
  • Why we must shift from a mindset of fear to one of love, when it comes to approaching conflict and discipline with a child
  • How we can help our child through tantrums and meltdowns without contributing our own energy to the situation
  • Steps and scripts for parents to develop self-control skills they can tap into in difficult moments


Resources mentioned about conscious discipline


Episode Transcript

Becky Bailey 00:00

Every child needs connection. Every child and you have to find how to reach that child and some of the children, you’re going to have to find a key to get through. You have to get through all the sensory stimulation. You have to get through all this other stuff. But you have got to find a way to make a connection with that child. And once you get that connection, they have to have a felt sense of safety once they have those two ingredients. All of us will start to blossom.

Debbie Reber  00:30

Welcome to Tilt Parenting, a podcast featuring interviews and conversations aimed at inspiring, informing and supporting parents raising differently wired kids. I’m your host Debbie Reber and in this episode, I’m excited to be bringing to the show Dr. Becky Bailey and award winning author, speaker, educator and expert in childhood education and developmental psychology. For more than 20 years, Dr. Bailey has been a pioneer in the movement to change the way children and in particular differently wired children are treated. Many parents and teachers in the Tilt community know her as the founder of Conscious Discipline, and evidence-based comprehensive approach to behavior using the principles of safety, connection and problem solving. Initially conceived for classrooms that Conscious Discipline techniques are now used all over the world in classrooms and homes alike, leading a revolution of the heart rooted in brain science. This conversation is full of the kind of powerful reframes and helpful tips that will leave you not only thinking about your parenting differently, but will give you step by step changes, you can begin implementing immediately in your interactions with your child. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have this conversation with Dr. Bailey who generously shared so much wisdom with us. And before I get to that, don’t forget to check out the newest section of the Tilt Parenting website, Tilt Education. Here you’ll find the largest and growing list of schools for neurodivergent learners available featuring personal testimonials from parents who have first hand knowledge to better help parents trying to find a fit with their decision making process. You also find a discussion guide for differently wired for use with PTA is in reading groups, a playlist of education related episodes and a section just for educators. You can find that at tilt parenting comm slash education. Lastly, you still have a few weeks to get the bonuses for the paperback version of differently wired. So there are six free bonuses for people who either buy a paperback between now and march 10 or who share a photo or a quote or social media blurb about the book using the #differentlywiredbook. The bonuses include a digital companion, a downloadable workbook, a weekly tear calendar and invitation to join me for a live video call and more. So to learn more about how to get those bonuses, just go to And now here is my conversation with Dr. Bailey. 

Debbie Reber  03:12

Hello, Becky, welcome to the podcast. 

Becky Bailey  03:15

Well, thank you. It’s great to be here. 

Debbie Reber  03:18

I’m excited to have you on the show. I’ve been really diving into work. I’ve been familiar with your work for months and months and months and beyond. And I was so excited when you agreed to be on the show and honestly a little overwhelmed because you’d work in so many different areas. And there’s so much to share. But today, I would love to really introduce my listeners to your Conscious Discipline model and that work that you began, I think you recently a couple years ago had your 20 year anniversary. Is that correct?

Becky Bailey  03:47

Yeah. So we’re moving on to the 25 years course I’ve been doing it for Gosh, I don’t know that. I want to tell everybody. You know, I think it’s my life’s work. So since I was born. Yeah. Wow.

Debbie Reber  04:02

Well, I actually would love to I know that you were an educator. And I’m curious if you could share with us what inspired you to create this model? You know, was it something that happened over time as you were a teacher or tell us about that shift in your work?

Becky Bailey  04:18

I think as I looked out into the world, there was a lot of, be it challenging behaviors that children exhibited, that were deemed as the view that they were seen as was, either something’s wrong with the child, or they’re being very disrespectful, oppositional. And it was that view that I thought was inhibiting any chance of mindset growth in that area. And it’s also very easy to see that the same kids who seem to be marginalized or get in trouble are the same kids over and over and over and over again. So whatever you’re doing isn’t working. And as a teacher, I just kept saying, There’s got to be a better way. I mean, we’re just not approaching this correctly and then around being fully informed as a teacher, but around the age 17. So I was right out of right in high school, my senior year, I had a car wreck, and near death experience, actually, but I also had brain damage. So with that brain damage, there were significant workarounds I had to do in my head, because the wiring had shifted for me. And I was kind of left on my own to figure that out, no one could help me figure out how to achieve my goals, with the way I was maneuvering. So put all that together. And over time, and a lot of studying a lot of insight and a lot of work with children, and a lot of work with parents. And, and here, I, here’s how I got here. And I do remember a very critical day where I was in a lake, where some children who had Down syndrome and the lake, and the was a group situation, and the supervisor, the teacher, in that case, one of them out of the lake, and they did everything on Earth. I mean, so at the last moment, they said, well, you’re not getting lunch and let you get out. I mean, they had threatened everything they had done, you know, the whole litany of let me scream at you, let me condemn you. Let me harass you. Let me beg for you. Let me try to bribe you let me do let me reason with you. They had tried their gamut of skill set. And the child was still in the lake, having a great time, I may add. And so at that point, I walked into that lake, and I was now only like, maybe 21 years old, or 20, I was a kid. And I said, Stop, you can’t do this. And I mean, I wasn’t even an official teacher. I said, this is just wrong. You can’t treat people like this. And I said, I’ll go in there. I, you know, I walked in as a kid. Well, I couldn’t help. And and I made a decision that day that the rest of my life, I would, there’s a way, there is a way and I think over the over the years with working with, you know, I can’t tell you the number of schools and parents and children, you know, so we’ve reached out I think about 15 million kids, I can’t remember the numbers in 47 countries, so something’s working. So I guess that’s our story.

Debbie Reber  07:34

That’s incredible. And I love that story that you shared, I can really picture that. And I think it’s so cool when we have those sparks and those moments, and not everyone pays attention to them. And I’m so glad that you did. So what you ended up developing, and what you say is your life’s work is your Conscious Discipline model. Can you explain what that is? Introduce that concept to listeners?

Becky Bailey  07:59

You bet. So first of all, it’s based on neuroscience. So as you can recollect, recollect from my story, I had a brain traumatic brain injury. So that threw me into a very, I mean, 17 now, so that threw me into a lot of neuroscience early. So the whole problem is based on your sites, and it’s, I’m gonna make it simple right now. And then I’ll come back. The ultimate goal is to facilitate or create optimal environments and respond to children in a way, especially when they’re in an upset situation or complex situation, I want to respond in such a way that I promote optimal brain development for one. But second, I want to help a child or an adult or myself, be able to set and achieve a goal despite obstacles, distractions, any kind of other issues. And when you find and be conscious enough, so the discipline part is not like punishment, discipline is like in the military, disciplined enough to stay on your diet, disciplined enough to achieve whatever goal you’re after. So you can set and achieve a goal. That’s disciplined enough and conscious enough to know when you’re in your weakness. So if I’m going to lose weight, when I end up eating Dunkin Donuts, I need to be conscious of that moment, this is not going to get me there. And then willing enough willing, and that comes where the connection and the relationships come into welling enough to come back to my original trap without getting up or exploding. So that’s the ballpark of it. But it really is a self regulation program. And it’s a very, very comprehensive one. So that’s my starting point. And then we can get a little into the brain if you want after that.

Debbie Reber  09:47

Yeah, and it’s not just to be clear, it’s not well, this is the side effect of teaching kids to modeling self regulation for kids. You’re talking about the adults in the room self regulating themselves. Correct.

Becky Bailey  09:59

Oh my gosh, is An adult first model. I mean, I think that ultimately, I think my whole life mission is to do away with this one thing. Do what I say, not what I do. I mean, certainly that doesn’t work. It doesn’t work culturally, it doesn’t work in families, it doesn’t work. So that’s the ultimate goal of it. We can’t teach children what we don’t know. So that’s where I start with the adult. Because if you look at self regulation, how do we do it? First, we’re modeling that. I mean, obviously, we’re modeling. But second, the key is how we respond to a child’s distress is like the antibodies to the culture. That’s how you create resilience and that ability to, you know, stand up and bounce back. That’s what we’re after: the notion of how adults respond to a child’s behavior, or challenging upset and seeing past the behavior because we tend to look at behavior as good or bad, which is a very unhealthy way to look at it. To me behavior is either safe or not safe. And that way, we don’t throw kids into the good and bad category, labeling each child for each other child and for teachers and for adults. We have some kids that have some challenges that are at this point, are behaving in an unsafe way, saying, could you help me, our kids are behaving in a safe way, who are usually using all their skill sets to help others. So that’s the bottom line.

Debbie Reber  11:37

I love that differentiator. That’s a big part of what we talk about in the tiller parenting community and on this show is that, and I recently had Dr. Mona della hook on the show. And we talked about that idea of behavior. Now being purposeful, that it is really 99% of the time, a lagging skill, or you know, it’s it’s bringing that to attention. But I love this safe versus not safe versus good and bad. That is a fantastic reframe.

Becky Bailey  12:06

So as soon as you change it, so I think there’s instead of trying to go whether that was intentional or not, I think we had two intentional states. One, we’re offering our love and help to universe, or to our society and our family, we’re contributors. And at whatever age, you’re I mean, you know, a two year old can only contribute a little bit, you know, I mean, but whatever age makes a difference, or we’re calling for help or calling for love. So all behavior in my perception is some form of communication. You know, and we see this and we do so well, with babies, you know, when they go, you know, they’re communicating non verbally, you wanted the toy, you wanted some food. But then when they get older, and I throw the table, because of their upset and rage and anger at so many factors, we don’t say you wanted some help. Right? You know, what they do is, it’s just another way of saying, I am completely overwhelmed at this moment. Could anybody see past this behavior? Could you see the overwhelmingness inside me, I mean, you know, I’ve got my nervous system jacked up, you know, all the sensations in my body are off the deep end, please hear my call, as opposed to judge my being. And I think that as long as we can reach, I’d love to reach all parents. But I certainly love to reach all teachers, because sometimes, some parents are in their own overwhelmed state, given what they’re doing on a daily basis, depending on the children in their life, or the fact that they can’t tell, though, pay the light bill, but a common denominator. And this is why I went for educators. First, the common denominator is, educators are working with somebody else’s kid. So we’re not as triggered by some of the stuff they’re doing. And hopefully in that day, we know that we hopefully have food on the table for ourselves. I mean, we all go down as educators too, but I think we have a way of being slightly more able to if educated, and if given the skill set, we cannot take the behaviors that are demonstrating in front of us as personally, as possibly a parent good.

Debbie Reber  14:48

I love that so much of your work focuses on teachers and that’s something that I’m really working with others in my community to think about how can we bridge that community gap between parents and teachers and support teachers more. I’m just curious to know what your experience has been. I know you’ve trained teachers all over the world, and how responsive are schools and administrators to making this change? Because there’s such a focus on classroom management. And I mean, I know that the struggle is real for teachers. So can you tell us a little bit about that?

Becky Bailey  15:22

Yes. You saw me kind of chuckle when you ask the question. Yeah. Now, 25 years ago, not that many people wanted to hear what I had to say. And slowly over time, the children are demanding we change. And that’s what I think this huge, differently wired movement is bringing to the world, not just the individual child contributing to our expansion of our brain in our mindset, and our skill set. But this whole notion of, you know, like, one in five kids, I mean, they’re asking us to change. I mean, they collectively are bringing us to our knees. And I think we needed to go to our knees, we were so in love with punishment. And it’s so deeply been embedded in our own tissues, from what we received from our parents, what they receive from their parents, what they, you know, this goes back generations and generations. So we needed something huge to get our society to kind of wake up and see things differently. And people generally, in my mind, change through desire, or desperation. And desperation usually wins out, I know, in my life I think, Oh, I need to be doing this, I should exercise, I should rest more, I shouldn’t say, you know, blah, blah, blah. Next thing, you know, I’m sick. Well, then desperation said, and that slowed me down. So we started off with the schools we worked with that just were desperate, they could not handle the number of kids in their schools who either had trauma, or whatever different wiring systems that they may have, as you call it differently, wired kids were, were taking schools and teachers and it might actually quiet down. And they were trying their method of remedy to that is, let me let me control every human that walks into this building, and shove knowledge in their face. I mean, we went back to an old tighten up and control them in, suspend them and expel them. And, you know, we went backwards as opposed to forward. So those schools with our first one will listen. And so then it found out that it was helpful. The parents loved it, the teachers loved it backs up into the home. And so we’ve moved from there. So we have impacted very desperate either parents or schools quite nicely. So here’s the main main point, we don’t work with anybody. That’s not willing, we never had a marketing department, we never had anything, we just answered the phone. And by answering the phone, we’ve just ended up all around the world, amazing to me, but people find us because somebody told somebody somebody told somebody, and because it was helpful to them. So I have found schools now the last five years, are intensely ready for something that the numbers of children have outnumbered what we would call, typically those in the bell curve. And so yay, for the kids, I think it’s phenomenal. I think the children with autism have brought huge things to our awareness of where we draw a line in connection where we know that every child needs connection, every child and you have to find how to reach that child and some of the children, you’re going to have to find a key to get through, you have to get through all the sensory stimulation, you have to get through all this other stuff. But you have got to find a way to make a connection with that child. And once you get that connection, they have to have a felt sense of safety. Once they have those two ingredients. All of us will start to blossom. But sometimes it’s hard to get to those two ingredients through a nervous system that’s hard to regulate.

Debbie Reber  19:34

Yes, absolutely. So what I would love to do is you touched upon this a little bit is there are different ways that we can handle conflicts, right, we can handle it from a place of fear, or from a place of love and what I love, you know and listeners definitely I have a lot of links on the show notes page for this episode because Dr. Bailey has a ton of Great videos on YouTube. And there’s so many ways to see this model in action. But could you maybe give us an example, whether it’s from a parent perspective or a teacher of what it’s like to handle a conflict or a tough situation, from that place of fear versus from that place of love.

Becky Bailey  20:20

Okay, I’m going to relate it to our brain, so fear. When we’re trying to react from fear, or predicting fear, predicting the child won’t get in the car predicting this is going to be a problem predicting as a teacher, Oh, my gosh, I got this kid, these predictions. So as we walk into a situation, with fear as the core, it shifts our brain into the lower centers. So you can guarantee that you’re walking in somewhat powerless. So you’re walking in with only three skills, defend, attack, or withdraw, or quote, ignore, which is also a skill that a lot of people say just ignore that, in other words, withdraw from it. So in doing so, when you walk in with just that intention, forget the fact you’ve opened your mouth, yet, it radiates out us, we have an energy field that radiates off our heart, I mean, it goes off, everyone knows that you walk in a room and some problems been destroyed in a house and you go, Oh, you can feel it in your body. Oh, bad time, you know, I’ll come back later. I mean, we can feel this, the kids feel it, of course, intensely. So when you walk in with that, you’re only stuck with three skills, and none of them are going to get you anywhere, because they’re going to either go in defending against what might happen. So you’re already charged up or you’re going in ready to attack when they don’t. So if you go in with the presence of love, that means love, that means you are walking in the best person, you can walk into that situation. So you’ve already regulated yourself, you’ve come up to the higher centers of your brain, from that state, in the higher centers of the brain, you don’t see stuff as a threat like from fear, everything you look at that from the lens of fear looks like there’s a threat coming. But when you’re in the higher centers, your brain, you actually have the opportunity to make up your perception, you have a choice. So in the lower centers, you have no choice. We have a brain in the lower centers, very similar to animals, it just works that way. Pull yourself up to the higher centers, and then you can access your own inner wisdom, you can access choice, I can actually see that behavior, not as good and bad, but I can see it as unsafe and safe, I can see that behavior is that child is tremendously upset. So I must walk in the commerce thing, I must show up as Buddha For God’s sake, in that moment. So and then when I get to that higher center, that center of where I can access a choice of perception, I then have a greater opportunity to regulate myself too much to make the behavior that the child is exhibiting not about me, we call it the Q tip method quit taking it personally, it’s not about me, it’s their call for help, and how can I be of assistance? As opposed to how can I control? manage? Or make that child do something? The question and fear is, how can I make you blank? The question from love is how can I help you be successful at getting in the car? How can I help you be successful with lights and noise and big sounds? Whatever it seems to be throwing you over the edge or someone saying to you No?

Debbie Reber  23:48

I love it… the Q tip: quit taking it personal. I mean, I always recommend parents ask themselves what am I making this mean? Because you know, we do see this behavior through our own lens. And yeah, I love that. I will, I will hold on to that q tip. So how do we make that shift so that we can engage from that place of love? How do we stop ourselves? I know you have a strategy for that.

Becky Bailey  24:16

Okay, I’m gonna go with the adult, okay, I’m talking from the adult because if we learn how to do this, then it’s like, oh, well, I can actually teach my child this. And it teaches meaning. You have to be creative in that. with children with different wiring, you have to really be creative in your teaching, but start with the adult. So in the lower centers of your brain we have. I’m just doing a little brain lesson. We have what’s called the autonomic nervous system, and that autonomic nervous system has a gas pedal, which means fight or flight, and it has a break which says rest or digest, okay? So we’re gonna have to balance that and if you think of it as a car like a gas, and a break You’ve got to have both those systems working to drive your car safely through town. So a lot of our children and a lot of our parents don’t know how to do this, but differently where kids have a different brake or gas situation, I’ve had a lot of kids who have, you know, they’re in their driving a Mazda, Ronnie, and they only have a gas pedal. They haven’t installed the brake yet. So I’m going to use this little clapper that I have here that it’s just one of those toys that kids have that you shake, and it clicks back and forth. I use this for parents to help. So when our clacker gets going, and we can’t find our break, we have got to take action. First, we have to feel the sensations in our body and be aware of them. Or you can hear it comes down in your voice tone. But as soon as you’re aware of them, the first thing you’re going to do is take a deep belly breath. So how do you regulate the gas and the brake in your brain is through deep belly breathing, this is not, this means your belly has to move, you go, inhale, your belly goes out, exhale, your belly goes in. And I know everybody talks about breathing, but nobody’s doing it exactly. You have to move your diaphragm is the point the diaphragm has to move. And the exhale has to be slightly longer than the inhale. So it’s kind of like inhaling through your nose. 1234, exhale, 123456, but my belly is moving, that will start you’re what’s called the parasympathetic that will start that process, or that’s the break in you. It’ll start going, Okay, you just start that breathing, then that gives you enough wisdom to hear the stuff you’re saying in your head because it’s triggered you and no kid made you mad. But it stepped into an anger you’ve been carrying for 1000s of years here, you’ll hear in your head, you’ll start talking to yourself, and it won’t be calming thoughts. So now you’ve got your system jacked up, and now you’re adding kinlin onto a fire in your head, I don’t have to put up with this. You know, I’ve done this all along. I don’t know why my spouse doesn’t help sometimes. And, you know, I mean, but you’re not saying this out loud. But this is cooking inside your head. Okay, so well you’ve got to do it if you’ve got to hear that speech. And then you’ve got to override it. So there’s no need to go to camp accounts and trying to get rid of that speech, you got it that short as you want. But what you can do is overlay it. So as you hear that speech, you say to yourself, I’m safe, keep breathing, I can handle this. And but when you say keep breathing, you got to breathe again. I already started breathing, and then I go I’m safe, keep breathing. I can handle this. Okay, you have to keep doing that. And then you’re moving up to the higher centers of your brain and you’re holding on for dear life. Because as soon as you quit doing that you’re sliding down that slide into this isn’t worth it. Or whatever you’re, I try so hard. Can’t believe I loved everybody so much that I try so hard. Some people go into that voice. Either way, it doesn’t help. That voice inside your head is your self regulatory speech. And it’s not doing its job.

Becky Bailey  28:32

It’s like the last, yes, line. And we tend to believe those messages too, which is sad. But anyway, you’re going to have to override that. You have to override it, I’m safe, keep breathing, I can handle it. And then when you get to the higher centers of the brain, you’re going to have to do a huge skill, which is you have to wish whoever’s in front of you well, which means you’ve got to get your heart back open. So what helps then is if you put your hand actually just touch your heart kind of nonchalantly, it helps to bring your attention to your heart. And you’re going to imagine because that’s how we move energy in the heart sends off a ton of energy. The brain sends off enough energy to run a light bulb all day. And the heart is about 100 times more than that. So you’re going to imagine the energy of love and what I do, I’m only giving you mine, this is me. I imagine that all the love from I do angels, I mean, but you just make it up. That’s how you move energy. So I imagine all this love comes through my back out my heart to this person in front of me that keeps my heart open. And it sustains me at the higher centers. I mean, that sounds a lot but it works. And you just have to try it. And then I’m going to be present enough in the higher system. My heart opens up, the child feels the intention shift in front of me. And then what comes out of my mouth is the tone changes my voice, my face softens, my fingers not wagging at somebody’s face, everything softens. So in that moment that child feels or senses have a felt sense of safety, they will already start to come. And then if they don’t have autism, but they can make eye contact with you, and you just take a breath, just keep breathing, but like this, using the mirror neurons in the brain, and you will download that child. So everybody knows you can catch an emotion, you know, you’re fine until someone gets grumpy, not everybody’s grumpy. Well, you can come to kids, because especially kids with different wiring, their sensory system gets overloaded so quick, and their intensity of their emotions is so great. We catch there’s very quickly we catch it. I mean, it’s like a, you know, now we’ve got California wildfires going everywhere. So we have got to consciously discipline ourselves enough, so that they start catching our calm, before we even open our mouth. That’s the first step. And then you’ve got to make sure whatever comes out of your mouth, tells the child what you want them to do. Because when you’re upset, you’re always focused on what you don’t want. So every time from fear, fear is looking for what they don’t want, higher centers of our brain can see what we do want. Stand up, hold my hand, walk with me. Take your hands and go like this. Click, that’s the seatbelt watch, take your hands and go like this. Click and become a picture of what we want them to do. With our body, our voice, and with the words we use, pick up all the red toys, and put them in your bin in your bedroom to put on this shelf. I’ll help you with the blue ones. I’m making this up, you know as I go. Does that make sense?

Debbie Reber  32:27

Yeah, it’s so powerful. I mean it, you know, even just listening to you, I feel so much calmer now. But you know, I feel like this is the area that is challenging for most parents of any type of child, but parents who have especially intense children, it is that challenge of catching ourselves before we flip our own lids, you know, and, and it’s still something I work on. And I have lots of opportunities to work on it, but I work on it daily. But I’ve never heard it explained in such a way that I feel like this is a plan that I couldn’t follow, I know exactly what to do. And I imagine that it’s a muscle that we built, and it will over time become more of our default.

Becky Bailey  33:12

Yes. And the beauty of that is, and this is so difficult. So a couple things to remember, the kids with different wiring, are demanding this of us and that’s what I call that movement, that movement, they’re going to force us to a place we didn’t know we needed to grow in. They’re going to force us to get skills, we didn’t know we needed. But the whole planet needs all these skills. And they need it now. Because if they don’t, we’re gonna kill each other and blow each other up. We’re on that route at any given day. But all these differently wired kids say let’s all learn. You have to learn to calm down first, if you can help me. So they’re pushing every adult on this planet to kind of okay, I can’t help it. But I see it as perfect timing. We’ve got the perfect storm to end on my mind to destroy ourselves. And we’ve got the perfect storm happening to help ourselves. I know I’ve got off on a tangent, but I just hope that people can understand that we can calm down enough in the midst of intense emotional moments. And I know nobody better for an emotional outburst and differently wired kids for their intensity. So it takes us you know, it’s like that last seven miles in a marathon. You know, you got to push hard and you got to tag out so my guess my thing is with parents working with differently wired kids, the hard part, of course would be the single parent to me. But you have to have a tag out team like in wrestling, you know, I’ve done all I can I’m tagging out I can’t handle it anymore. And that gives the other one to kind of recoup, get their head back in the game, then you tag and again, I mean, it’s, it’s a tag team.

Debbie Reber  35:07

It’s so true, it’s so true. And I couldn’t agree with you more in terms of who these kids are, and the change that I believe they’re bringing into the world. And, and I say this all the time, they do demand more from us, but it is through their demands that we all benefit. We all as parents, as caregivers, as people who, who spend time with these kids, they better us/

Becky Bailey  35:33

And all the teachers, they’re changing our education system, for the better. Now half the country, and I would say the half the people I meet are fighting it, trying to go back the old way, you know, and get more punitive and more exclusionary, the other half of the world and we’re working on a lot of those who are saying, okay, I gave up, teach me anything, I’ll try it, I’m desperate enough. I don’t care if you told me to wave newspaper over my head and drink orange juice, I’m going to try it.

Debbie Reber  36:06

Yeah, the change is coming, the change is coming. Our kids are on the front lines.

Becky Bailey  36:11

Yes. And it’s us. And so if we can regulate that, we have to get that autonomic nervous system balance we have to get in a car with and most of us are pedal to the metal, all of us adults, you know, it’s a Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go go go go world. So we’re not good at putting our brakes on either. So we really don’t have been developed brakes, so to speak.

Debbie Reber  36:38

Yeah. And it wasn’t modeled, it wasn’t modeled for most of us

Becky Bailey  36:41

know, we can never say this is brand new. One thing I do want to share, though, is our upset voice. Remember, I talked about the self regulatory speech in your brain, our upset voice as an adult becomes a child’s inner self regulatory voice. So if you’ll notice the voice in your head, or my head, or anybody listening, you’ll hear you know, in there is your mother, your father, your grandmother, your aunt, a teacher, but the but the voice in there is when they’re upset, you’re you’re recording how they handled when the world didn’t go their way. And if you listen, you’ll hear those there’s a flavor of, although that’s part of dad, that’s part of you know, when the world didn’t go their way. Because some of them might have done the silent treatment the world and go their way. So they can speak to anybody for a day. Others are screamers and yellows, others are blamers. Others blame themselves and are victims to the world. In general, those voices are in our head. And that’s our self regulatory system. So the ultimate goal of Conscious Discipline is not only to change our end, not just that one to get, we have seven skills. And it’s a little bit complex. I’m giving you the basics here. But we’ve got to change our self regulatory system. So how we respond, I’m going to go back to that and how we respond to a child has to distress not only comes in at the moment, but gives them the tone of voice, the intention, the words that are going to be in their head, ultimately, for the rest of their lives, either lighting the fire or calming it down. It’s so powerful. So this is an evolutionary step. I mean, again, we can’t go oh, you know, there’s no one to blame. And it’s not like we are doubling. We’re just a generation that happened to be here at this time, when we could look at a brain without having people did, and learn a few things that we didn’t know. And it’s a great time to be alive. So it, we have this chance. And again, we’re handing this down to our children. And you know, it’ll take generation after generation. But we’re the start of a huge movement started with the kids resting on our adult shoulders. And, you know, I’m not totally long enough to see it all happen, but it’ll happen.

Debbie Reber  39:14

It’s so inspiring. Thank you so much. This has been so insightful. And I I think it’s gonna fundamentally change people’s thinking who were listening to this episode and, and are just going to be so grateful for these tools.

Becky Bailey  39:29

And if I can offer one tool that I don’t want to do a commercial here, but one of the things we have with Conscious Discipline is called the feeling buddies. So what they are is they’re actually dolls with faces on them. But you’re asking your child to regulate their feeling. But for young children, young children don’t have mature inner speech. So it takes two to regulate. So that takes two when they’re young. Usually Seven and under. And children with different wiring could be nine and under, depending on what’s going on within them. So when kids are young, what I developed with these feeling buddies, so that they could start regulating them by regulating this doll called their anger. So they’re going to regulate their anger. And then there’s a little book in there that tells them the words to say to calm anger dangle the words to say to support sadness, the words to say to support disappointment. So the little book that goes with it teaches them the words, but the most important thing is if we’re not using those words to, it’s hard for us to respond to their stress in a helpful way. So the side effect of this for the child doing it is you learn how to do. That’s awesome. But I have found it very helpful for kids in trying to install a different inner speech than we got, or at least counteract it, you know.

Debbie Reber  41:04

That’s great. I love that. Well, listeners, I will, as I said, I will have a lot of resources on the show notes. So definitely check this out. Because I’m going to include links to some of the YouTube videos that I think you should absolutely watch because as you heard from Becky’s interview, that she has a lot of scripts and just language that I think is super helpful, you know, even that, but you said that we can tell ourselves, I’m safe, keep breathing, I can handle it, you know, just those scripts for us to hold on to can be just so helpful when we’re in the moment. And just to have that was in our head. So I will include all of those in the show notes. And Becky, I just want to say thank you so much for the work you do in the world and for coming by and sharing some of it with us today.

Becky Bailey  41:51

Oh, you’re so welcome. And again, thank you, Debbie. I mean it takes the whole tribe so we’re all in this together.

Debbie Reber  42:01

You’ve been listening to the Tilt Parenting podcast for the show notes for this episode, where you can download the transcript and find links to Dr. Bailey’s resources and everything we discussed today. Just visit If you get a lot out of Tilt Parenting, I would like to make a small monthly contribution to help cover the production costs associated with a show. It’s really easy to do just go to to sign up. You can pledge 10, five or even just $2 a month. Again, that’s And don’t forget to subscribe and leave a rating or review for Tilt Parenting on iTunes. ratings and reviews help keep this podcast visible and an ever growing sea of podcasts. Thanks so much for considering. And that’s all for this week. For more information on co parenting visit


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