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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Are We There Yet?

Beyond Time Out

Like many parents, I try really hard not to yell at my kids. But once in a while, I just lose it.


If my son is being especially difficult after a long, hard day, I’ll find myself making orders: “Go to your room!” Even worse than yelling, I’ll hear myself nag in an attempt to change his behavior.


Yelling rarely works at my house. It only scares my kids and I end up feeling terribly guilty. Hearing my voice go up a couple of decibels also exacerbates my own frustration and anger.


Moms and dads who have had similar experiences might be interested in a free workshop next month that will offer parents and guardians some tools and strategies for positive discipline.


Susie Leonard Weller, a local parenting instructor and author of “Why Don’t You Understand? Improve Family Communication with the 4 Thinking Styles,” will use a “whole-brained” approach to discuss how each of the four thinking styles contributes to providing guidance for children. In fact, she’ll help participants explore 27 discipline tools to do this.

Every person is hard-wired to think in a particular way, according to Weller. Problems come up when we become annoyed or frustrated with people who have a different approach to thinking. Understanding and knowing when and how to use the whole brain – all four thinking styles – can mitigate conflict and promote healthy relationships, according to Weller, whose work is based on the latest brain research.

“There’s a time and place for each thinking style,” she said.

Parents who are able to use a “whole brain” approach experience more satisfaction and success as they discipline and impart life skills to their children, Weller said. They also argue less with their kids.

Weller’s workshop will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 1, from 10:30 a.m. until noon at the Liberty Lake Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. It’s sponsored by the Mindful Mamas and all parents and caregivers are welcome to attend. For more information, e-mail Weller at

This blog is intended to provide a forum for parents to share knowledge and resources. It's a place for parents young and old to combine their experiences raising families into a collective whole to help others.