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Muscle Intelligence

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May 28, 2020

Our guest today is Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, author of The Whole-Brain Child, No-Drama Discipline and The Power of Showing Up, three books that take a neurobiological approach to parenting. Interpersonal neurobiology is all about how our brains and minds get shaped by and work in the context of relationships. We spend today chatting with Dr. Bryson about how this concept can help us become better people and better parents, where having ourselves developed more emotional maturity, we can respond in ways that encourage similar traits in our kids. We chat about the concepts of secure versus insecure attachment, which according to Dr. Bryson are the biggest predictors for how a child will turn out. The bulk of today is spent talking about how parents can help their children feel more secure attachment by making them feel safer, seen, soothed, and secure. We also talk about how to discipline by teaching, how a person can only learn when their brain is in a calm state, and how to create a safe environment for a child while still giving them the tools to cope with stressAnother big takeaway from today is the concept of neuroplasticity, which thankfully shows us that our brains are always malleable, and what this means for reversing damage that was caused on us and that we might have caused on our kids. Make sure you join this amazing conversation which is so full of insight into raising healthy and emotionally responsible children. Today’s episode is sponsored by BLUblox, so head over to and get 15% off your first order by using the code ‘muscle’. Enjoy!



  • Introducing Dr. Tina Bryson and her work on interpersonal neurobiology. [0:18]
  • Interpersonal neurobiology: How the brain and relationships interact to shape us. [4:33]
  • Neuroplasticity and how the way we treat our kids changes their brains. [5:45]
  • The need for parents to practice awareness of how they behave toward their child. [9:42]
  • Predictors of how children will turn out: secure attachment and parents that show up. [13:58]
  • Types of insecure attachment: avoidant, preoccupied, and disorganized.  [17:14]
  • How parents who didn’t get secure attachment can earn it and give it to their child. [19:29]
  • The four ’S’s of cultivating secure attachment: Safe, seen, soothed, and secure. [21:33]
  • ’S’ number one: providing safety by not threatening the child or fighting with your partner. [21:34]
  • How the second ’S’ makes a safe environment but still gives kids stress coping tools. [27:02]
  • Mirror neuron systems which make us captive to each other’s nervous systems. [34:12]
  • Getting kids in the green zone and the value of sleep for child and teenage health. [35:01]
  • A time when Dr. Bryson and her husband used empathy to make their child feel more seen. [38:59]
  • The third ’S’: showing kids how to soothe themselves by helping them calm down. [44:29]
  • ‘Secure,’ the fourth ’S’, and how it comes about as the result of the first three. [51:45]
  • How to discipline correctly by reconceptualizing teaching as discipline. [53:39]
  • Helping a child feel a small amount of healthy guilt to teach them self discipline. [1:00:49]
  • Dr. Bryson’s new book and where to find out more about her. [1:04:28]