Blog

Break the Code of Misbehavior

When children are misbehaving, they are speaking to adults in code? A misbehaving child is a discouraged child. The primary goal of all children is to feel a sense of belonging and significance. Too often they form a mistaken belief about how to seek belonging and significance—as explained in the Mistaken Goal Chart. Unless adults know how to break the code—children usually experience the opposite of belonging and significance. Click on this link: Mistaken Goal Chart so you can follow along as I explain the code.

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HOW IS POSITIVE DISCIPLINE DIFFERENT?

The majority of discipline models practiced in homes and schools today are based on punishments and rewards. Positive Discipline is based on the Adlerian model of eliminating all punishment and rewards in favor of encouragement that addresses the basic needs of children to belong and feel significant. Our task is to help children find belonging and significance in socially useful ways.

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Encouragement: What does it mean and how is it done?

Rudolf Dreikurs taught, “A child needs encouragement like a plant needs water.” In other words, encouragement is essential. Children may not die without encouragement, but they certainly wither. Since encouragement is so essential, it would be good for parents to know exactly what encouragement means and how to do it. Let’s start with what encouragement is not.

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Role Playing With Students

Role-playing is a fun and engaging way for students to learn and practice important life skills. Evidence-based studies identify the importance of integrated daily practice of social and emotional learning and specifically citing role-plays as an important participatory element.

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Distract and Redirect

Children under the age of three do not understand “no” in the way most parents think they do. (And a full understanding of “no” doesn’t occur magically when the child turns three. It is a developmental process.) “No” is an abstract concept that is in direct opposition to the developmental need of young children to explore their world and to develop their sense of autonomy and initiative.

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SILENT SIGNALS

Try a silent (secret) signal. (Kids love the secret part—especially when they have helped create it.) Creating silent signals can be part of “taking time for training” (another great tool card).

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Gratitude and Generosity

As the leaves begin to turn vibrant colors and then fall we enter the season of short days and longer nights. It is also, for many of us, a season of holidays and traditions. It can be both exciting and stressful for families. Now, before things start moving really quickly is a time to pause and think about what you might want to remember.

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Closet Listening

Have you ever tried talking with your children only to be frustrated by one word, unenthusiastic, totally bored responses? Many parents become discouraged when they ask their children, “How was your day?” and their children say, “Fine.” Then they ask, “What did you do today?” The response is, “Nothing.” Try closet listening.

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GOAL DISCLOSURE

Goal disclosure can be a powerful tool. When the teacher’s empathy is genuine, the student experiences a connection with the teacher that is deeply caring. Goal disclosure will help you better understand your student, and your student will gain valuable insights about his or her deeper needs and motivations.

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Show Faith

One of the biggest mistakes some parents and teachers make, when they decide to do Positive Discipline, is becoming too permissive because they don’t want to be punitive. Some mistakenly believe they are being kind when they rescue their children, and protect them from all disappointment. This is not being kind; it is being permissive. Being kind means to be respectful of the child and of yourself.

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