Blog

Class Meetings—So Many Benefits

I feel passionately about the value of class meetings in schools and family meetings in homes to teach children many valuable social and life skills for good character. They learn to listen to each other and to value differences. They learn to help each other by focusing on solutions to problems that are respectful to all concerned. They learn that they can be accountable for their mistakes because they won’t experience blame or shame. Instead they will get help from their fellow students during the brainstorming process for solutions. They can then choose the solutions they think will be most helpful.

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2 ½ year-old Fears

Question:

I recently read your book, Positive Discipline: The First Three Years and I cannot tell you how much better I understand my 2 1/2 year old son! I was hoping you could direct me toward some reading material, or even offer a suggestion though. He is a very bright boy, happy at home. However, he is constantly telling us he is "scared" of other kids, and sometimes adults too. It seems to really hold him back socially. We had a psychologist meet with him, but she stated he is just high strung. I somehow think there is more to it... If you could point me in a new direction?

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Mistakes are Opportunities to Learn

Question:
It is only today that I've discovered your website, a day after my husband and I have already told our 11 year old son that as a consequence to two pretty severe behavioral issues, he was not going to be able to participate in an upcoming motorcycle race, or to sleep over at a friends' house for Halloween. I am now realizing after scouring your website, that taking away privileges, isn't the best method; and we certainly didn't agree in advance what limits would be set, and what would happen. My concern however, is that if we don't follow through with the "punishment" that has been set, that we will have totally missed an opportunity to impart the seriousness of his behavior, and our ability to stick to our plan. Help? Olivia

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Child Alienating Friends

Hi Jane,

My daughter will soon be 8. We have a great relationship and are very close. She is having difficulty at school. Sometimes with her friends she is like a different person to how she is at home, she becomes very bossy and sometimes possessive of her best friends. Unfortunately it is making some of the other girls dislike her and leave her out, not inviting her to parties etc. I don’t know how to deal with the situation and how to stand back in a positive light rather than feeling like I want to tell these kids off for being so mean. It’s a difficult situation as really she is being over enthusiastic and I feel misinterpreted. I don’t have any problems at home and the flip side is that my laid back 6-year-old girl is Miss popular in her class. Help how can I help her to be liked?

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Defiance: Where does it come from?

Question:

Dear Jane:

My daughter is 7 3/4. This morning, she left the house and walked to school without saying a word. What is an appropriate disciplinary action for this? I feel that the issues are:

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Demanding Child

My (just turned) 4 year old son is very difficult to live with and hard to figure out at the moment. Briefly put, firstly, he will speak over someone else in the family or try to override their will with his without paying any attention to what they need or want no matter how reasonable.

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Morning Hassles and Power Struggles

Hi Jane,

My 4-year old recently started kindergarten and has to wear a school uniform. I tried to prepare her as much as I could over the summer about having to wear it for school. Thankfully we haven’t encountered any major issues in the morning when she has to put it on.

A couple of weeks ago however, we found out that the kids are going to be doing Judo once a week, and last week they were given their Judo uniforms, and the parents were asked to send the kids to school every Wed in the Judo uniform and pack their school uniform in the backpacks. Again, we talked about it, tried it on, and she seemed to be fine with the idea.

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Is Positive Discipline Permissive?

Question:

I love your books! They have taught me so much about parenting in a non putative way, very different from the way I was raised. I have two daughters 12 and 14, and my husband has two sons 11 and 15. He has an authoritarian mindset when it comes to discipline, and I am using the Positive Discipline techniques I learned from you. My daughters are used to the positive approaches I use, and when we blended they were shocked and resentful of their stepfather's approach. I have shown him your book and he agrees with some things, but other things he thinks are ridiculous, that they are too permissive and lets children do what they want. I have expressed my concerns with his approach with my daughters but he feels he should not have to change. I then resorted to asking him to just back off from disciplining my daughters because I am uncomfortable with his methods, and that I would handle the disciplining of the girls, and he refused. I am getting no where. Any thoughts?

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Three-year-old Love/Hate Relationship with Baby Brother

Question:

I have a 3-year-old daughter and 7-month-old son. Until now my daughter has been really gentle with the baby but in the last couple of weeks she has been "testing" out being a bit rougher with him (pinching his cheeks, hugging him a bit too tight, giving him a kiss but holding on until he cries.) I usually try to quietly remind her that if the baby is crying it means that he is feeling hurt and that she needs to loosen up her grip. I've asked her how she thinks it makes him feel and what else we could do to show him love. She kind of half listens with a grin and stays away for a little bit...until about 10 minutes later. I believe she is doing it to get my reaction, but I feel like I can't ignore it or say that they need to sort it out themselves. (Obviously the baby has no way to defend himself.)

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I See It, I Want It, I Take It

Question:

My three year old started pre-school last year at age 2 and with that came the "take it" behavior. I see it, I want it, and I take it no matter who is playing with it. She will play tug of war with her friends over whatever it is until one of them wins. Push her way in to take a stroller from someone. If she loses the battle, she doesn't cry, fit or otherwise react, she just moves on to something else. How can I work with her to realize it isn't appropriate behavior to take toys from other people?

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