Views on Discipline
Excerpts from Jane Nelsen’s book Positive Time-Out
u Discipline that teaches children helps them learn for the future. Punishment makes children pay for the past.
u Tactics that humiliate and deprive a child of dignity and respect are means that do not justify the end.
u Punitive time-out is based on the silly thought that to get children to do better, we first have to make them feel worse. Positive time-out is based on the understanding that children do better when they feel better
u When children understand that we can all feel discouraged at times and that they can determine when they are ready to change their behavior, they will feel encouraged.
u Children learn positive long-range lessons of responsibility and self-discipline when they feel encouraged, when they feel belonging and significance, and when they feel that they have some power over their lives. Positive time-out provides opportunities for children to develop these feelings.
u There are many reasons why punishment does not work on children today. One is that children no longer have models of submissiveness.
u When all that misbehaving children really want is to belong and feel significant, they usually get blamed, shamed, and pain in some form of punishment from their mistaken-goal behavior.
u When children can trust the adults in their lives, they have less incentive to misbehave and more opportunity to learn the positive, long-term skills of responsibility and self-discipline.
u Change won’t happen over night; but anything that not only helps a child improve behavior, but also encourages and builds a sense of belonging, significance, self-control, and self-discipline, is worth the time and effort it takes.
u The misuse of logical consequences occurs when parents and teachers impose a punishment in the name of logical consequences instead of helping children understand and evaluate the consequences of their choices.
u When children don’t cooperate, perhaps parents and teachers have not created an environment where children are truly involved in creating plans and guidelines and brainstorming solutions. Many children have more practice in protecting their “sense of self” through resistance and rebellion instead of through self-control and cooperation.
Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 25 year-old children. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 679.8138 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.