Positive Discipline

Class meetings and social learning grounded in Positive Discipline help to create mutually respectful relationships.

Positive Discipline in the classroom, as developed by Dr. Jane Nelsen, is a program that teaches important social and life skills, in a manner that is respectful to both the adults and the children in the situation-raising young people to be responsible, respectful, and resourceful members of their community. It is based on the theory that children who have a sense of connection to their community (home and school) and whose input is regarded as meaningful are less likely to engage in misbehavior. To be successful members of the community children need to be taught the necessary social and life skills. Positive Discipline is based on the understanding that discipline must be taught and that discipline teaches.

Effective Discipline…

  1. Helps children feel a sense of connection. (Belonging and significance)
  2. Is mutually respectful and encouraging. (Kind and firm at the same time.)
  3. Is effective long-term. (Considers what the child is thinking, feeling, learning, and deciding, about her/himself and her/his world-and what to do in the future to survive and thrive.)
  4. Teaches important social and life skills. (Respect, concern for others, problem solving, and cooperation as well as the skills to contribute to the home, school or larger community.)

The Positive Discipline model is based on creating mutually respectful relationships. The methods use both kindness and firmness and are neither punitive nor permissive. The tools and concepts of Positive Discipline include:

  • Mutual respect. Adults can be firm by respecting themselves and the needs of the situation, and kind by respecting the needs of the child.
  • Recognizing the reasons kids do what they do. Identifying the belief behind the behavior.
  • Teaching problem solving and communication skills.
  • A focus on discipline that teaches (and is neither permissive nor punitive).
  • Focusing on solutions instead of punishment.
  • Encouragement (instead of praise).