Discipline: A Teacher's
Most Difficult Job
Seven Imperative Discipline Basics
IS About Training
and Coaching; NOT Punishing
The Capables™ are designed to help teachers distinguish discipline from punishment. Punishment is often administered out of anxiety, insecurity, fear, frustration or anger. I believe that punishment is a penalty that is imposed on someone for wrongdoing. The goal of discipline is to teach, not to punish. We want our children to learn how to make GREAT™ choices.
It is by disciplining or teaching children that parents help their child(ren) become great, responsible, caring human beings. Discipline is not for the parents benefit. It is not an outlet to help parents relieve their frustrations. Discipline is not about making a child pay for ‘bad’ behavior, or a power play to prove who is boss. A parent’s real power comes from teaching their child(ren) to be better, stronger, wiser, more compassionate, more loving and more confident. Discipline is the opposite of punishment and focuses on love.
Support Your Children Unquestionably
The only way to insure that a child knows that you support them unquestionably is when they watch you in your unwavering dedication to do the very best for them and help them develop to their fullest potential. Children need to believe that you believe in them and have high expectations when it comes to their capacity to be great human beings.
How does "unconditional support" serve a child? I believe the word "unconditional" should be replaced with "Unquestionable". We want to place conditions upon our children that will increase their chances of succeeding in relationships and in society. When we love them unquestionably, they learn that even though we do not appreciate or approve of horrible, mean, hurtful behaviors, we know the best of what they are capable of choosing and we expect them to make those choices? Parents help children set societal and relational boundaries. Help them understand that you do not love them in spite of their worst, but because you KNOW the truth of their BEST.
The goal of school discipline is to help your students develop self-discipline through developing internal limits and standards. Children must learn to cope with their own selfishness, anger, frustration, impulsiveness and entitlement in order to feel a sense of control and security in their lives. The strength of your student’s ability to set healthy limits is a direct result of your willingness to lovingly, but consistently, set and maintain limits when they are young. When they know that you love and support them unquestionably,
they believe that you discipline them because you love them, not because you don’t.
“All learning, even of limits and structure, begins with nurturing care,
from which children learn trust, warmth, intimacy,
empathy, and attachment to those around them."
Dr. Stanley Greenspan, Great Kids
3. Teach with the
End Result in Mind
Discipline is about helping your child(ren) become more self-reliant, confident, community minded individuals. Keep that end result in mind at all times when it comes to having students help keep their classroom tidy and unified.The goal is not only to help students become confident, capable, compassionate individuals, but compassionate members of a community as well.
Many teachers are concerned that their students need time to be just be kids. They grow up so quickly and they will have to have responsibilities soon enough so why burden
students with chores and responsibilities too soon?
The important answer is because helping take care of our surroundings makes more of us, builds confidence,
and teaches us to be citizens of the world.
What is your end result? Is it to teach to tests, or
is it to teach toward life, compassion, responsibilities,
tolerance and equality? Your classroom is a
community. Help make it a beautiful,
kind and tolerant one.
4. Discipline each Child
According to their
Teachers understand that each child is unique. They have different temperaments, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. As a teacher you need to learn about your student's
individual needs. This does not mean, change who you are, or change your value structure. It means, it is valuable to understand the lenses through which each of your students see their world.
A disciplining strategy that works perfectly for one child and their personality, might completely backfire with another child
because their personality is so very different.
I have created the Primary Colors personality Test and Insight Tools, where you can begin to understand different personality tendencies, AND you are welcome to subscribe to find fun and interesting videos about children and different personalities on my OverJOYed Life YouTube channel. Take the PCPT
personality test and think about how your personality
and your child’s personality,
are the same or different?
5. Teach Kindness, Tolerance
Another important job we have as parents is to help our children adapt to changes beyond their control in life. Figuring out how to adapt to different situations in our lives helps develop and strengthen our creativity and problem solving skills. Kids need to learn to not be easily tipped over by life. If life puts up roadblocks toward accomplishing their dreams, they need to know how to navigate their way around the roadblock.
Children need to develop hardy and resilient natures. A child must learn not only how to adapt to unexpected change, but also, how to handle rejection and disappointment in order to succeed and fulfill their life goals and dreams. Every person, large or small, brown, black or white, tall or short, girl or boy, young or old will experience disappointment. Disappointment is a reality of life. Like the seasons, disappointment will come and go and return again. Therefore helping our children to develop resilience and a hardy disposition is very important.
If your children are not resilient and hardy, disappointment can break their hearts and their spirit. We cannot save our children from experiencing disappointment, nor should we even try. Instead we should focus on helping them develop healthy ways to deal with the reality of disappointment in their lives.
It is how we deal with disappointment that defines our wisdom,
and emotional intelligence,
and ultimately our success.
6. Model and
Whether a child’s disappointment is caused by
something outside of the child’s control, or it is a consequence
of a child’s inappropriate choice, empathy needs to be our first response. If your child can feel your empathy as you explain to them that ALL people feel disappointed at times, no matter who they are, the child begins to believe that their disappointment is a normal part of life. But disappointment is never an excuse to give up on yourself or your dreams, nor does it ever justify making a choice that is hurtful or lacks wisdom and kindness.
Empathy helps you align with your child during a difficult
time and helps them feel they can indeed deal
effectively with the disappointment. You can connect
and bond with your students by telling them there are
times you feel disappointed too.
Tell them, each time you ask yourself,
“If I were my Super Hero Me,
what choice would I make?”
This exchange helps your students develop
internal unstoppable fortitude,
resilience, capacity for kindness and
a hunger for understanding.
7. Teach Children
To Believe In Something Big
and Wonderful that Loves Them
and that they can believe in.
I have spent over 40 years counseling families, couples and children. Terror is alive and thriving in our communities and world.
I have counseled children who have been abused,
I have counseled women who have been raped or beaten.
I have counseled young men returning from brutal wars.
In each instance, I discovered that those individuals who
were connected to hope, their faith, whatever that faith was,
were without question, the hardiest, most resilient, most optimistic and most amenable to healing.
Hope, and the belief in an overarching good, is important.
Faith builds HOPE and fortifies us, encourages us, inspires us and guides us in making decisions about how
we will choose to live our lives. Faith, hope and love
buoy us in the storms of life of which
there will be many.
Bless children with HOPE.
The highest reward for a man's toil
is not what he gets for it,
but what he becomes by it.
William J. Doherty, PhD tells us in his book Take Back Your Kids that children are now seen as consumers
of parental services. And parents are viewed as providers of parental services and brokers of community services
for children. It has become the job of “good”parents to serve and provide their children with a plethora of activities
and rewards, so their children can have every chance at success in today’s fast-paced, competitive society.
This imbalance of services provided on demand comes with a high price tag.
It teaches your children that they are to be served, but NOT how to serve.
When parents view themselves as providers of services they end up very confused and even anxious. Not that providing
services isn’t a part of what it means to be a parent, it is. But we must distinguish the kind of services that truly aid
our children in becoming all they are capable of being.
If we listen to messages from other confused parents, the media and the inflated and entitled demands of our children,
we can begin to feel that no matter how much we do and give, there is never enough.
That is exactly how entitlement slyly infects our families.
Most parents wouldn’t think twice about setting limits for their children in situations where danger is clearly present. Not one parent would hesitate to stop a child from playing in the middle of a busy intersection.
The confusion comes when parents are not sure of what is harmful and what is helpful. We have higher education
for everything except for the two areas that we need it the most—parenting and relationships.
Therefore many parents don’t understand some of the services that they are providing
and how they are being provided are actually harming their children.
It is every man's obligation to put back into
the world at least the equivalent
of what he takes out of it.
Do Not Try
The Early Childhood Capables GREAT Learning System™
will teach you to wisely and specifically deal with your child’s frustration,
anxiety, fears and feelings of entitlement. The more confident you feel around your child
the calmer you will feel. The more confident you feel about your ability to parent,
the more you will enjoy parenting.
VISUALIZING IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF BEING A CONFIDENT AND POISED TEACHER
Make it a habit to visualize yourself teaching with ease and grace, having fun and connecting deeply
with your students while you are doing it. Notice how your heart slows and a smile comes to your face.
Do this exercise when you wake up each morning and before you go to bed at night, and carve out a few moments
during your busy schedule to do it again. Remember to take deep, calming breaths when you
feel stressed. Survey your body and relax any tension you might notice in your shoulders or neck.
Imagine feeling happy and peaceful in your heart. Your commitment to these small actions
can change the heart of your parenting completely.
To inspire your students to achieve the greatness within them,
you must first discover and achieve the greatness within you.
“Excellence is the Journey.
Discipline is the Vehicle."