We have become vividly aware of how skilled most of us are in using enabling responses with our children, and how unskilled we are in using empowering responses.
Our definition of enabling is, "Getting between young people and life experiences to minimize the consequences of their choices."
When children are punished they do not learn self-discipline. Punishment provides “external” motivation. Self-discipline requires “inner” motivation.
Connection creates a sense of safety and openness. Punishment, lecturing, nagging, scolding, blaming or shaming create fight, flight, or freeze.
I have a student in my kindergarten class who is constantly saying "I can't do it". This applies to everything from taking off her shoes to doing work. She has a difficult time following directions, and rarely does what she is asked to do. She is the last one to get her coat off when she gets here in the morning, and she is always the last to get ready for recess and when it is time to go home. I have tried encouraging her with "you haven't even tried yet, how do you know you can't do it?" or "I know you can do it", but these encouraging statements don't seem to help. If I try to give her timeout when she refuses to work, she would spend all day in a timeout. I think she enjoys the attention she gets, but if I ignore her behaviour, it distracts the whole class. What is an effective way to deal positively with this type of behaviour? Thank-you.
I received the following question from Tiana:
I would like to know if you have any suggestions as to how to help get my children (21/2 and 41/2 years old) off of using a pacifier. I have never really worried about it before and let them use it as they please because I know it comforts them and I did not see any harm. I also remember my mother allowing me to suck my thumb as long as I wanted to and she never nagged me or made me feel bad about it. How wonderful my feelings are about that now looking back. I eventually gave up thumb sucking on my own free will as a freshman in high school. I took Lawson to the orthodontist today because he has a large open mouth overbite that is affecting his speech and teeth. The orthodontist did say that the pacifier was definitely adding to the problem. I made him say it again, "Are you SURE?"
He was actually pretty nice and said that he thought it was important to somehow get the child on board with the decision to stop using it and not just rip them away. I want to make sure that I do this in the most kind, respectful way as possible...if possible. I also feel as though I need to do the same with his little brother Ryan because it would be so hard for him to see his brother still using a passy. Help! Opinions? Suggestions?
I attended your lecture on Positive Discipline held at Mira Costa on the 21st, because I really need help on where to go from here. I have an almost 13 year old boy who is testing his limits (and mine). What would be the best approach for me in the following instances:
He was getting poor grades in two of his classes so I said until the grades are back up to an acceptable grade he was grounded from everything! Obviously this was before your lecture. Just as he gets A's on the next two tests (after just one week) he gets a detention at school for spitting a spit wad. Now I am really showing my disappointment, but let him have his life back. The following week he gets another detention for misusing the computers in the library. At this point he just knows how disappointed his father and I are. That same night he is at a friend's and the four friends get into mischief by damaging the neighbors property. On all the occasions he said he did things even though he knew they were wrong but he didn't want his friends to think he was weak and didn't want to be seen as NOT COOL. How should I handle this kind of stuff? Please help.