I’m often asked, “What is Positive Discipline?”
For me, and I don’t mean to be too dramatic, it was a rude awakening, changed my life and saved it at the same time.
Let me explain… I discovered Positive Discipline during my first year working in a mixed age Montessori classroom. At 43, I had decided being a graphic designer and managing adults for a large corporation was no longer my jam (a mid-life crisis, you might say). I returned to school, got a masters in Montessori education and diligently started working with children between the ages of 2.5 to 5.5 years old (I’ll be honest, at the beginning I really missed that private office).
My Montessori training had given me the tools to guide children and help them choose or present them purposeful and meaningful activities. It had given me a clear understanding of the Montessori philosophy and confirmed my strong belief that children are way more capable than we give them credit for.
Yet, it had not equipped me with how to ‘manage’ a group of well indented, egocentric developing human beings. Nor did it give me the tools to deal with my own tender emotions after an exhausting day working with other people’s children.
I actually had my own children, an 8-year-old and 4-year old at home. So, when I say it saved my life it’s no joke.
After a long day of working with more than 20 little humans I was tired and the only thing I wanted to do was get home and take care of my family’s needs (get everyone fed and in bed, including myself). So, when I would pull up the preschool to pick up my 4-year-old and hurry him along to get into the car only to be met with resistance it was utterly discouraged.
I remember clearly, one-day thinking “Oh screw it, let’s go!” I did not have the strength or desire to use force to get him into his car seat. Be reassured thou, I did push thru all the screams, secured him in and off we went. This had become a daily occurrence and it was nerve-racking.
A few days later I shared this situation with a few seasoned colleagues and Positive Discipline advocates. Because I knew there had to be a better way.
Yup that’s all it took. Understanding that all my 4-year-old wanted and needed after his long day, was to feel connected before anything could be requested of him. I changed my approach, took time to connect and became intentional about this precious moment when we were reunited.
Slowing down, asking for cooperation with curiosity as opposed to rushing and giving orders became our new norm and my life, his life was changed forever. He gleefully got in the car seat buckled up and we could drive away safely.
Today, I empower parents to use these same respectful and intentional tools to connect and create strong, healthy relationships with their children. If you’d like to have some of these at your fingertips simply download my Free 21 Positive Discipline Tools e-book I’ve prepared especially for you.