Chapter 2-Foundational Principles
Chapter 2 is broken up into multiple mini sections that form the basis for the connections required for Positive Discipline.
- Encouragement-The biggest take-away from this section in the difference between praise and encouragement. Praise statements lead to a fixed mindset and often times leads children to not take risks or accept challenges. Encouragement supports children on their way to a growth mindset. They learn to take risks and to challenge themselves. A child’s self-esteem improves with encouragement rather than praise. Giving encouragment allows the student to discover their strengths and give them the ability to work through the difficult times in their lives. (pg. 51)
- Caring-Everyone needs to feel cared for, as if they belong. It is important to ensure that the students know they are cared for.
- Focus on Solutions-Helping students to look for solutions for the problems they encounter will support their future growth. Looking for blame, or punishing childrenfor their actions, rather than supporting them to “make it right” and find a respectful, reasonable, helpful and related solution to the problems. It is important to validate the feelings of the child, ask them curiosity questions, talk to both students, have the children make amends and support them through the problem solving process, focusing on the solutions (pg. 63-64)
- Kind and Firm-Being kind AND firm is very important for the success of children. When students are met with kindness, they are much more willing to accept and follow through with the expectations and any tough situations they may encounter. It is important to make sure that you are not being permissive of inappropriate behaviours or being too firm, demanding total control. Bothof these sendthe wrong message to the children, often causing rebellion inthe end.
- Take Time For Training- Every situation is different and every child is unique, so it is important to ensure that every child gets the training they need to be successful. Since everyone is different, the length of time it may take to learn the steps to navigate through the problem solving solutions will also be different. It will take time, energy and patience from the adults working with the child. Continuous practice and role-modeling will, in the end, be very worth it as the child successfully navigates the world being the best they can possibly be.
- Mistakes As Opportunities For Learning- As Carol Dweck points out in her growth mindset research, mistakes should be seen as opportunities to learn. Teaching kids to celebrate their mistakes as part of the learning journey will also teach them to be risk-takers and confident individuals who value the road that their learning leads them through. The belief that mistakes are shameful leads to low self-esteem anda child who struggles to put themselves out there with regard to learning something new. They often do not have the courage or resilliency to try for fear of failing.
This chapter has really been a refresher for me, in that I have learned most of this information in other books I have read. I do feel, however, that I needed the refresher. I know that I am often guilty of doing the “wrong” (for lack of a better word) thing in difficult situations with my children. I am the parent who uses the “my way or the highway” approach at times, especially when I an escalated and frustrated. I do not always take the time for training. Evenwithmy ownchildren my connection is not as strong as I would like it to be, although as a teacher, I always strive to have good connections with the students on my caseload and within my school. I am working on all these areas-I am a work in progress and can acknowledge my parenting mistakes (typically on a daily basis!). I am working through this book to help support me on a personal and professional level.
- In what ways do you foster a connection with your students at school?
- Are there any areas in which you feelyou could be better?
- Are there any supports/strategies that you can share with the other readers to help each other grow in these foundational beliefs of Positive Discipline?