What is Positive Discipline?

Positive Discipline is a program based on the work of Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs and designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful and resourceful members of their communities. Based on the best selling Positive Discipline books by Dr. Jane Nelsen and co-authors Lynn Lott, Cheryl Erwin and others, it teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults (including parents, teachers, childcare providers, youth workers, and others).

Recent research tells us that children are “hardwired” from birth to connect with others, and that children who feel a sense of connection to their community, family, and school are less likely to misbehave. To be successful, contributing members of their community, children must learn necessary social and life skills. Positive Discipline is based on the understanding that discipline must be taught and that discipline teaches.

Jane Nelsen gives the following criteria for “effective discipline that teaches”:

FIVE CRITERIA FOR POSITIVE DISCIPLINE

  1. Is it kind and firm at the same time? (Respectful and encouraging)
  2. Does it help children feel a sense of belonging and significance? (Connection)
  3. Is it effective long-term? (Punishment works short term, but has negative long- term results.)
  4. Does it teach valuable social and life skills for good character? (Respect, concern for others, problem-solving, accountability, contribution, cooperation)
  5. Does it invite children to discover how capable they are and to use their personal power in constructive ways?