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Conscious Discipline

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Chelsea Hunter

on 31 March 2014

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Transcript of Conscious Discipline

Conscious Discipline
Principle 1: The only person you can change is yourself.
We cannot force someone to do something they are truly against doing.

Therefore, we must change our beliefs and language from force to choice.
Building Self-Esteem and Willpower
Empowers children while setting limits.

Brain Development:
Choice changes brain chemistry so that learning is optimized.

Emotional Development:
Builds self-esteem and willpower; reduces impulsivity.

Is it possible to
a baby swallow his peas?
Is it possible to
a child who refuses to do his homework finish the assignments?
If we try to
others do things, we set ourselves up to rely on force.
Force removes choices, which removes self-esteem and willpower.
Making small changes in your own thinking can help empower you as well as your students.
Practice changing "should" into "could" and changing "have to" into "I'm going to."
For Example:
If you hear yourself saying "I don't want to have to tell you again to stop talking," change it to, "I'm going to move you if you continue to talk."
If you hear yourself saying, "I should call your mother about your behavior," change it to, "I could call your mother about your behavior."
By making the change from "should" to "could," you transfer the responsibilities of your life from others to yourself.
This puts you in charge.
This also allows you to teach your students the same skills.
Principle 2: Giving your power away sets you up to blame.
Giving your power away to children means that you have put them in charge of your behavior.
Doing this sets children up to be "
" or "
When a teacher says to them, "Don't make me have to speak to you again," these children straighten up immediately in an effort to regain love and approval.
Children who are pleasers learn that their power comes from pleasing others, not choosing for themselves.
When a teacher says, "Youre making me angry," it is as if they are thinking to themselves, "If this makes her angry, what would it take to make her cry?"
They learn their power comes from controlling others, not from making their own choices.
As teachers, we sometimes believe that we are entitled to receive obedience due to our status as teachers. This models to our students entitlement instead of empowerment.
Look at these phrases commonly used by teachers who unknowingly give their power away to children. Talk with your shoulder buddy and rewrite these phrases so that the teacher maintains control of the room.
1. When you are quiet, I will begin.

2. Let me finish reading the story and I will help you.

3. Don't make me have to speak to you again.

4. You are driving me nuts.

5. Look how you made your friend feel.

6. You are ruining the story for everyone.

7. I should do these grades tonight. I have to have them in by Friday.

8. Line up for lunch, okay?

1. When you are quiet, I will begin.
It is time for announcements. Sit quietly.
2. Let me finish reading the story and I will help you.
I will help you when I am finished reading the story.
3. Don't make me have to speak to you again.
What can I do to help you remember to keep all the legs of your chair on the floor?
4. You are driving me nuts.

I feel out of control. I'm going to breathe deeply and I want you to breathe with me.

5. Look how you made your friend feel.

See her face, she seems sad. Her face is saying, "I didn't like it when you hit me."
6. You are ruining the story for everyone.
Sit quietly so everyone can hear the story.
7. I should do these grades tonight. I have to have them in by Friday.
I could do these grades tonight. I must decide.
8. Line up for lunch, okay?
Line up quietly for lunch.
Principle 3: Ask yourself, "How do I help the child be more likely to choose ____," rather than, "How can I get the child to ____."
Becoming Brain Smart
The brain acts differently when choice is offered.
Norepinephrine is produced when we are not given a choice. This chemical is apart of an alarm system in the brain.
In this state, motivation and morale are low, and learning efficiency is poor.
Choices trigger optimal thinking chemicals in the brain.
These chemicals are called endorphins.
Endorphins increase motivation, create positive attitudes, reduce stress, and foster optimism.
Reframing Blame
Children often blame others for their actions.
Children who have compassionate teachers/parents will own up to their actions.
Children who receive frequent punishment are more reluctant to own their actions.
For children to begin owning their actions, the fear of punishment must be minimal. The focus must be on solutions and problem solving.
The "who is the boss of you?" skill will help children who tend to blame others reclaim their power.
Latiqua, please read the child statements for statement #1. Rhonda, please read the teacher statements for statement #1.
Katy, please read the child statements for statement #2. Brittney, please read the teacher statements for statement #2.
1. "Ernie made me do it!"
"So Ernie is the boss of you?"
"What could you do differently if you were the boss of you?"
2. "Ernie made me do it!"
"So Ernie is the boss of you?"
"How sad! That must be hard with Ernie bossing you around all the time."
By offering children two positive choices, you help them do the following:
Two Positive Choices
Keep with the task you deem important
Comply with your wishes
Learn decision-making skills
Feel empowered, thereby reducing power struggles
Redirect behavior and learn impulse control
Establish and maintain self-control
The 5 steps for delivering two positive choices:
1. Breathe deeply. Think about what you want the child to do. Make a decision.

2. Tell the child in an upbeat tone, "You have a choice," or "You have a few options." (Your positive attitude will lighten the situtation.)

3. State the two choices by saying, "You may ___ or you may ___."

4. Complete the process by asking for a committment. You might say, "What is your choice?" If the child hesitates, you might want to repeat the options.

5. Acknowledge the child's choice by saying, "You chose ___!" This helps the child feel more in control and have a greater sense of self-control.
The choices you provide must both be positive.
Giving a positive and negative option is not really a choice, but a manipulation.
Two positive choices optimize the chance for cooperation.
Turn to page 143 in your book. Talk with your neighbor about the scenarios and each of you provide two positive choices for the child in the scenario.
Now turn to page 156 and compare the choices you provided with the suggested choices in the text book.
Principle 4: Making choices builds willpower and self-esteem.
"It is impossible to make your own choices and simultaneously please others."
Children who have trouble making choices:
Those who refuse to choose
Those who resist the given structure (given choice A or B, they choose C)
Those who change their minds (given choice A or B, they choose A, then switch to B, then back to A, etc.)
Those who developmentally do not understand what a choice is.
Helping children who refuse to choose
-Some children become overwhelmed by the choices and therefore cannot make a decision.
-This can be caused by developmental delays, stressors at home, stressors at school, etc.
You can help these children by:
1. Pointing out the many choices they're always making. When they choose to use a crayon you might say, "I see you chose to use a crayon to draw!" This helps them recognize their own choices.

2. Offer small choices that involve closeness with you. For instance, "You may hold my right hand or my left hand to walk down the hallway. Which do you choose?" Closeness with you helps ease the child toward independence,

3. Model acceptance of mistakes. Use the Think Aloud skill to show students how to handle mistakes.
Think Aloud
After a teacher accuses her students of taking the stapler from her desk, the students remind her that she lent the stapler to a fellow teacher the day before. She uses the Think Aloud skill to model to her students how to appropriately handle that mistake.
"Students I owe you an apology! I made a mistake and was disrespectful to you. I blamed youy before I had all the facts. Next time I get upset, I will take a deep breath, forgive myself for my mistake, and collect all the information needed instead of blaming someone.
Helping children who resist given structure:
For children with developmental opposition:
Parroting Technique
When a child is refusing to choose any of the options you are providing, you simply continue to repeat the options to him in a calm tone.
: "Billy, it is time to put the blocks away. You may put the small blocks away first or the large blocks away first. Which do you choose?"
: "NO!" (He begins throwing the blocks)
: "Billy, you have a choice. "You may put the small blocks away first or the large blocks away first. Which do you choose?"
: "You can't make me! I hate you!"
As the options are repeated to the child, one of three things will happen:
1. Child will choose an option and carry out task.

2. Child may escalate to verbal or physical assault.

3. Child might try to escape the situation by running or throwing a temper tantrum.
If the child escalates in his opposition..you disengage from the situation by saying, "You are right, I cannot make you do this. I hope you choose to be apart of this school family." (turn and walk away) When the child recovers, celebrate the successful choice.
For children with learned opposition:
This can be the result of three possible factors:

The first is
permissive parenting
, in which the parents cave in to the child when he becomes upset or they dance around an issue to avoid upsetting him.

The second begins in infancy; if a parent responds to the baby but cannot soothe him, the baby
remains in an aroused state
in which his needs have not been met, in his mind. He then believes as he grows up that he must run the world in order to have his needs met and survive.

The last way is the result of a
family stressor
such as divorce, a death, a depressed, drug abusing, or alcoholic parent.

You can help a child who has learned to oppose structure by:
Do not allow the power struggle; it does not exist without a second participant.
These tips will help disengage the power struggle:
Helping children who change their mind:
Helping children with developmental delays:
Physical Structure

• Convert “make me” voice into choice language

• Be decisive

• Help children learn to make choices –picture rule cards

• Skill of two positive choices

What should you remember about having choices in your classroom?
1. Forgive yourself.
2. Engage the child in solving problems.
3. Help the child feel powerful.
4, Spend time with the child to develop a trusting relationship.
First decide whether or not the child has a developmental delay or if the behavior is learned. Is the behavior occasional or chronic?
When an inability to choose appears from nowhere, the child might be overwhelmed by stress, which can cause a developmental digressions.

Children who have digressed benefit from
assertive commands rather than choices
. When a child cannot decide between milk or juice for snack, the teacher might say,
“Here is your milk, drink it if you like.”

If the problem is chronic, it is likely a
learned behavior
. The child gets more attention for changing her mind than she does for cooperating.
Children with special needs will sometimes need adaptations or changes to the physical environment to help them make their choice.

An adult can assist in this process by:
-Point out that they child is always making choices.
-Observe which toys the child favors, then present the child with at choice of either their favorite toy or another toy. The child will typically choose the favored toy by pointing, gazing, or verbalizing.
-The adult will then reinforce the choice the child made by saying, “You made a choice to play with the block. You chose the block. Here it is for you to play with.”
Physical structure that supports the skill of choices:

Picture Rule Cards
will help remind children of the choices they can make when they find themselves involved in hurtful actions.

Picture Rule Cards are typically posted in the room to give the students a visual image of how to behave appropriately.

The rule cards show two images of the correct behavior and one image of the inappropriate behavior. This following video explains picture rule cards.
Focus on what you want from the child, not what you want to stop (crying, hitting, etc.) Do not let yourself be slipped into the power struggle.
Recognize that your child will or will not choose to operate within your framework! You can control your actions but not the child’s.
Use the Parroting Technique. This involves repeating the options you have given to the child in a calm and assertive tone.
Power of free will.

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