Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Positive Discipline Conference and Letter of Intent from Paul Bradshaw

Positive Discipline Conference
If you live anywhere near San Diego (or if you want to drive, fly, or waddle to get there) I hope to see you at the first annual Positive Discipline Conference on July 15. And tell a friend--everyone must have at least one friend in the San Diego area. You can choose three of 12 topics presented by Certified Positive Discipline Trainers. For details, go to www.positivediscipline.org

Letter of Intent from Paul Bradshaw

We are blessed have many people who want to help others the way they have been helped by Positive Discipline. So, they join our training program to become Certified Positive Discipline Trainers. Their Letters of Intent are so inspiring that I will start sharing some of them with you--starting with the latest from Paul Bradshaw.

I would like to let the Positive Discipline Association know of my request to become a Positive Discipline Trainer Candidate (PDTC). Let me begin with a little background of my interest. I am the father of four grown children ranging in age from 23 – 29 years of age. Yes, we once had 4 teenagers at the same time and survived.  When my wife, Terese Bradshaw, CPDT, and I married 16 years ago, we each had two school-aged daughters. Terese was a Montessori Teacher and also taught parenting classes.  She would share with me her beliefs about parenting and the PD philosophy.  She would read to me from various PD books and relationship books on the long car rides we would take to the mountains or lakes on the weekends.  Our goal was to be consistent in our parenting with our children.  Having both been divorced, we vowed we would do whatever it took to make this second marriage work, both for us as a couple, and for our children.

This method of parenting was very different from the punitive model I had been raised with and had been raising my 5 and 7 year old.  But I agreed to give it a try.  Terese’s daughters seemed to be well-behaved, capable and responsible pre-teens (8 and 11 years old) and the philosophy made sense to me.   

Over the years I had recorded some of Terese’s parenting classes, but had not actually done the experiential activities myself.  Back in March and April of this year I decided to take Terese’s 7-week parenting class and helped her prepare for each class. 

Terese and I attribute our successful marriage of 16 years, while raising four fantastic daughters, to the principles of Positive Discipline.  Terese would model this philosophy in her communication.  We had regular family meetings and worked together as a family to find solutions to problems. We would regularly see a family therapist who also believed in Adlerian theory and helped us improve our communication with each other.  Not always easy in a busy household.

Terese and I thought it would be wonderful to share our experiences with the Positive Discipline philosophy and our marriage with other couples.  We also wanted to have a manual or book available for our own daughters when they went into their adult relationships.  After talking with Jane Nelsen, we agreed to start by re-writing the tool cards so they could be used by couples who are working on their relationship.  We have really enjoyed the process of choosing a tool card and applying it to our marriage.  These cards have been so helpful in resolving conflicts and working on solutions in our marriage.

Terese and I would like to write a work book for couples that could be used to lead 7 or 8 week workshops on relationships.  We will call these cards, book and classes Positive Discipline for Empowering Your Relationship. Our goal would be to develop two-day workshops for Empowering Your Relationship for others who would like to lead these classes.  This project is a great opportunity for Terese and I, not only spend quality time together, but to empower our own relationship at the same time.  It’s a positive way to continue to practice good communication skills and focus on our relationship. We are sure we will learn so much from the participants in our classes.

I just completed a fabulous two-day Teaching Parenting Workshop with Jane Weed-Pomerantz in Watsonville.  Although, I was fairly familiar with most of the philosophy and activities, I enjoyed looking at them from the perspective of how they could apply to couples.  I even came up with a new version of Follow-Through  (kids fighting in the car) that would include all participants.  We rode on a bus, where everyone got to join in on the fight.

On another note, but somewhat related, I have worked as a part-time ski instructor and have found the Positive Discipline principles very helpful in my ski teaching. I am also a Certified Public Accountant, and have found these principles very helpful in my work where I frequently deal with challenging adults.

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