Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Questions from French Publisher

Positive Discipline is spreading around the world. A Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator who lives in Paris is looking for a French Publisher for Positive Discipline. The publisher asked the following questions, which are followed with my answers:

1) Give me a definition of Positive Discipline and its goals.
2) What makes this book so popular in the US?

Positive Discipline provides parents and teachers with non-punitive and non-permissive methods that help children develop self-discipline, responsibility, respect, and problem-solving skills. 

I think the reason it is so popular is that it works.  Brain research is now letting us know why. Children don't learn in an environment of threat that activates the midbrain (fight or flight). Children learn in an environment of connection that activates the rational brain. Two major themes of Positive Discipline are Connection before Correction and Focusing on Solutions.

I'm not sure why Positive Discipline is popular in the US, but it could be because every chapter provides many tools that parents and teachers can use instead of punishment or permissiveness. These tools are designed to meet the 5 Criteria for Positive Discipline:

1.  Helps children feel a sense of connection? (Belonging and Significance)
2.  Is kind and firm at the same time (Respectful and Encouraging)
3.  Is effective long-term, (See the following two criteria)
4.  Teaches valuable social and life skills for good character? (Respect, concern for others, problem-solving, cooperation)
5.  Invites children to discover how capable they are?  (Encourages the constructive use of personal power and autonomy)

I believe every parent and teacher would prefer to avoid punishment and rewards if they know what else they could do to influence children to develop Nos. 1, 4, and 5 of the above criteria. 

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