Monday, April 11, 2011

A Passion For Positive Discipline

Many people who experience the benefits of Positive Discipline get excited and want to share it with others. It warmed my heart to read the following letter from a very enthusiastic new Certified Positive Discipline Trainer Candidate. I asked Cynthia for her permission to share it in my blog.


I am so excited to finally write this Letter of Intent to the Positive Discipline Association! Being a mother of two girls, ages 4 and 6, and working full time, I have historically found so little time left over for personal things. However, since I have been implementing the Positive Discipline tools I have found that I can actually take “me time” by allowing my girls to do for themselves much of what I have always done for them. Presently, my first grader is reading her younger sister the bedtime book she chose, at both of their requests, and they are enjoying it greatly. I am also enjoying it as I sit at the desk beside their beds, listening to the story as I compose this letter.

I was first introduced to Positive Discipline in November of last year. I was having lunch with my closest friend and fellow social worker and discussing how “stressed out” I was with some behaviors my first grader was exhibiting. She mentioned that she had purchased the 5 CD set called the “Positive Discipline Workshop” and asked if I would like to listen to it. Since I have a one-hour commute each way to and from work I agreed to take the CDs and give them a try. After all, it certainly couldn’t hurt.

I never anticipated how much my life would change as a result of the information I gained from Positive Discipline. I couldn’t get enough! I found myself going out to my car during breaks at work just to listen to Jane Nelsen. I was thirsty for this information, and wanted to learn more and more! After listening to a few of the CDs I thought, “This stuff is the simple truth. The world needs this information!” By the time I finished the CDs I felt absolutely certain about what I wanted to do with my career and my life. It was so wonderful to hear from Jane that I could not only learn Positive Discipline and reap the benefits in my own life; I could become a Positive Discipline Associate and teach this invaluable information to others!

Teaching Parenting DVD Training
I visited the Positive Discipline website to search for upcoming classes in my area. I noticed that there were classes coming up, but not nearly soon enough for me. My hunger for more knowledge about Positive Discipline was (and continues to be) so paramount in my life that I felt I needed immediate gratification. For Christmas last year I asked my family for one thing: the Teaching Parenting the Positive Discipline Way training course on DVD. Thankfully, my family loves me and got me just what I wanted. I watched the training course at home, and listened to it in the car from the DVD player in the back seat. Even if I couldn’t see the participants, I could hear the content and loved everything about it.

I continued to check out the website every day. That is where I found Mary Maguire, a Lead Trainer for Positive Discipline who lives in my area. I e-mailed Mary and said, “I love this stuff! Teach me!” She invited me assist in her next class. It has been wonderful to practice and witness the experiential activities to build on what I have learned from the DVD Training. My enthusiasm for learning Positive Discipline continues to grow everyday, as well as my confidence that I have finally found what I want to do with my career. The discovery of Positive Discipline has ignited in me a spark that I have never experienced before, and I finally feel that I have truly discovered my “niche.”

I have implemented several tools from Positive Discipline in my own family and have seen the extraordinary changes that can take place. Our home has become more peaceful and well functioning.  Our relationships have deepened with our understanding and practicing of mutual respect.

Positive Discipline Tool Cards
I have seen positive changes in my children in just a short time. They are developing an attitude of competence and are doing more things for themselves. They participate more in everyday responsibilities and are developing their feelings of capability and confidence. My girls are now getting themselves ready for school in the morning and bed at night by following the routine charts we created together. Historically, mornings and evenings were the most stressful times of the day. They are making many of their own snacks, cleaning up and taking care of their own things, learning to “cool off” independently and go to their “chill-out spots” and they seem to be resolving more of their conflicts independent of my involvement.  Our family is learning to manage problems with mutual respect and finding solutions that work for everyone involved.

One of my favorite Positive Discipline sayings is “Where in the world did we get the crazy idea that in order to make kids do better we must first make them feel worse?” The approach taught by Positive Discipline is simple but extremely effective. Being kind and firm at the same time is the best approach for parents and educators to foster healthy development of self and others in their children. The Mistaken Goal Chart has shed invaluable light on why children behave in the manner that they do. By understanding their mistaken goals, and redirecting their behavior to achieve their goals in more respectful ways, everyone benefits.

This journey is very exciting for me, and I love this new chapter in my life! I appreciate that Lynn Lott and Jane Nelsen address the issue that I don’t have to know all of the answers before I teach my first class. In fact, they say that over-preparation can actually cause teachers to be less effective and more boring! I don’t anticipate that I will ever have a boring class or session. How could something so exciting ever be boring? Thank you for your consideration of my application. I am so looking forward to the long future I will have with the Positive Discipline Association.


Cynthia L. Knoell, LICSW
Minneapolis, MN

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