Discipline. For some it’s a dirty word and others see a lack of discipline as the cause of society’s ills. Where do you stand?
When I was in school in the 1980s, the thought of getting in trouble in school was horrifying. It was not so much about the school punishment, but what my parents would do when I got home that kept me out of trouble. They would never physically harm me, but I respected my parents enough to know there would be consequences for my actions.
Fast forward 20 years and I am sitting in a meeting as a teacher, with a student, parents and administrators. I was listening to this parent tell the administrators that her child must have had a good reason to curse out the administrators and that it was the school’s fault for her child’s behavior. Come again? Have times changed so much?
In today’s teacher training programs, they teach aspiring teachers how positive behavior modifications can improve students classroom behavior. This boils down to positively reinforcing good behaviors and not reinforcing unwanted behaviors. My favorite lesson was when the professor, a mother of four, told the parents in the room that, although these methods worked in the classroom, they probably would not work with your own children at home for a number of reasons. As she described how her home was run, I heard her clearly describe consequences that were more in line with punishment procedures than positive behavior modifications.
This week’s parents council is dedicated to exploring the ideas that work and the ones that don’t when it comes to discipline. Do chore charts really work? Do you reward a good report card? How do you get your kids to be respectful of adults—in the home and in school? Do you punish your children when they break rules?
Feel free to comment on this subject in the comment boxes below or shout out in the white box located in the upper righthand corner of the home page. Stay tuned for another chat next Wednesday afternoon.