Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Positive Discipline with Julia Gabriel

Some time ago, i was invited to attend a "Positive Discipline" workshop by Ms Julia Gabriel, Founder and Creative Director of Julia Gabriel Education herself. I must say they are really pro family and knows a parent's needs best. I was able to bring Big Brother Kyle along, who was kept engaged by the teachers at Julia Gabriel Education with storytelling and craft activities while I attended the talk, right within the same room!

The children were listening attentively to the story "The Gruffalo". 

Yes! Even my hyperactive Kyle was listening attentively, to which i was amazed!

We are not obliged to blog, but I would like to jot down what I have learnt, as well as sharing is loving. :) Hopefully you can gain something from this too.

The Positive Discipline Workshop aims to help a parent to:
  • Discover parenting style that empowers, encourages and lays foundation for learning
  • Explore authoritarian vs permissive parenting
  • Establish guidelines, boundaries and encouraging practices at home
  • Tips on getting the whole family on board in a culture of positive discipline

part of the group of parents bloggers attending the talk 

What is Positive Discipline?

The word "discipline" refers to training that is expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement. Positive Discipline is a framework that empowers a child, promote his cooperation & understanding of good behavior, and direct them towards self-discipline.

Julia shared with us the 5 steps towards establishing positive discipline as a culture for learning at home:

Step 1: Understand my child
Understand my own child allows me to know what to expect of him in different situations and how to support his learning needs.

Mood - is my child a generally positive person or he often express a negative outlook? does he shift frequently or is he even tempered?

Persistence & Attention Span - does my child gives up as soon as faced with a problem or does he keeps trying? Can he stick with an activity for long?

Distractibility - is my child easily distracted?

Sensory Threshold - is he bothered by external stimuli such as loud noises, lights, food textures etc?

Step 2: Recognise difference between Discipline & Punishment
We have to know that the effects of punishment are long-lasting and far-reaching. We should not inflict corporal punishment on the child - be it beat, hit, spank or etc.


Punishment
Discipline
·      Over controlling & harsh
·      Kind, yet firm
·      Focus on Suffering – “The more you suffer, the more you learn”
·      Focus on Learning – “The more you learn, the less you suffer”
·      Misbehavior is a crime and children are bad
·      Misbehavior is a poor choice; which even good children make
·      Parents are responsible for controlling children
·      Parents are responsible for teaching children self-control & holding themselves accountable for their own actions
·      Is condescending and blaming
·      Is respectful and focuses on solutions
·      Reminds child of past mistakes – “I told you so!”
·      Allows quick return to normal routine
·      Decreases self esteem
·      Maintains self esteem
·      Children become immune and develop “I don’t care” attitude
·      Children care about behaving well & correcting own mistakes, need for discipline decreases over time
·      Builds resentment and increases rebellion
·      Grows respect & responsibility, increases self-control & self-discipline

Step 3: Aim for cooperation rather than obedience
To enable my child to cooperate and make his own decisions, we can offer them choices within reasonable limits. Children raised with rigid limits with few or practically no choices are unable to think for themselves. If the child obey out of fear, it may work short term while building resentment & rebellion over time. Positive cooperation almost works all the time and promote teamwork, self responsibility and mutual respect!

For example, rather than ordering my child to go to bed, I can offer "Would you like to hear one more story or play with your toy cars before bedtime?"

Step 4: Develop a toolbox for Positive Discipline
To establish ground rules for children to follow, we need tools of prevention for use before incidents of misbehavior:

  • Be a role model by practicing what I preached
  • Appreciate my own child's temperament
  • Encourage the behavior i want to see by catching my child when he's being good, pointing out how well he's doing
  • Be interested in my child's activities and enjoy his company
  • Always look out for underlying needs & feelings
  • Give him clear and specific instructions
  • Establish routines
  • Preempt transitions 
  • Acknowledge & encourage rather than praise
  • Love unconditionally and never threaten abandonment

During inappropriate or anti social behaviour, we needs tools of guidance:

  • Offer choices within limits of acceptable alternatives like " Would you like to change into your PJs or brush your teeth first?"
  • Communicate my own feelings "I am so annoyed & frustrated right now!"
  • Validate my child's feelings too "I can see that you are really angry too!"
  • Demonstrate appropriate behavior yourself so that young children can learn what to do
  • Use positive language "Yes, you can go out to play, after you have put the toys away" "Making your bed would be very helpful!"
  • Give information "Littering means that someone else have to pick it up for you!"
  • Do difficult tasks together "I think we should say sorry to Gallen together"
  • Physically remove or restrain your child if necessary

And we need to have tools of consequence to help child learn what to do after things go wrong:

  • Show my child how to make amends
  • Expect restitution if rules have been broken
  • Take action myself, example say sorry if I have broken a rule or hurt someone's feelings
  • Allow natural consequences, example, if my child has forgotten to bring his lunch box to school, he has to go hungry
  • Set & apply reasonable restrictions or removal of privileges
  • Use self control time out - "You can join in as soon as you are ready to play without snatching"


Step 5: Take Action
Start the discipline with myself and work with the school to establish a culture of positive discipline. I can encourage my child's efforts instead of praising their achievements or criticizing their mistakes:

  • "I really appreciate that you..."
  • "You worked really hard to..."
  • "You have really come a long way!"
  • "I can see that you..."
  • "Thanks! That helped a lot!"
  • "I noticed the way you..."
  • "How do you feel about what you did?"
  • "What do you think you want to do about it?"
Julia Gabriel Education actually offers a series of workshops for parents. If you are keen, you can contact them at adulteducation@juliagabriel.com for more information. 

Me with Michelle from The Chill Mom


The whole group of bloggers in the parenting workshop

A little more about Julia Gabriel
With more than 30 years of experience in early childhood education, Julia has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Julia is one of the pioneers in Singapore's education scene from back in the '80s, championing the importance of making learning fun and interactive, even when education was very much focused on rote learning. She is an accomplished storyteller, performer, speaker, lecturer and author of children's books. She often conducts training workshops for parents, teachers and professionals and has written and recorded educational television programmes for the Ministry of Education in Singapore.

Julia Gabriel Centre is located at #04-00 Forum Shopping Mall, 583 Orchard Road, Singapore 238884.

You can find out more at http://www.juliagabriel.com/

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2 comments:

  1. Great summary to the workshop. I've recently went for the Social and Emotional Awareness Talk by Julia Gabriel too. Also very informative and made me rethink my parenting method.

    On another note, I look like mommy hulk in the photo above! :P.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I am trying very hard to change my parenting style to raise a more self responsible boy too! It's a good wake up call for me!

      And oh please! I am so honored to stand beside such a great radiant looking mom of two! We have such a big contrast, I am using you as a role model too! ;p

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