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45 - Positive Discipline Ch. 7 - 9

posted May 26, 2016, 7:35 AM by Doug Muha

Counselor Notes 45

March 10, 2016

Positive Discipline Chapters 7 - 9


Moving along through Positive Discipline, we are now at the highlights of  chapters 7 through 9.

Chapter 7:  Using Encouragement Effectively

In the book Dr. Nelson emphasizes the point that “adults don’t realize … that any child which is misbehaving is subconsciously saying ‘I just want to belong, and I have some mistaken ideas about how to accomplish belonging.’”  (p. 141)

In helping children learn better ways to belong, Dr. Nelson notes the importance of:

·         Timing – parents may need to time the encouragement they give their child to a time when the child can hear it.  (i.e. there may need to be a cooling off period.)

·         Mutual Respect – this “incorporates attitudes of (a) faith in the abilities of yourself and others (b) interest in the point of view of others as well as your own; and (c) willingness to take responsibility and ownership of your own contribution to the problem.”  (p. 143)

·         Noticing improvement instead of expecting perfection.

·         Redirecting Misbehavior – Find the positive attributes in misbehavior and put that to constructive use.

·         Making Amends – give the child ways to make up for the issues their misbehavior created.

·         Schedule “Special Time” with children. 

·         Encouragement Vs. Praise – Parents often have the mistaken idea that they can build their child’s self-esteem through praising them.  Dr. Nelson makes the important point that “self-esteem can’t be given or received, it is developed through a sense of capability and the self-confidence gained from dealing with disappointments, solving problems, and having lots of opportunities to learn from mistakes.”  (p. 157)


Chapter 8: Class Meetings

This is a chapter for classroom teachers so I will pass over it here. 


Chapter 9: Family Meetings

Dr. Nelsen uses family meetings as a cornerstone of resolving conflicts in a productive manner.  There are a number of nuances to running family meetings though.  The best information I can give you here is to see Dr. Nelson’s web page on family meetings:https://www.positivediscipline.com/articles/family-meetings

Psychology Today has a good web site with 10 tips on family meetings: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-fitness/201209/10-tips-holding-family-meeting

Other good sites on the topic include:

·         https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/family-dynamics/Pages/How-to-Have-a-Family-Meeting.aspx

·         https://www.caregiver.org/holding-family-meeting

·         http://centerforparentingeducation.org/library-of-articles/healthy-communication/holding-family-meetings/ 

Dr. Nelsen’s Positive Discipline web page is at: http://www.positivediscipline.com/ 

Doug Muha Ed.S.
School Counselor
Waverly Elementary School


P.S.  Visitation with Ms. James' family is Saturday 3/12 (tomorrow) from 5 to 8 p.m. at the McEwen Baptist Church's Fellowship Hall.  At approximately 7 p.m. there will be a time for a sharing aloud of memories of Ms. James. 

P.P.S.  Psychology Today had another interesting article on probiotics.  Individuals who have children with anxiety &/or depression issues (or have those issues themselves) are encouraged to read it.  It can be found at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201507/the-reach-probiotics?collection=1075813