New positive discipline resources for parents

Trent Ernst, Editor

The Tumbler Ridge Success by 6 table of partners has partnered with Town Council to provide resources for parents looking to navigate the narrows between being too strict and too permissive.

As part of that, they are offering a seven week course, happening now, using the Positive Discipline Program.

Positive Discipline is a program designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful and resourceful members of their communities. Based on the bestselling Positive Discipline books by Dr. Jane Nelsen, Lynn Lott, Cheryl Erwin, Kate Ortolano, Mary Hughes, Mike Brock, Lisa Larson and others, it teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults (including parents, teachers, childcare providers, youth workers, and others). The seven week course includes practical experience and roll playing, discussion and strategy time, and brainstorming sessions and problem solving.
If you didn’t sign up, never fear. The courses will be offered every year for the next three years, and are free to the community, thanks to a grant from Tumbler Ridge Council.

Council also provided a $500 one-time grant to purchase resource books for the community. Success by 6 Coordinator Colette Ernst says they have purchased copies of the Positive Discipline books for the Tumbler Ridge Children’s Centre Society, StrongStart, School District 59 and the Tumbler Ridge Public Library. “These books cover information on positive discipline for parents of pre-schoolers to teenagers. They are for parents, for single parents, for in the classroom…they even come on CDs.” The books, says Ernst, will be available at each location for community members on loan.
The Positive Discipline books and program are meant for new and experienced parent educators who want tools, new ideas, activities, and enthusiasm, family therapists who want to build skills in working with their clients, ESL leaders who want to share new parenting skills with their culture, school personnel and others who deal with parents, children and young people, early childhood educators and parents looking for help with children of all ages.

“This program has been very well received in Tumbler Ridge” says Ernst. “Four local residents had the opportunity to take the facilitator training class last October, and were able to offer the first local program in January of this year thanks to a Healthier Communities grant and the partnership between the South Peace Building Learning Together Society and Northern Health.” “We have had a great turn out each time, and thanks to the District grant we can now continue to build on that foundation.”

Recent research, says Positive Discipline trainer Gloria Cleve, tells us that children are “hardwired” from birth to connect with others, and that children who feel a sense of connection to their community, family, and school are less likely to misbehave. To be successful, contributing members of their community, children must learn necessary social and life skills. Positive Discipline is based on the understanding that discipline must be taught and that discipline teaches.

Positive Discipline teaches adults to employ kindness and firmness at the same time, and is neither punitive nor permissive.

Effective discipline helps children feel a sense of connection, belonging and significance. It is mutually respectful and encouraging, and is kind and firm at the same time. It is effective long-term, and considers what the child is thinking, feeling, learning, and deciding about himself and his world – and what to do in the future to survive or to thrive.

“After my training, we started practicing some of the skills at home.” Says Ernst “One of the things my kids really picked up on, was the fact that they were heard and their ideas were valued in the decision making in our home.When I started forgetting family meetings, it was the kids who said how much they missed them.”

The course teaches important social and life skills, like respect, concern for others, problem solving, and cooperation as well as the skills to contribute to the home, school or larger community, and invites children to discover how capable they are by encouraging the constructive use of personal power and autonomy.