Mutual Respect

Mutual Respect

Empowering Students – Growing Citizens

At Sound Discipline we often begin workshops by asking teachers to imagine a student returning to visit as a young adult. We ask them to think of what gifts or qualities they hope that student will have acquired. The list is long. It often includes things like compassion, empathy, confidence, problem solving skills, healthy relationships, respect for themselves and others, communication skills, integrity, passion for something, and perserverence.  When we ask them how easy it would be to teach a young person with those skills, they smile and tell us it would be easy. Educators have a responsibility to teach [...]

2017-05-04T16:53:56+00:00May 4, 2017|

Is It Really Disrespect?

We’ve been having a lot of conversations about respect at schools this month. Educators are telling us that students don’t “respect” them. When we drill down a little further, the story is that students are not obeying adults. Are respect and obedience the same thing? We don’t think so! Interestingly, one of the most common complaints from students who have been sent to the office for misbehavior is, “My teacher didn’t respect me.” Obedience means following the directions of an authority figure. The motivation is often based on fear. The result is compliance. Respect means showing consideration for the rights, [...]

2016-03-07T17:05:28+00:00March 7, 2016|

Curiosity Questions Start Brains Thinking

You know how adults sound on those old Charlie Brown cartoons? Wah, wah, wah, wah, waaaaaahhhhh…” Yes, I am guilty as well. We just want to get our kids moving and we want them to just listen and do what we say. Then we feel irritated and challenged when it seems as though they are ignoring us or dragging their feet… Are they feeling respected? No. Are they feeling capable? No. Are they invited to cooperate? More like invited to a power struggle…

2012-12-12T22:03:08+00:00December 12, 2012|

Bullying and Our Culture

Adults sometimes use power to change someone’s behavior by humiliating them or scaring them. There is an implicit assumption that the person is not already doing the best they can at the moment, that somehow they don’t care and that fear and shame will be helpful motivators. This is craziness. We know from brain science that when we are threatened our ability to learn new things shuts down. Athletes and talented technology workers are there because they want to be there. They dream of being on the “A” team, and are working hard to improve performance. Is the bullying really helping? And, as a culture we buy into this. There is little public outrage at the very public bullying we (and our children) see on television. What are our children learning?

2012-10-21T11:28:44+00:00October 21, 2012|

What is your Request?

When I first started teaching parenting classes, I had a couple who came up with the idea of asking their daughters, “What is your request?” They were parents of preschoolers and I’m sure their days were filled with hearing what their children didn’t want to do, or didn’t want to eat. It was such a simple solution and once again, I, as the parent educator, got to learn something from the parents in my class. I brought this new parenting tool home with me and found that it was a wonderful way to communicate with my two children.

2012-06-11T15:32:49+00:00June 11, 2012|

Non-stop Negotiation Getting You Down?

As the parent it doesn’t always feel so great when all of your positions get shaved away by your budding courtroom lawyer. It is exhausting. Setting limits firmly and still honoring the dignity of your child isn’t really hard, but it takes practice.

2012-02-17T10:47:57+00:00February 17, 2012|

Family Work: Whose Job is It?

Contributed by Jody McVittie, MD When I grew up everyone in our family had jobs to do. Many of them were centered around our family dinners (setting the table, clearing the table, washing the dishes, sweeping the floor). Other family jobs included feeding pets and taking care of the garbage (this was in the days before recycling.) I don’t remember “loving” these “chores” but I do remember that they were part of what each of us did to contribute to the family. Having children routinely contribute to the family helps them understand what it takes to make things happen in [...]

2011-06-06T12:04:02+00:00June 6, 2011|

Building Better Bedtimes

Contributed by Jody McVittie, MD Do you ever finish putting your children to bed and feel exhausted? You’ve longed for some kind of connection with them at the end of the day – and way too often it feels like you’ve been through some kind of battle? When you think about it from the child’s point of view it can make sense. When he goes to bed it feels like you will be continuing on without him. He might miss something! To make matters worse, sometimes he gets the sense that you are “done” with him and want to “get [...]

2011-05-02T14:48:40+00:00May 2, 2011|
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