Living on a rock in the middle of the ocean, it's a rare opportunity to find something that speaks to me personally and at the same time is functional in my work as a Montessori educator. A few years ago I attended a parent education session on a method of classroom management called Conscious Discipline and I was delighted to find that it melded perfectly with Dr. Montessori's vision of the prepared environment. I've written about it on this blog before, but wanted to share some of the great stuff that was shared during the seminar this week.
It is especially useful in these initial months of school when much of the work with new children involves developing a connection with them, and among them.
From a 2 day Conscious Discipline seminar with Jill Molli:
"Discipline is not something you do to children, it is something that develops within them."
"Fear based discipline techniques don't work because they don't teach children the skills they are lacking. They simply damage your relationship with them."
"Our thoughts and beliefs influence our feelings and behavior. What you believe about a child influences your feelings and actions towards them. They listen to the message you give them. If you choose to see a child in a negative light, you give them no option but to follow. In order for a child to change, we have to see the child differently first."
"Eye contact, touch, presence, in a playful manner are necessary to build a connection with a child. Cooperation from them is not possible without there first being a connection."
"Shift from controlling others to connecting with others."
"The brain functions best when we feel safe."
"The way that you talk to yourself is the way that you will talk with the children in your care."
"Stop and honor kindness."
"The way we talk to our children TODAY is the way they will talk to themselves in 30 years."
"It is important to teach children how to handle disappointment and failure."