Conscious Discipline: Building Connection at Home and at School

Have you heard of Conscious Discipline?  It is a trauma informed, evidenced based, comprehensive SEL, social, emotional learning, for schools and home founded by Dr. Becky Bailey. I learn about it during my marriage and family internship. One of my supervisors recommended that I research Conscious Discipline because I wanted to learn more about how to help children.   Since then I have attended a one-day, two-day and week-long seminar. I was always the fish out of water being the only MFT in the room of preschool and elementary teachers and school administrators.  What I like so much about it is that it is based on relationships-connection--governing behavior instead of rewards, consequences and resorting to threats. Have you noticed that you treat people you are close to differently than you treat that you aren’t or even strangers.  When you are friends with someone, you tolerate and often ignore behavior that may have otherwise annoyed you.  When you have a disagreement you tend to resolve it amicably. CD helps the brain build neural networks, which increase impulse control, positive behavior, increase attention. Dr. Bailey provides parents advice how to build safe, secure, supportive relationships with their children. At school, this is done by building classroom relationships through songs, greetings, and activities. Younger children participate in I Love You Rituals, and older children in team building rituals with eye contact and touch, presents, playfulness. Something magical and mystical happens when people sustain eye contact.  An intimate connection is made. As students build relationship with teachers and friends disagreements and behavior problems in the classroom decrease. They have more compassion for each other and want to resolve disagreements instead of fighting. For children to be successful in school parent-child, teacher-student and student to student relationships are necessary. To increase your children's academic success go to

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Eight Ways We Can Education Our Children About Emotions

More and more schools are teaching SEL, social emotional learning, which is great.  Home is still the best place for this education to begin.  Children don’t start school until they are four or five.  In those first years, we can teach them to recognize what they feel and how to manage it. Ways we can help our children learn emotional skills: 1 Talk about feelings. Help them identify their feelings. When they are babies we can say,  “You look sad."  Tell them how they look, "You stopped playing, are looking down, and frowning. "Continue this practice until they are able to name their feelings.  Discuss how they feel when they are upset, angry, happy, scared. Eventually they may even point out our own feelings to us, which bring us to the next point. 2. One of the best ways to teach kids about feelings is to recognize our own. Whether we like it or not we are always on stage and our children are always watching and learning.  When they see us managing our emotions, frustration, anger, disappointment, even happiness, it gives them a model to know how to manage theirs. 3. Equally important is not to deny our feelings.  It can confuse children when we say we are fine when our body language and vocabulary shouts we are not. This may teach children not to be honest about how they feel, or they may assume the only emotions they are allowed to feel are positive ones. 3. This brings up the next point. Don’t confuse children by telling them they aren't feeling what they are feeling. For example telling them they aren’t sad when they are.  This may bewilder them and cause them to doubt their own judgement or to assume they can only have positive feelings.  Everyone has a right to what they feel.  4. Teach them…

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