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Reducing Challenging Behavior with Positive Discipline

Reducing Challenging Behavior with

Positive Discipline  

“Effective discipline means teaching skills that will help children make better decisions and handle themselves well in the future.”

Daniel Siegel, M.D. & Tina Bryson Ph. D


Punishment shuts down behavior in the short term but teaching offers skills that last a lifetime.


Positive teaching strategies shape challenging behaviors into functional skills. 


Teachers & Parents should RESPOND rather than REACT to challenging situations.

Reactions are abrupt and often escalate situations, while responses will endure powerful thoughtful teachable moments.


Responses should be based on the following three questions.

(Each situation and child will have diverse answers and requires individualized responses for each.)

  1. Why is the child engaging in the behavior? (Not always as obvious as it may appear)

  2.  What lesson or functional replacement can I teach to allow the child to get the same “why” outcome in an appropriate and functional way

  3. How will the child best learn to attain and utilize this skill?

“The way we relate to our children when they’re upset affects how their brains develop.”

The ways we communicate with out children during high stress moments impacts their internal problem solving and coping skills. 

If we take use the challenging moments to provide learning opportunities then we will help them to learn to make positive and productive choices on their own in whatever situations they face. 

“Understand the significance of helping kids recognize limits so that they become increasingly better at putting on the brake themselves when necessary.”

Daniel Siegel M.D. & Tina Bryson Ph. D.

Use the challenging incidents as opportunities to practice building important skills and having those experiences wired into the brain.  (Daniel Siegel M.D. & Tina Bryson Ph. D.) 

Discipline comes from the latin word “disciplina” which means, teaching, learning and giving instruction.

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