Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Making Sense of Discipline course

I just finished my first "real course" with the Neufeld Institute called "Making Sense of Discipline."  Wow.  I'm going to see if I can post here a few highlights or epiphanies.  I know it's an investment to take courses like these, but the information is so life/home-changing.  There's a perfect marriage of a bit of nerdiness on my part (always wanting to keep learning, always passionate about my life stage etc.) and then the challenges of raising these little mysteries in my care.

I saw this little ad and thought, "welp, I have a few weeks before school starts..."  It's the shortest online course I think they've ever offered which means we sort of crammed.  They offer official resources to prep for class time, and then there are supplemental resources.  There are also things linked into our forum comments and questions as they arise, so the support has been wonderful.  The actual class time was so well orchestrated with time for our questions as they arose and a beautiful fusion of information.

Also, we have access to whatever is generally up on the Neufeld Institute Campus which is a huge resource.  I watched/heard presentations I simply had curiosity about because "I could." :)  We do get three months of access so that's exciting.

I really appreciate that the two course facilitators are mothers with lots of example stories to guide the ideas and discussion.  It was never "just research" or "just theory."  It was very practiced.

Big information for me:

With the developmental understanding of how we grow, we can't "teach" or "sculpt" most desired behaviors.  We have to set up the conditions so the spirit of it can really grow, so that they can authentically mature.  We want to honor the spirit; whereas, today's discipline strategies generally focus on the "form."

85% of pediatricians or other experts are behind, still stuck in behaviorist paradigms.  (It reminds me of when you try to get diet advice from a general practitioner--they are overstretched and simply aren't caught up on the research.  They're usually 50 yrs behind in fact as regards calories etc.)

If we target behavior in a teaching/sculpting way (without the real maturation, the mixed feelings etc.) we're teaching them to be extremely deceitful and engender a kind of neurosis of "needing to be good."  They build walls and then orient towards peers who aren't in any capacity to guide and nurture them.  Lot's of ripple effect.

This in essence means that most of what we do for kids who are stuck (time outs, imposed consequences etc.) actually creates discipline problems.

Real discipline doesn't happen in the incident.  Incidents are to be managed safely; but real discipline is scripting, practicing, talking, bridging, matchmaking in the safety of good connection.

We have to be patient with the maturation process and focus on good intentions and a relationship where attachment is strong and where they want to be good (want to follow us).

There are hugely more specific things in the course, and there are many concepts to go into.  Still, I think it's better to have the background of having read his book (Hold onto Your Kids), seen a few presentations etc.  Otherwise, it gets too complicated and turns into me trying to teach something you can learn from him or other faculty.  They are infinitely more prepared to do this well.

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