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Positive Discipline [Anglais] [Broché]

Jane Nelsen Ed.D.
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Chapter One


If you are a teacher, have you been teaching long enough to remember when children sat in neat rows and obediently did what they were told? If you are a parent, do you remember when children wouldn’t dare talk back to their parents? Maybe you don’t, but perhaps your grandparents do.

Many parents and teachers today are feeling frustrated because children don’t behave the way they used to in the good old days. What happened? Why don’t today’s children develop the same kinds of responsibility and motivation that seemed more prevalent in children many years ago?

There are many possible explanations, such as broken homes, too much television, video games, and working mothers. These factors are so common in our society today that the situation would seem rather hopeless if they really explained our current challenges with children. (And we all know of many single and working parents who are doing a great job raising their children because they use effective parenting skills.) Rudolf Dreikurs1 had another theory.

There are many major changes that have taken place in society over the past few years that more directly explain the differences in children today. The outlook is very encouraging because, with awareness and desire, we can compensate for these changes and in doing so can also eliminate some of the problems that many think are caused by broken homes, too much television, and working mothers.

The first major change is that adults no longer give children an example or model of submissiveness and obedience. Adults forget that they no longer act the way they used to in the good old days. Remember when Mom obediently did whatever Dad said, or at least gave the impression she did, because it was the culturally acceptable thing to do? In the good old days few people questioned the idea that Dad’s decisions were final.

Because of the human rights movement, this is no longer true. Rudolf Dreikurs pointed out, “When Dad lost control of Mom, they both lost control of the children.” All this means is that Mom quit giving the children a model of submissiveness. This is progress. Many things about the good old days were not so good.

In those days there were many models of submission. Dad obeyed the boss (who was not interested in his opinions) so he wouldn’t lose his job. Minority groups accepted submissive roles at great loss to their personal dignity. Today all minority groups are actively claiming their rights to full equality and dignity. It is difficult to find anyone who is willing to accept an inferior, submissive role in life. Children are simply following the examples all around them. They also want to be treated with dignity and respect.

It is important to note that equality does not mean the same. Four quarters and a dollar bill are very different, but equal. Children obviously do not deserve all the rights that come with greater experience, skills, and maturity. Adult leadership and guidance are important. However, children deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. They also deserve the opportunity to develop the life skills they need in an atmosphere of kindness and firmness instead of an atmosphere of blame, shame, and pain.

Another major change is that in today’s society children have fewer opportunities to learn responsibility and motivation. We no longer need children as important contributors to economic survival. Instead children are given too much in the name of love without any effort or investment on their part and they develop an entitlement attitude. Too many mothers and fathers believe that good parents protect their children from all disappointment. They rescue or overprotect—thus robbing their children of the opportunity to develop a belief in their capability to handle the ups and downs of life. Skill training is often neglected because of busy life schedules or a lack of understanding of how important it is for children to contribute. We often rob children of opportunities to feel belonging and significance in meaningful ways through responsible contributions and then complain and criticize them for not developing responsibility.

Children do not develop responsibility when parents and teachers are too strict and controlling, nor do they develop responsibility when parents and teachers are permissive. Children learn responsibility when they have opportunities to learn valuable social and life skills for good character in an atmosphere of kindness, firmness, dignity, and respect.

It is important to emphasize that eliminating punishment does not mean that children should be allowed to do whatever they want. We need to provide opportunities for children to experience responsibility in direct relationship to the privileges they enjoy. Otherwise, they become dependent recipients who feel that the only way to achieve belonging and significance is by manipulating other people into their service. Some children develop the belief, “I’m not loved unless others take care of me.” Others may develop the belief that they shouldn’t try because they can’t do very much that doesn’t invite shame and pain. It is saddest when they develop the belief, “I’m not good enough,” because they don’t have opportunities to practice proficiencies that would help them feel capable. These children spend a great deal of energy in rebellion or avoidance behaviors.

When all of their intelligence and energy is directed toward manipulation, rebellion, and avoidance, children do not develop the perceptions and skills needed to become capable people. In the book Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-lndulgent World,2 H. Stephen Glenn and I identify the Significant Seven Perceptions and Skills necessary for developing capable people.

Significant Seven Perceptions and Skills

1.Strong perceptions of personal capabilities—“I am capable.”

2.Strong perceptions of significance in primary relationships—“I contribute in meaningful ways and I am genuinely needed.”

3.Strong perceptions of personal power or influence over life—“I can influence what happens to me.”

4.Strong intrapersonal skills: the ability to understand personal emotions and to use that understanding to develop self-discipline and self-control.

5.Strong interpersonal skills: the ability to work with others and develop friendships through communicating, cooperating, negotiating, sharing, empathizing, and listening.

6.Strong systemic skills: the ability to respond to the limits and consequences of everyday life with responsibility, adaptability, flexibility, and integrity.

7.Strong judgmental skills: the ability to use wisdom and to evaluate situations according to appropriate values.

Children developed these perceptions and skills naturally when they were allowed to work side by side with their parents, receiving on-the-job training while making meaningful contributions to the family lifestyle. The irony is that in the good old days children had opportunities to develop strong life skills, but had few opportunities to use them. Now the world is full of opportunities for which too many children are not prepared. Today children do not have many natural opportunities to feel needed and significant, but parents and teachers can thoughtfully provide these opportunities. A wonderful fringe benefit is that most behavior problems can be eliminated when parents and teachers learn more effective ways to help their children and students develop healthy perceptions and skills. Most misbehavior can be traced to a lack of development in these Significant Seven Perceptions and Skills.

Understanding why children do not behave the way they used to is the first step for parents and teachers who are facing child-discipline challenges. We need to understand why controlling methods, which worked so well many years ago, are not effective with children today. We need to understand our obligation to provide opportunities, which were once provided by circumstances, for children to develop responsibility and motivation. And most important, we need to understand that cooperation based on mutual respect and shared responsibility is more effective than authoritarian control (see Table 1.1).

The attitude of parents or teachers who choose between each of the three approaches is very different.

Strictness—“These are the rules by which you must abide, and this is the punishment you will receive for violation of the rules.” Children are not involved in the decision-making process.

Permissiveness—“There are no rules. I am sure we will love each other and be happy, and you will be able to choose your own rules later.”

Positive Discipline—“Together we will decide on rules for our mutual benefit. We will also decide together on solutions that will be helpful to all concerned when we have problems. When I must use my judgment without your input, I will use firmness with kindness, dignity, and respect.”

As a fun way to illustrate the extreme differences between the three approaches, Dr. John Platt3 tells the story of three-year-old Johnny at breakfast time in each home. In a strict home, where Mom knows what is best, Johnny does not have a choice regarding breakfast. On a cold, rainy day, controlling mothers all over the world know that Johnny needs some kind of hot mush to get him through the day. Johnny, however, has different ideas. He looks at the mush and says, “Yuck! I don’t want this stuff!” One hundred years ago it was much easier to be a strict, controlling mother. She could just say, “Eat!” and Johnny would obey. It is more difficult today, so Mom goes through the following four steps in her effort to get obedience.

Step one: Mom tries to convince Johnny why he needs hot mush to get him through the day. Remember what your mother told you hot mush would do inside your body? “It will stick to your ribs!” Have you ever thought about what a three-year-old thinks when he is told hot mush will stick to his ribs? He is not very impressed.

Step two: Mom tries to make the mush taste better. She tries all kinds of concoctions—brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, honey, maple syrup, and even chocolate chips. Johnny takes another bite and still says, “Yuck! I hate this stuff!”

Step three: Mom tries to teach him a lesson in gratitude. “But Johnny, think of all the children in Africa who are starving to death.” Johnny is still not impressed and replies, “Well, send it to them.”

Step four: Mom is now exasperated and feels that her only alternative is to teach him a lesson for his disobedience. She gives him a spanking and tells him he can just be hungry.

Mom feels good about the way she handled the situation for about thirty minutes before she starts feeling guilty. What will people think when they find out she couldn’t get her child to eat? And what if Johnny is really suffering from hunger?

Johnny plays outside long enough to build up guilt power before he comes in and claims, “Mommy, my tummy is so hungry!”

Mom now gets to give the most fun lecture of all—the “I told you so” lecture. She doesn’t notice that Johnny is staring into space while he waits for her to finish so he can get on with life. Mom feels very good about her lecture. She has now done her duty to let him know how right she was. She then gives him a cracker and sends him out to play again. To make up for the nutritional loss suffered from lack of a good breakfast, she goes into the kitchen and starts fixing liver and broccoli. Guess what lunch will be like?

Présentation de l'éditeur

For twenty-five years, Positive Discipline has been the gold standard reference for grown-ups working with children. Now Jane Nelsen, distinguished psychologist, educator, and mother of seven, has written a revised and expanded edition. The key to positive discipline is not punishment, she tells us, but mutual respect. Nelsen coaches parents and teachers to be both firm and kind, so that any child–from a three-year-old toddler to a rebellious teenager–can learn creative cooperation and self-discipline with no loss of dignity. Inside you’ll discover how to

• bridge communication gaps
• defuse power struggles
• avoid the dangers of praise
• enforce your message of love
• build on strengths, not weaknesses
• hold children accountable with their self-respect intact
• teach children not what to think but how to think
• win cooperation at home and at school
• meet the special challenge of teen misbehavior

“It is not easy to improve a classic book, but Jane Nelson has done so in this revised edition. Packed with updated examples that are clear and specific, Positive Discipline shows parents exactly how to focus on solutions while being kind and firm. If you want to enrich your relationship with your children, this is the book for you.”
–Sal Severe, author of How to Behave So Your Children Will, Too!

Millions of children have already benefited from the counsel in this wise and warmhearted book, which features dozens of true stories of positive discipline in action. Give your child the tools he or she needs for a well-adjusted life with this proven treasure trove of practical advice.

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 384 pages
  • Editeur : Ballantine Books; Édition : annotated edition (30 mai 2006)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0345487672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345487674
  • Dimensions du produit: 20,2 x 13,4 x 2,2 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 29.806 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Best book ever 4 novembre 2011
It is the Best book I have ever read! It is practical, simple and inspiring. My Life has changed, Thanks to Jane Nelson!!!
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0 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Positive discipline 11 février 2013
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
je ne lis pas de livre écrit en anglais et malheureusement se livre est ECRIT EN ANGLAIS. Le titre ne m'a pas du tout informé de cette éventualité...................................................................
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  101 commentaires
83 internautes sur 84 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The most incredibly insightful book on parenting I've found! 7 février 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
If you are a parent, this book should definitely be on your list of MUST-READs. The idea focuses on respect, letting kids have control over some of their decisions, letting them experience the consequences -- both good and bad -- and reducing conflict in your home. The book helped me see the problems in some of the traditional methods of "discipline" I had been using, and it changed my approach for dealing with two-year old son and our interactions. The book includes concrete examples and focus areas for positive discipline, and explores the long range goals for raising our kids (like what kind of people we want them to be in the end). Since I've started putting the positive discipline principles into practice, I've seen an incredible difference in myself and my son. I started asking for his help, and now he is doing all sorts of things for himself -- getting dressed, helping carry in groceries, and willingly climbing into his car seat (if you can belive it)!! He's so excited to be making contributions to our family on his own, and I'm enjoying him so much without so many tantrums. I've been teaching him about respect -- it sounds so silly, but he seems to understand that it's about treating each other like we like each other. Of course, it isn't the end of every conflict and we still have problems and short tempers sometimes, but it is over so much faster and with fewer hurt feelings on all sides. We're finding a nice balance -- not permissive, not authoritarian -- just respectful and fair. Even if you don't accept the premise of the book, I think it will challenge you to evaluate your own parenting methods. Be forewarned though -- it may seem a little unusual if you just skim through the book, because some of the ideas are unconventional or contrary to what we've been "taught" (like letting kids play during a time out session), but I belive it really makes sense in the end and I encourage you to read the whole thing. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND it to parents who want to reduce the conflict in their house, raise kids with a positive sense of self, and really truly find enjoyment in children.
50 internautes sur 51 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Works Flawlessly When Used With Commitment and Consistency 7 février 2005
Par Kelly E. Nault - Publié sur Amazon.com
As a parenting author who only recommends the best of the best when it comes to parenting books, I was shocked to read some of the reviews which suggested that Jane's approach is both demoralizing to parents and simply does not work.

Before writing my own book, Jane's work was one of the three books I used with two blind boys who would have given Helen Keller a run for her money and helped me to not only maintain my sanity (and not go off the deep end) but also raise boys I am proud of.

Hands down parenting is the most difficult job on earth and I believe that Jane would agree. As a family counselor who uses a "feel good method of parenting" similar to Jane's I KNOW that this material works I have seen it work for thousands of parents. I also know that it takes time, consistency and sometimes even support from others. I am saddened to think that some of her material has fallen on deaf ears and some parents have even resorted to fear tactics. Why am I saddened? Because although punishments such as these can work in the short term I have seen first hand the negative effects that happen over time and know that there is a much better way.

Perhaps, because this book was originally written in the 80's and Jane doesn't spend a lot of time in this book emphasizing the importance a parent's own self-care that some readers have misinterpreted this to mean Jane doesn't care about parents. Nothing could be further from the truth though.

Jane's practical use of stories and the way in which she shares some of her own mistakes are nothing short of inspiring.
38 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 some good tools, overhyped 27 février 2014
Par itwasfun - Publié sur Amazon.com
Now that my kids are 13 and 15, and I've referred to the positive parenting books and other approaches for raising kids many times, I wanted to give a review looking back on what's been helpful so far and what hasn't. In short, I agree with the reviewer who said check it out of the library but don't buy it. The good stuff: much of the advice about developing a loving relationship with your kids as the foundation of discipline, listening to them, involving them in decision-making, creating a sense of belonging in the family, avoiding making kids feel bad just to gain temporary control all is good advice. So it's useful to be reminded of these things periodically. The bad stuff: the positive parenting books promote this overzealously, like this is the one and only approach that will always work and any other attempts at discipline, including any negative consequences that parents impose, are bad. Also the books strongly imply that pretty much any misbehavior by kids always comes from lacking a sense of belonging in the home or "discouragement." That is sometimes true, but is an oversimplification. Sometimes your kid doesn't want to brush his teeth because it's basically a boring chore and he'd rather be playing, not because you've failed to create a sense of belonging in the home. And because the ideas in this book about the roots of misbehavior are sometimes off, a lot of the examples are unrealistic, too. Many of them read like: Johnny is hitting his little brother and taking away his toys. Parents give him a positive time-in, explore his sense of discouragement, help him see he could play with his own toys as a positive alternative. Johnny says with a twinkle in his eye "oh right!" and doesn't hit his little brother any more. Yeah, well..... sometimes in real life it works like that, sometimes it doesn't. Another problem I have with this approach is that, like it or not, negative consequences of various kinds are part of life. As a kid, I had neighbors who raised their son very much on positive parenting principles. Where my brother and I would get grounded if we didn't come home by curfew, "Tom" (not real name) would just have a positive time out and a lot of talking about his feelings and why he misbehaved. We used to envy him when we were younger kids. But by adolescence, problems started to show up with Tom. He was the only teenager in the neighborhood to get fired from a local pizzeria, run by a very sweet neighborhood family, b/c he was always showing up late, chatting in the back instead of getting customers their orders, and so on. The owners tried to explain that Tom had a job to do while at work, but Tom kept wanting to explain his reasons for messing up, how he was having a bad day, like he had always done with his parents. The owner was a very nice guy who really enjoyed hiring local kids, but he was running a business. Tom got fired, very much to his shock. The same kind of things happened in high school when he wanted teachers to understand why he turned things in late, etc. It happened later when he got tickets and was in an accident due to speeding and was quite shocked to discover that the legal system, insurance companies, and the laws of physics don't hesitate to impose negative consequences. I think the notion that your kids should never feel bad, implicit throughout these books, made Tom's transition to adulthood much rougher. So I would say: yes, read the positive discipline books. Come back to them occasionally as you raise your kids. But take them with a grain of salt, and incorporate other parenting approaches too.
48 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Respect for the little ones 3 mai 2000
Par Mandy D. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This book helped me see discipline in a whole new way. It's true, children don't have to suffer in order to learn they have done something wrong. We need to have respect for the little ones just as much as anyone else, and that's sometimes hard to remember when you are angry. "Positive discipline" explains this concept well. The only problem is if you have very young kids, this book doesn't help much in terms of specific examples. Most of the examples are about children 5 and up. I would imagine "Positive Discipline for Preschoolers" would serve my situation better. I am buying that next and will write a review for it shortly......
37 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A must read! 12 mars 2001
Par Ms Diva - Publié sur Amazon.com
This is one of the best, most useful parenting books I have ever read. I am a child and youth care worker and I use these concepts with the kids I work with. I've taught them to parents who are really struggling and they've seen major improvements in their relationships with their kids, as well as the kid's overall behaviour. The book focuses on how to interact with your kids in a way that emphasizes firmness merged with kindness. It shows you have to treat your kids with respect, give them choices and a degree of control, the meaning of consequences, and manage conflict. The truth is punishing kids does NOT work, and discipline and punishment are NOT synonymous.
I really liked the concrete examples in the book. I wish that the author had spent more time on how to determine your child's mistaken goal, and she had addressed more clearly how exactly to find the time for family meetings and the like when you are a family with two working parents. I also appreciate that she teaches parents to think long term. I have to admit that the ideas in the book may seem simplistic at first read. You have to remember (and Nelsen stresses this repeatedly) that changes won't occur overnight. But if you stick with it you will see a difference. I would reccommend reading it once, trying to apply it for 3-4 weeks, and then reading it again. It is written in a conversational style, so it is a quick read. I got through it the first time in a weekend. I refer to in frequently to remind myself of certain ideas.
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