Conscious Discipline

Today we welcome student blogger, Judeth!

Welcome, Judeth!  Take it away.....

Conscious discipline. I have heard it a couple of times before, but I never really thought much about it. The main principle of Conscious Discipline is when a child is acting out, or misbehaving, it is a call for help, not a sign of disrespect. Embracing conscious discipline, the adults create a “safe place” for the child to go; The safe place is not to be confused with a time out where most children are left alone or left in isolation.  The safe place in Conscious Discipline is used to promote self-regulation and create a judgment-free space for the child to work through their emotion. 

To create a safe place:  It can be a small section of a classroom or a small area in a home.  The set-up of the safe place should be comfortable – offering a place to sit, the ability to engage with hands-on manipulatives, and offer a couple of different options for the child to express their anger, sadness, or whatever emotion they are feeling.

The standard process in Conscious Discipline (CD) is:
  1. Have the child sit down.
  2. Pick a breathing icon to help calm down (show in the picture below).
  3. Pick which emotion the child is feeling (shown in the chart above).
  4. Pick an activity that will calm the child down.  That's why you want to have interesting hands-on manipulatives available in the safe place.
  5. Once the child calms down, the teacher or parent is to sit and talk with them, ask curious questions about the child’s behavior, and explore what a better option might be in the future when the child has an emotional urge again.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why Conscious Discipline? There have been many other successful discipline tools for years.” Exploring the research and many videos at Conscious Discipline, you can see there are quite a few things that current discipline tools are not teaching, or actually making worse. To quote one of the handouts on the CD website, “Conscious discipline teaches everyone how to respond wisely to life events rather than unconsciously react from a set of pre-programmed skills that may or may be effective or wise.”

If you are interested in this style of discipline or just want to try something new, say good by to stop lights in classrooms (which teach humiliation, now how to behave appropriately) and rewards & punishment (which teach manipulation) and try Conscious Discipline.

Thank you, Judeth!  I hadn't heard of Conscious Discipline until your blog post.

What do you think, blog readers?  Might you give CD a go?  Their website is packed full of helpful materials.

All the best,


I May Have Spoken Too Soon

How ironic that yesterday I blogged about perhaps not needing the word Brave this year as it might be too strong.

Then, I found myself getting my first root canal that late morning and kept thinking, Be Brave, Jen, Be Brave.

Dear Universe, I get the message.

Bravely it is,


A Delayed Attitude of Gratitude

There is something our family is not good at doing in a timely manner.  Writing thank you notes.  We are horrible.  We typically write them months after the actual event or gift was received.  I am usually so embarrassed that it has taken so long that I will spend half of my note saying, "This thank you is long overdue...."

This whole issue must be genetic, because Lil O is pretty delinquent, too.  Ugh.

Do you have any tips to help us?  

My grandmother would be appalled if she was still alive.



PS - As you can see from the photo above, we do like to handmake our thank yous.  At least, we can be proud of something, right?

Brave Lessons {No. 3}

To keep myself accountable for my word for 2014, Brave, I started a new series, Brave Lessons. You can find the first installations here and here.  This is what I have learned since those two posts about Brave and here's what I am celebrating:
  • I am wondering if Brave is too strong of a word for me.  Brave can mean "ready to face or endure unpleasant conditions."
  • With that kind of intense meaning, I don't necessarily need Brave on a daily or even weekly basis, but I do need to Be Strong or Be Bold.
  • Can I change my 2014 word?  I imagine the universe and whomever keeps the rulebook on words wouldn't call foul, right?
  • So.... I've been playing with Be Strong for over a week now.  I'm finding that phrase keeps me focused, courageous, bold, and in the moment.  Perhaps, better than Brave.
  • But, I'm also not 100% ready to jump ship from Brave.  I need another couple of weeks to try all the words on for size.
As for celebrations.....
  • I am celebrating that I'm open minded to switching words.  It seems most people pick a word and stick with it.  I think there is some Bravery in saying publicly, I may have made a mistake.
What's helping me since I keep forgetting I have a word this year.....
  • Structures!  For example, one of my structures is the sun.  When I feel the sun intensely beaming on my face, I stop, face it and think about how I am honoring Brave (or Be Strong).  In coaching, we call those little reminders "structures."  The structure reminds me of the word (and action) and anchors me back to it.
  • Another structure I've been using is painted just one of my fingernails a different color. When it catches my eye, I think about Being Strong or Brave.  A coaching friend taught me that structure and I love it.
What structures do you use?  Got any nifty ideas to share with me?

Bravely Yours (or Strongly, which doesn't sound as poetic),


Weekend Plans

carnival tickets

Are you ready for the weekend?  I am.

What plans do you have?  Me?  I'm still debating, but on my possibility list includes:
  • A Smithsonian Sunday with Lil O
  • An Easter Egg Hunt
  • A trail run with Jedi
  • Drive Mr. UpCyclist crazy while he does his Ph.D. homework.  I'm good at being annoying.
  • Dance salsa with Mr. UpCyclist.  We are 18 days into our 30 day challenge.
  • Encourage Lil O to write her birthday thank you notes; they are only a month overdue.  Eek!
  • Buy something at REI - after all, I have two 20% off coupons
  • Wear my new moccasins (fingers cross they arrive today)
  • Work on a project with Lil O using that rainbow of ticket rolls pictured above
Have a fantastic weekend! See you on the other side.



Celebrating Others

Make 29's Owner, Elisa Blaha Cripe
Photo credit from here.
There are so many people doing so many neat things in the world, this new series Celebrating Others will do just that.  Celebrate all the good, creative, and lovely.

To kick us off.....

I read two handfuls of blogs on a daily and weekly basis.  Elise's blog is one of my favorites as she combines art, craft, business, parenting, and lifestyle all in one.  This year, she started a new business venture called Make29.  Each month, she makes or designs something that is only sold in lots of 29 or 290 - limited editions, so to speak.

Elise is just two months into Make29 and both months, her items have sold out within a day or within hours.  You can read all about Make29 here.  She even made a neat video to launch it (I don't usually like videos on blogs, but this one is short and fun).

If you like to listen to podcasts, Elise just launched her own podcast series, Elise Gets Crafty.  Now, when I fold the laundry, I listen to her EGC podcasts and the folding zooms by.

Go, Elise!



Leadership Lesson {Advice from Women to Women}

At a recent Women's Leadership Symposium, I garnered advice from the closing panel - all amazing women leaders.  Here's what that powerhouse of a panel had to say:
  • Seek role models.
  • You only lead if others follow.
  • We are given two ears and one mouth - listen twice as much as you speak.
  • Be generous with your time - in the community, towards your passion, & building your skill set.
  • It never matters what happens to you; it is how you respond.
  • Make mistakes and learn from them.
  • Never compromise your values.
  • Be respectful; Tackle an issue, not each other.
  • Make yourself valuable. Take the job no one wants and excel at it.
Which one do you excel at?  Which one could use some improvement?  My personal favorite is tackle an issue, not each other.