POSITIVE DISCIPLINE SERIES
An Educational Series for Parents, Caregivers, and To-Be Parents of School-Aged Children and Teens
6 online sessions: 1 per week
$250 per person or parenting unit (that's about $42/session)
The book Positive Discipline is required for this series. You can buy the book or find a copy to borrow.
This service is available to you 1-on-1, to you + your partner if you have one, to you + your nanny if you have one, or to you + partner(s) + nanny(ies). Please send me a message to let me know who you are so I can adapt the role play exercises to the number of participants.
Can be set up as a workshop for your parenting group!
During this challenging time, when many parents are working from home and children are doing schoolwork from home, I want to provide you with helpful resources.
Is Positive Discipline body positive?
The Positive Discipline Association doesn’t define or address body positivity. As a HAES-aligned nanny, I chose to get certified to teach Positive Discipline to parents because PD materials include body positive ideals, such as:
Integration of mind and body. Positive Discipline encourages physical movement as a tool for moving stress through the body, specifically in the chapters about problem solving skills, and fortunately not as the only option or a "have to" command -- child's body, child's choice. I believe the locus on movement should be on how it makes us feel, so I find this practice encouraging!
Personal autonomy. One of the main draws of Positive Discipline, for me, is that it encourages child participation in household decision making and invites parents and caregivers to look deeply at the motivations behind their child's behavior. It's not about forcing anyone to do something they don't want to do.
Respectful mealtimes. There isn’t a lot of content about child feeding in Positive Discipline literature. However, the main lesson PD teaches about mealtime success is to treat your child the way you would treat a dinner guest. I believe this to be a good foundation to build upon. As a PD facilitator with a special interest in preventing eating disorders and supporting parents to raise children to have a loving relationship with food and body, I find the "treat them like a dinner guest" idea serves as a non-offensive prompt to invite further anti-diet child feeding discussions.
Avoids stigmatizing language. There are no mentions of weight or the “o” words (ob*sity, ov*rwe*ght) in the Positive Discipline books or their website content. I appreciate that PD treats children with respect regardless of body size to the extent that body size is never mentioned. There's no reason it should be! (Except when necessary to call out oppression.)
No one can define health for anyone else. Seriously, that autonomy piece, it's huge. When I first discovered PD, I was working with a child that was often disinterested in the outings I planned. My bias was that it was "better" for them to get out and do things. I saw the child's desire to stay home to play video games as something to set a boundary around in their best interest.
Cue power struggles.
Adults will routinely need to set boundaries in a child's best interest, but in this case, I was missing a lot about "best interest": a need for agency over their own life, a need for recharge time from school and hardships, social connection with friends who played the game, a need to be seen and understood by me, the list goes on and on.
I got parent permission to loosen up and stop making the child come out with me and the other children. (This was an older child, of course, and my outings were short and local.) Immediately there was a shift in our relationship. They knew I was on their side, and it became easier to plan days that supported all of our needs.
I believe Positive Discipline adds a lot of great tools to the Body Positive Parent's toolbox.
Areas for caution:
I have come across some harmful language moralizing foods in PD workshops I've attended and in the written materials, usually as an analogy for something not related to food, and will not be repeating them in my parent coaching work.
Other facilitators are free to interpret Positive Discipline materials through a diet culture lens. It's a platform that's intentionally designed to support diverse family systems, and that's a good thing. Find a coach or workshop facilitator that shares your values.
Please contact me if I've missed anything in regards to stigmatizing language in Positive Discipline materials, or anything that ought to be addressed here or in my blog.
What is Positive Discipline?
Download the official Positive Discipline PDF, What is Positive Discipline?