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THAT DAY we became better parents

Do you wish there was a way to raise well-behaved children without being too strict or overly indulgent? You wouldn't be the only one. We called in a world renowned guru who had a few of the answers to the questions many parents have with raising their children.

Last week, Dr. Jane Nelsen, author of the globally successful parenting book Positive Discipline, visited SAS for a series of workshops with teachers and parents. Positive Discipline is focused on improving parenting skills using day-to-day tools and examples. It's applicable to any child—from a 3-year-old toddler to a rebellious teenager. Her methods, based on historical research and her own experiences as a mother of seven, have been wildly popular and successful for well over three decades. Her techniques can be easily employed at home and in the classroom.

At the Excellence in Education Speaker Series event, made possible by your donations to Our Edge for Excellence, Dr. Nelsen gave parents some unique insights in to her own life.

It's always nice to know that even educational and parenting experts aren't perfect! Luckily for Dr. Nelsen, her children were able to remind her about the best way to resolve a conflict through the methods she had been raising them with.

One of the main pillars of Positive Discipline is to focus on collaborative solutions. Dr. Nelsen's approach is very practical; for example, whenever a problem arises she asks the parent to not criticize the child, but help them to recognize the problem and for the child and parent to come up with a solution for the problem together.

One of the other tips Dr. Nelsen shared was to conduct regular family meetings. In fact, in her book Positive Discipline Parenting Tools, she calls it one of her favorite tools. The format for a family meeting she proposes is:

1. Compliments and appreciations

2. Evaluation of past solutions

3. Agenda items to be resolved

4. Calendar (events, meal planning)

5. Fun activities and dessert

"SAS supports Jane Nelsen and Positive Discipline, because the tools and strategies that Dr. Nelsen encourages parents to use, such as family meetings, are in direct alignment with the SAS mission and core values. When parents and schools are speaking the same language, kids thrive," said Mr. Michael Allen, Elementary School Principal at our Puxi campus. Julia Carey, a 2nd grade teacher, agreed with Mr. Allen and went on to say that these tools and strategies are very helpful to parents and teachers who are trying to better understand a child's behavior, build relationships with them, and help create long-term solutions rather than short-term fixes.

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