Instead, here’s a bit about the final lesson of the evening – Connection:
The Conscious Discipline program does not rely on the traditional threat-reward system for getting kids to cooperate. Instead, that buy-in is earned through a strong relationship. Nicole explained that connecting with our kids every day is one way we build that relationship – and it’s important to understand that routine is not connection. Spending time together as we go through the normal routine of the day is not enough. A real connection requires special moments that include eye contact, touch and an expression of your feelings for the child. For example, our principal greets each student daily with eye contact, touch (high-five, fist bump, or bear hug) and warm words as they enter the building – not because it’s cute, but to start their day with a positive first connection. If you’ve ever tried the threat, “if you don’t stop that behavior, you might need a visit to the principal’s office,” I'm sure you realized it didn’t work - none of our kids are afraid of their principal! She has built connections with them and has earned their cooperation, rather than scaring them into obedience. And that’s what we’re really after at home too.
Nicole said that at home, rituals for connecting can be anything – family songs, sayings, inside jokes or secret handshakes. She gave us this adapted version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, which some families practiced during the workshop: