Discipline and the Strong-Willed Child

A parent recently contacted me asking for advice. She said that her first grade daughter got in trouble at school (on the very first day of class) because the child is very strong-willed and refused to obey her teacher. Since the teacher was not using the Raise Responsibility System, she naturally resorted to traditional and punitive discipline techniques, which only resulted in the child declaring that she hated school and her teacher. This was not a good start to the school year for sure!

Here’s what I told the parent:

“Explain to the teacher that your daughter is extremely independent and that the teacher will have more success—and reduce stress on everyone’s part—if the teacher aims at EMPOWERING your daughter, instead of overpowering her in attempts to get her to obey.

“Encourage the teacher to talk in positive terms and to use a phrase such as, ‘I know you can do this because I have seen how capable you are.’

“If you daughter is empowered rather than overpowered, obedience will come as a natural by-product.”

It’s my hope that all teachers get the opportunity to read Discipline Without Stress, as it greatly helps reduce discipline issues in the classroom and makes teaching so much more enjoyable!