More About Conscious Discipline

Method + Research

Learn more about the four essential components that form the foundation of Conscious Discipline and the research that supports our powers, structures and strategies.

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About our Company

Discover how Conscious Discipline began in 1996 as the “brain-child” of Dr. Becky Bailey and Kate O’Neil. Gain an insightful and exciting view of our remarkable growth and transformational results.

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About Dr. Becky Bailey

Learn more about Dr. Becky Bailey, a remarkable educator, author and speaker, and the creator of Conscious Discipline. Browse her experience, education, publications and awards.

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Free Resources

Explore our collection of free podcasts, webinars, videos, articles, room-by-room implementation tips for school and home, and so much more.

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Press Releases

Conscious Discipline and Reflection Sciences Partner to Assess and Improve Executive Function in Children

SEPTEMBER 2019 – Conscious Discipline, a leader in social-emotional learning and classroom management best practices, has partnered with Reflection Sciences in an effort to better measure and improve executive function in children. Reflection Sciences was founded by Phil Zelazo, Ph.D., and Stephanie Carlson, Ph.D., researchers at the University of Minnesota and creators of the Minnesota Executive Function Scale (MEFS). The MEFS App™ is a direct digital tablet assessment and the most accurate measurement of executive function available today.

Media Coverage

Making a smoother transition into school life

The News-Review – At Winchester Elementary School, teacher Ann Carey noticed that early elementary school students often struggle to adjust to school life. The school is piloting a transition classroom where children can learn skills that will help smooth the transition. In the Skill Building Center, K-1 children in need of support learn skills like self-regulation and self-management, while their parents receive training in Conscious Discipline. At Parent Information nights, children and parents complete Conscious Discipline lessons and activities together. After the first year of the program, discipline referrals for K-1 students dropped by over 200.

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Heights Schools’ Preschool Program Given 5-Stars By State

Patch – The Noble Elementary School preschool program in Cleveland Heights, Ohio has received a five-star rating from the state. The Ohio Department of Education’s Step Up to Quality division uses star-tiers to recognize programs that meet quality standards “over and above basic licensing requirements,” with a five-star rating being the highest possible designation. Early Childhood Specialist Diane Foran said, “Noble Preschool’s many highlights include its implementation of Conscious Discipline and high-quality classroom space, which was prepared intentionally to meet students’ individual needs.”

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EdSurge Langley

A New Approach to Discipline Slashed Suspension Rates and Transformed This DC School

EdSurge – EdSurge reporter Emily Tate takes an in-depth look at Langley Elementary School’s astonishing transformation with Conscious Discipline. The Title I school in Northeast D.C. once felt unsafe and out of control. When Principal Vanessa Drumm and Dean of Students Monique Robinson came aboard, they decided to implement Conscious Discipline. After just one year, Tate writes, “The changes were so noticeable that several parents actually called the school and asked if everything was OK—they hadn’t gotten any calls about misbehavior lately and wanted to make sure the school still had their phone numbers.” Now three years into implementation, Langley is nearly unrecognizable. Suspension rates have dropped steeply, and attendance, student satisfaction and test scores continue rising.

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Social emotional learning taught at Arkansas school

Social emotional learning taught at Arkansas school

KCAU 9 – Afton Schleiff, an instructional facilitator and former English teacher at Southwest Junior High School, is pioneering Conscious Discipline in her district. Schleiff says that the practice helps teachers stay calm enough to see misbehavior as a signal to teach. Assistant Principal Karen Johnson has also seen the impact on students, who learn about Conscious Discipline in their advisory periods. “When they come to me, they’re already trying to use these tools and strategies. They’ll say, ‘Can I just take a minute to breathe?’ and then we start talking.” After seeing Conscious Discipline make a difference at SJHS, other schools in the district have expressed interest in expanding the program.

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TCCHS ECE I students gain training in Conscious Discipline

TCCHS ECE I students gain training in Conscious Discipline

THOMASVILLE-TIMES ENTERPRISE – Thomas County Central High School students interested in educating future generations recently learned about Conscious Discipline. Early Childhood Education I students participated in a training session with Hand-in-Hand Primary School counselor Whitney Robertson. Robertson says that Hand-in-Hand is implementing Conscious Discipline in all classrooms. She connected with the program on a personal level after attending a training several years ago. Robertson says, “I’m deeply passionate about sharing Conscious Discipline with others because my children and I are proof that it works.” 14-year-old ECE student Ashley Morris said she learned, “You have to make connections with students so they will want to be in your classroom and learn from you.”

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Conscious Discipline bringing new approach to learning in the classroom

Conscious Discipline bringing new approach to learning in the classroom

WSPD LOCAL 6 – In McCracken County, Kentucky, the School Board is prioritizing the implementation of Conscious Discipline. Superintendent Steve Carter says, “We can get students to recognize at an early age that emotions are OK.” Conscious Discipline, says Carter, will help students develop self-discipline and become better learners. A local news station visited kindergarten classes at Reidland Elementary School to see Conscious Discipline in action. Classes start with the Greeting Ritual, and students learn to manage their emotions and resolve conflicts with peers. Principal Anne Cox says, “If students don’t feel safe, if they don’t feel loved, then they are not going to listen to any instruction that we can give them.”

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Conscious Discipline and The Playing Field Featured on PBS Kids Get Up and Go! Day

Conscious Discipline and The Playing Field Featured on PBS Kids Get Up and Go! Day

PBS WISCONSIN PUBLIC TELEVISION – The Playing Field and their implementation of Conscious Discipline were featured during PBS Kid’s annual Get Up and Go! Day in Madison, Wisconsin. The Playing Field is an early learning program that brings together children from different communities and backgrounds to create a School Family where every child’s needs are met. As part of this effort, the school, led by Certified Instructor Abbi Kruse, implements Conscious Discipline. In two Get Up and Go! segments, Kruse and Program Director Michelle Henner explain how they use Conscious Discipline to manage big emotions and help all children feel safe and loved. Jump to minutes 43:20-45:40 and 1:32:00-1:37:33 to watch the segments!

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Edmond Teachers Learn to Teach Life Skills

Edmond Teachers Learn to Teach Life Skills

THE EDMOND SUN – More than 160 Edmond, Oklahoma teachers spent a week of their summer vacations at a Conscious Discipline Summer Institute with Master Instructor Amy Speidel, their training funded by an anonymous donor. Teachers learned to meet the emotional needs of children and equip them with vital life skills. Edmond started using Conscious Discipline in pre-kindergarten and elementary programs seven years ago. “We’ve seen it work,” said associate superintendent Angela Mills Grunewald. “We’ve seen the difference it makes when the teacher is fully invested and does it well. Not only does their classroom perform as a family and a community, but those kids have skills and strategies coming out of the classroom.”

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How Social Emotional Learning Transformed Our School

SMARTBRIEF – Monique Robinson, Dean of Students at Langley Elementary School in Washington, D.C. reflects on how Conscious Discipline transformed the culture of her school. Historically, Langley struggled with high suspension rates, under-enrollment, and unimpressive student satisfaction. Seeking a change, the school turned to SEL. Leaders selected Conscious Discipline for its integration of SEL, discipline, and school climate and for its unique “adult first, child second” approach. Gradually, teachers established a nurturing and connected School Family at Langley. Today, Langley is at 110% enrollment. Suspensions have dropped from 65% to 23%, and the student satisfaction rate has skyrocketed from 70% to 94%. For other schools and districts interested in SEL, Robinson’s advice is simple: “Do it.”

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Great Dads Give Their Children Emotional Security

Great Dads Give Their Children Emotional Security

EO PARENT MAGAZINE – Rob Kleng, a dad and the director of Eastern Oregon University Head Start, works long hours and is often away from home. He wants the time he spends with his children to be of the highest quality. Kleng uses Conscious Discipline, including I Love You Rituals and the four components of connection (eye contact, touch, presence and playfulness) to bond with his kids. Kleng has also learned that providing security to his children is about more than food, shelter and safety from physical harm. It also means fostering emotional security. He said, “The foundations of connection provided by Conscious Discipline create strong connections, which produce security and lead to willingness.”

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Building Emotional Literacy in Preschoolers

Building Emotional Literacy in Preschoolers

EDUTOPIA – At Educare New Orleans, teachers use Conscious Discipline to give preschool children the language to communicate their emotions and the tools to regulate them. Children learn to resolve conflicts, express their needs, and manage their emotions enough to focus and learn. An Edutopia video of the center shows Conscious Discipline in action: daily commitments, Big Voice, language of safety, breathing icons, practice with conflict resolution, and more. As a result, children flourish academically. Since 2013, 95% of Educare students have met or exceeded kindergarten readiness standards, both in SEL development and academically. Lead teacher Antonia Celius explained that with Conscious Discipline, “You don’t have the disruption. You just teach.”

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Madison child care center seeks to level the field for diverse group of youngsters

Madison Child Care Center Seeks to Level the Field for Diverse Group of Youngsters

WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL – The Playing Field, a nonprofit early learning and childcare center in Madison, Wisconsin, serves an economically diverse population. Children experiencing homelessness or moving through the foster care system play and learn alongside children from more affluent families. Founder, executive director, and Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor Abbi Kruse uses Conscious Discipline to provide trauma-informed care and prioritize safety, connection, and skills like self-regulation. This approach is intended to level the playing field so children from all backgrounds can relax enough to learn and thrive. Kruse said, “We have got to do better for all of our kids, but especially low-income families.”

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Healing generations with connection and support

Healing Generations with Connection and Support

EO PARENT MAGAZINE – Traditionally within tribal communities, extensive kinship networks worked together to provide children with a stable structure to nurture, connect, serve as role models and instill important teachings. Trauma has since disrupted the thriving environment that allowed tribal children and families to connect. To revitalize the traditional tribal aspects of parenting, the Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center’s Native Connections program utilizes a cultural adaptation of the Conscious Discipline model. The program is helping to create healthy connections, give adults the skills to be role models for children, establish nurturing relationships, and support families in openly discussing emotions.

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Forbes Priscill Chan

Priscilla Chan Hired Superstars To Reinvent Primary Education

FORBES – In East Palo Alto, The Primary School is taking an innovative and holistic approach to education. Available to families tuition-free, the school was founded by Priscilla Chan and is funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. It integrates education, health care, and family support services to improve outcomes for underserved children and their families. Although the school begins at age three, The Primary School works with children and families before they even enroll. Onsite, there is a pediatrician and nurse. And to foster trauma-informed, social emotional learning, The Primary School implements Conscious Discipline. Future locations are planned to serve additional low-income communities.

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New-NIH-Grant-Puts-Focus-on-Zika-Virus'-Effect-on-Child-Neurodevelopment

New NIH Grant Puts Focus on Zika Virus’ Effect on Child Neurodevelopment

ST. GEORGE’S UNIVERSITY – The Saving Brains Grenada program in Grenada, which is funded by Grand Challenges Canada, enables community workers to interact with caregivers and their children to implement Conscious Discipline-based brain smart methods that foster neurodevelopment in young children. These methods focus on attachment, safety, self-regulation, and early childhood stimulation. With a grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH), this program is now being adapted for a new purpose: rescuing neurodevelopmental outcomes in toddlers exposed to the Zika virus. You can learn more about the NIH grant and Zika program here.

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Health Check Kids

Health Check Kids: Program helps children problem solve, connect with others

WJAR – Conscious Discipline is being implemented in three Southern New England school districts, with some educators calling the program “the soul of teaching” and labeling the results “life-changing.” The program was piloted through the Autism Project of Rhode Island. Teachers say that Conscious Discipline gives them the tools to calm themselves and manage any situation, and it equips children with problem-solving and conflict resolution skills that set them up for success. Lisa Vura-Weis, secretary of the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services, says, “[Kids] need much more than just the academics to be a strong member of society, to be resilient, to be able to deal with adversity.”

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Leading Lessons

Conscious Discipline Featured in Principal Magazine’s List of Top 25 SEL Programs

PRINCIPAL MAGAZINE – Conscious Discipline was featured in Leading Lessons, a Principal magazine guide to social and emotional learning. Ranked among the top 25 leading social and emotional learning and character education programs, Conscious Discipline was recognized for its focus on emotional processes and integration with classroom management. Principal is a National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) publication. The award-winning magazine is an indispensable resource for K-8 principals.

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Yale Child Study Center

Dr. Bailey Leads Conscious Discipline Training at Yale Child Study Center

VIA – In partnership with the Yale-China Program on Child Development, Dr. Becky Bailey and Master Instructor Kim Jackson conducted a Conscious Discipline training at Yale Child Study Center. A delegation from China learned about the Conscious Discipline brain state model and how to recognize and respond to the executive state, emotional state, and survival state.  Dr. Bailey shared the essential powers and classroom structures of the Conscious Discipline methodology, including The Safe Place Self-Regulation Center, School Family Job Boards and rituals such as greetings and wish wells.

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eSchool News - Langley

How SEL inspired a transformation in my school

eSCHOOL NEWS – Vanessa Drumm-Canepa, principal of Langley Elementary School, tells the inspirational story of how Conscious Discipline inspired a schoolwide culture shift. When Drumm-Canepa became principal three years ago, Langley was struggling with dropping student enrollment, a rise in suspensions, and a poor student satisfaction rate. Seeing that Langley needed a change, Drumm-Canepa implemented Conscious Discipline. The results? School culture shifted to a more nurturing, safe, and cooperative environment, with both students and teachers benefitting from new skills. Student satisfaction and enrollment skyrocketed, and the suspension rate dropped from 65 percent to 23 percent.

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Preschool handshake ritual is everything right in the world

Preschool handshake ritual is everything right in the world

ABC NEWS – At Greensboro Elementary School in Greensboro, Alabama, 54 preschoolers start the day with a hug, handshake, fist bump, or smile. Each child has a job, and one of these jobs is being the class greeter. The greeter wears an apron featuring the four greeting choices. This ritual is part of the school’s Conscious Discipline initiative. Preschool teacher Sara Collins told Good Morning America, “[The students] are more loving and kind to each other when they start the day off with that kind of connection. Instead of throwing backpacks around, they make eye contact with each other.” With Conscious Discipline, Collins explained, students build valuable skills and feel safe and loved at school.

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Washington schools maximize student learning with social emotional focus

Washington schools maximize student learning with social emotional focus

TDN.com – Just three years ago, Kessler Elementary School in Longview, Washington was known for both academic and behavioral struggles. Teacher turnover was high, with roughly half of teachers leaving at the end of each year. School leaders understood that a change was needed. With the help of Conscious Discipline, Kessler’s referrals have been cut in half, and test scores are on the rise. Library Specialist Brenda Winters says, “I feel like we are teaching the whole child now. We aren’t just teaching the academics; we’re teaching a life skill.”

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Langley Elementary: Vanessa Drumm Canepa

Good things are happening at Langley Elementary

WASHINGTON POST – At Langley Elementary in Washington, D.C., Principal Vanessa Drumm-Canepa personally greets all 291 students at the front door. Students choose to be greeted with a fist bump, high five, bear hug or butterfly. Drumm-Canepa introduced Conscious Discipline at Langley, a Title I school, when she became principal in 2015. Each classroom has a Safe Place, and Drumm-Canepa says, “I’m looking for teachers who care about the whole child, who care about their emotional development just as much as the academic piece.” Referrals are down 50 percent since 2015, and learning comes more easily in this comfortable, safe and connected environment.

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InFluential Magazine

People You Should Know: Dr. Becky Bailey

INFLUENTIAL MAGAZINE – Dr. Becky Bailey was selected as a “Person You Should Know” for the Fall Preview edition of InFluential Magazine. The issue honors thought leaders in a variety of areas, including psychology, technology and education. Dr. Bailey was selected for her passion and commitment to creating positive, brain-smart environments for children, families and schools.

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Douglas County

Douglas County teachers learn Conscious Discipline program at seminar

THE NEWS-REVIEW – After several groups of Douglas County teachers attended a Conscious Discipline Summer Institute (CD1), the district was impressed and inspired by what they learned. See how district leaders and educators rallied to bring CD1 to the small town of Roseburg, Oregon, where about 200 Douglas County teachers immersed themselves in Conscious Discipline.

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Madison Child Care Center

Madison child care center uses an unconventional way of teaching that teachers say works

WMTV – Take a peek inside a Madison, WI school that brings children from diverse backgrounds together to receive the best academic and social-emotional education possible. “If you want children who can work together and solve problems, then we need to start actually having children work together and solve problems… with Conscious Discipline.”

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Separation Anxiety

A Simple Solution to End Separation Anxiety

MAMA IN THE NOW – A parenting class with Conscious Discipline Master Instructor Ginny Luther helped one Mom understand her son’s separation anxiety, approach it differently and provide the predictability he needed to manage it. See the practical tool she and her son’s preschool used to encourage his safety and independence while at school.

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Kennedy Center Award play-circle

Conscious Discipline Instructor Wins Prestigious Kennedy Center Award

CBS EVENING NEWS – Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor, Donna Porter from Picayune, MS, won the National 2012 Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award. Only 10 teachers were chosen from around the country for this prestigious honor. Watch the interview.

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Web MD

WebMD: Why Kids Whine and How To Stop Them

WEBMD – Educator and developmental psychologist Dr. Becky Bailey offers insights and strategies for whining on WebMD. When whining occurs, take a deep breath and remember the goal behind the behavior: Whining isn’t just to irritate you: it’s actually a call for help. Respond with “I” statements and address the core issues behind the whining.

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Kindness counts

Scholastic Parent & Child: Kindness Counts

SCHOLASTIC – Recent research shows that kindness counts in more ways than the obvious growth of morality. We are not meant to be completely independent nor dependent, but to give and receive in mutual interdependence. Read more in a comprehensive Scholastic article based on Conscious Discipline.

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Web MD

Gentle Discipline Tips

WEBMD – Dr. Becky Bailey, Martha Heineman Pieper, and Jane Nelsen are leaders in the positive discipline movement. Together, they share eight quick, gentle and easy tips to help with parenting young children through the challenging toddler years.

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Teachers Learn

Teachers Learn Why Students Do What They Do

REGION 8 (ABC) – Teachers at Greene County Tech Preschool are learning why kids do the things they do. Teachers are now applying the Conscious Discipline Program into their classrooms with about 240 children.

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Conscious Discipline Creator

Creator of Conscious Discipline Pays First Visit to South Mississippi School

WLOX – The founder of a popular program that’s being used in classrooms across the country made her first visit to a South Mississippi school Friday. Dr. Becky Bailey is the creator of Conscious Discipline. She is also an award-winning author and early childhood education expert who just wants to turn schools into a safe, positive environment for children.

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Alternatives in Discipline

Alternatives in Discipline

PARENT MAP – Dr. Becky Bailey, Alfie Kohn and other leaders in childhood behavior weigh in on effective new approaches to common discipline practices like punishment, spanking and time out.

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Conscious Discipline for Teens

Your Teen: Interview with Dr. Becky Bailey

YOUR TEEN: FOR PARENTS – It’s normal to struggle with disciplining a teenager. Conscious Discipline is based on the idea that parents can develop discipline within their teenagers rather than impose discipline on them. Intrigued? We certainly were.

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