In Grenada, a Caribbean island nation of 110,000 people, corporal punishment is widespread. Harsh child-rearing and excessive corporal punishment hinder the development of executive functions associated with academic and life success, as well as overall happiness.
However, corporal punishment was the only discipline method that many parents in Grenada knew. A team including Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor and neuropsychologist Dr. Barbara Landon decided to introduce Conscious Discipline as a positive, brain-building alternative to physical punishment.
Saving Brains Grenada
Landon and her team received a Saving Brains grant from Grand Challenges Canada. Saving Brains is a program that supports innovative ideas to improve early brain and child development globally.
The Saving Brains Grenada program focuses on parent education. It teaches Conscious Discipline skills through both home visits and a mobile resource unit called the Saving Brains Bus.
66 Roving Caregivers (home visitors in a program active on several Caribbean island nations) were trained in Conscious Discipline. They visited homes weekly, teaching Conscious Discipline to parents of children under the age of two. This intervention was delivered over an 18-month period.
Once a month, the Roving Caregivers brought the families they worked with to the Saving Brains Bus. The bus parked at a local gathering place, and the Saving Brains team put up a tent and spread a colorful parachute on the ground for children and their families.
Each bus visit had a theme, and every participant received a job. Lessons focused on fostering positive attachment and building new parenting skills. Parents received books and resources provided by the nonprofit Conscious Discipline Cares.
Initial results demonstrated changed attitudes in parents and caregivers, improved cognition in children, and a high degree of acceptance for the program within the community.
- Parents who learned Conscious Discipline from the Roving Caregivers and the Brain Bus had less supportive attitudes toward corporal punishment than parents not enrolled in the intervention.
- Several parents reported using new strategies more and corporal punishment less.
- In comparison to wait list controls, children enrolled in the Conscious Discipline intervention demonstrated statistically significant improvements in cognition.
- The greater the child’s exposure to Conscious Discipline, the greater the child’s improvement in cognition.
- 100 percent of families who visited the Brain Bus said they benefited from the lessons and would recommend the program to others.
Since the initial success of the program, Landon and her team have received additional funding to expand their efforts. They plan to:
- Provide intense training for four coaches and 37 Roving Caregivers
- Implement ongoing assessment of children in the program
- Work with key groups from neighboring island nations to replicate the Saving Brains program
- Implement Conscious Discipline in 12 schools in Grenada in 2019, and in 12 more schools the following year
- Use funding from UNICEF to assess three, four, and five-year-olds at the 12 intervention schools and 12 waitlist schools to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention
Read our full Saving Brains Success Story to learn more about Saving Brains and the powerful Conscious Discipline-based work underway in Grenada.
The Saving Brains team is also involved in a project to rescue neurodevelopment in Zika-infected babies in Grenada using a Conscious Discipline-based curriculum.