podcast

Real Talk for Real Teachers with Dr. Becky Bailey and special guest Christian Baschma

Episode Summary

Punishment is defined as the infliction of pain or loss upon a person for a misdeed. Research shows that when children are physically or verbally punished, effects include increased child aggression, increased antisocial behavior, reduced academic achievement, decreased quality of relationships, and mental health problems. Punishment also fails to teach internal control of one’s own behavior (also known as self-regulation). A child who is punished may learn to control or hide a behavior when they are being watched, but they will not learn to regulate their own behavior when no one is watching (and the threat of punishment is removed).

For nearly 25 years, Conscious Discipline has offered alternatives to punishing children for misbehavior. Conscious Discipline is rooted in the belief that connection is the key to cooperation and that children need discipline, not punishment. Effective discipline requires us to recognize behavior as communication and to see misbehavior as a skill deficit rather than a sign of disrespect. In response, we teach the skills and strategies children need to regulate their own behavior for a lifetime—not just when someone is watching.

In this podcast, you’ll hear from Christian Baschma, who has facilitated the implementation of Conscious Discipline at a high school for children with special needs in the Netherlands. When Christian arrived, the school lacked safety and had a culture of fear and violence. Christian transformed the school’s “punishment room” into a “connection room.” He replaced the system of punishment and rewards with a Conscious Discipline-inspired system based on connection, safety and empathy. Listen in to learn more about how Christian led this shift—and how school culture was transformed.

Essential Takeaways

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to use discipline strategies (to teach skills) instead of punishment. Research shows that punishment has a negative impact on mental health, academic achievement, and relationships.
  • Punishment does not teach internal control of one’s own behavior (self-regulation), and our most vulnerable children are punished at disproportionately high rates.
  • In the connection room at Christian’s school, students choose which area of the room to sit in based on their brain state. These areas are color-coded: red for the survival state, blue for the emotional state, and green for the executive state.
  • Students may decide to go to the connection room themselves, or a teacher may suggest it.
  • The goal is to help children be successful as opposed to punishing them for the skills they lack.
  • When Christian first implemented Conscious Discipline, most children arrived in the survival state. Today, after making connections and learning self-regulatory strategies, most come to the room in the emotional state. The school feels safer, and children are more willing to ask for help.

Important Links

Product Mentions

Show Outline

  • :21 What is Conscious Discipline?
  • :56 Introduction of topic
  • 1:18 Definition of punishment and downsides to punishment
  • 3:32 Introduction of guest Christian Baschma
  • 4:15 Christian’s role at the school and introduction to Conscious Discipline
  • 5:56 How Christian began the process of shifting from punishment to discipline
  • 7:19 From “punishment room” to “connection room”
  • 10:05 Responding to initial resistance from colleagues
  • 12:00 How Christian’s school has changed
  • 16:42 What’s Becky up to?
  • 16:56 What’s Becky celebrating?

Thank You for Listening

There are many ways you could have spent this time today, but you chose to spend it with me and I am grateful. If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it with others via your favorite social media platforms.

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On behalf of our Conscious Discipline family, we wish you well.