Real Talk for Real Teachers with Dr. Becky Bailey and special guest Dr. Barbara Landon

Episode Summary

Corporal punishment is punishment that is intended to cause a person physical pain. Historically, the idea was that pain, degradation, and humiliation could deter an individual from committing similar offenses in the future.

Today, corporal punishment is increasingly viewed as a violation of children’s human rights on the international front. There is also a growing body of evidence supporting the idea that corporal punishment is not only ineffective, but also harmful to children. It’s linked to lower test scores and problems with depression, fear and anger. It also contributes to the dangerous notion that violence is the solution to our problems. Despite this research, society’s faith in corporal punishment persists. Conscious Discipline presents a positive alternative to physical punishment that is based on safety, connection and problem-solving.

Listen as special guest Dr. Barbara Landon discusses bringing Conscious Discipline to the Caribbean island of Grenada to teach parents alternative ways to discipline children, ultimately building a society of effective problem-solvers. Dr. Landon is a neuropsychologist and professor of bioethics at St. George’s School of Medicine in Grenada. She was drawn to Conscious Discipline because it is “completely consistent with everything [she’s] ever learned about the brain.” In this episode, Dr. Landon describes her innovative approach to helping parents in Grenada shift from physically punishing children to teaching them missing skills.

Essential Takeaways

  • There is no data to support the effectiveness of corporal punishment, also known as physical punishment. In fact, data says the opposite: Children who are physically punished have lower test scores and more issues with depression, fear and anger. In cases of severe abuse, children are more prone to dropping out of school.
  • Despite the research, 75% of parents in the United States believe that corporal punishment is effective, and 19 states still allow corporal punishment in schools. Our beliefs about physical punishment—and punishment in general—are deeply engrained and difficult to change.
  • In Grenada, children from families that received Conscious Discipline training had significantly better cognitive scores than their peers. Due to the program’s success, additional funding has been allotted to expand Conscious Discipline programs in Grenada and build a demonstration center for other Caribbean islands and small developing nations.
  • Even for adults who are excited about the concept of Conscious Discipline, it’s vital to first experience safety and connection in order to offer it to children.

Steps For Tomorrow

  • Start by building community and fostering safety and connection for adults who have never experienced it before.
  • Attend or bring a two-day Conscious Discipline workshop to introduce the powers, skills, and structures to the community.
  • Find people who have experienced safety and connection and want to help spread it to others by teaching Conscious Discipline.

Important Links

Product Mentions

Show Outline 

  • :20 What is Conscious Discipline?
  • :44 Grenada and the Saving Brains grant
  • 1:05 What is corporal punishment?
  • 3:05 Data demonstrating that corporal punishment is ineffective and harmful
  • 5:00 Introduction of special guest Dr. Barbara Landon
  • 6:00 How and why Dr. Landon got involved with Conscious Discipline
  • 7:05 Goals of the Saving Brains grant and bringing Conscious Discipline to Grenada
  • 9:15 How Dr. Landon disseminated Conscious Discipline to villages and parents
  • 11:25 Evidence showing the effectiveness of Dr. Landon’s approach
  • 13:20 Success story of mother and son making a connection
  • 16:19 Success story of mother learning an alternative to corporal punishment
  • 18:17 Dr. Landon’s thoughts on the ineffectiveness of corporal punishment
  • 21:06 Responding to common arguments in favor of corporal punishment
  • 22:01 What’s next for Dr. Landon and Conscious Discipline in Grenada?
  • 24:15 Three steps for introducing Conscious Discipline in small or developing nations
  • 27:32 What’s Becky up to?
  • 29:10: What’s Becky celebrating?

Thank You for Listening

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