Real Talk for Real Teachers with Dr. Becky Bailey and special guest Amy Niemeier

Episode Summary

Have you noticed that the same children repeatedly receive the same consequences, often with no significant change in behavior? This is because most people have confused consequences with punishment. In Conscious Discipline, we differentiate consequences from punishment in very significant ways.

The first six skills of Conscious Discipline build an essential foundation that allows the seventh skill, consequences, to be effective. With this foundation in place, consequences work, and lasting behavior change is possible. Without this foundation, our response to behavior will continue to be ineffective.

In this episode, Becky Bailey and guest Amy Niemeier discuss the transformational power of Conscious Discipline consequences. Amy has been in education for 18 years and is in her seventh year as the principal of Slate Run Elementary School. She is also a Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor. Under Amy’s leadership, Conscious Discipline implementation at Slate Run has resulted in a tremendous culture shift and a 70% decrease in office referrals. Listen as Amy discusses her success with Conscious Discipline consequences, why they’re effective, and how you can achieve similar results.

Essential Takeaways

  • Children (and adults) are only able to learn from their behavior when they can reflect on and take ownership of it.
  • Consequences are everywhere in every moment. Every thought, feeling, and action has a consequence, but we must be conscious of them to learn from them. This is what Conscious Discipline aims to accomplish.
  • The true consequence of an action is how we feel about it, not the outcome itself. This is why we work with children on noticing and identifying their emotions.
  • Consequences motivate; they don’t teach. Disconnected children don’t care, so consequences cannot effectively motivate them. We must work on building connection and relationships first.
  • The School Family culture brings marginalized children from “I don’t care” to “I do care, and I’m cared for,” making them more likely to experience the consequences of their actions in a way that inspires behavioral change.
  • There are three types of consequences: natural, logical, and problem-solving.
  • The intent of punishment is for children to feel bad, guilty, or shameful. On the other hand, consequences ask children to reflect on their behavior and its outcome, feel the feelings associated with it, and use this as motivation to change their behavior.

Steps For Tomorrow

  • Start with the School Family. Develop safety and connection, which promotes caring and willingness.
  • Work on your own composure. This allows you to stay in or shift to the executive state, where you can see behaviors as a call for help and mistakes as opportunities to learn. Remember that children, too, must be in the executive state to reflect on their actions and learn a better way.
  • Teach children the skills they’re missing. Once children are safe, connected, composed, and in possession of crucial skills, you can facilitate effective consequences.

Important Links

Product Mentions

Show Outline 

  • :20 What is Conscious Discipline?
  • 3:07 Where are the consequences in Conscious Discipline?
  • 3:34 Addressing common myths about consequences
  • 5:39 Three types of consequences
  • 7:21 Difference between consequences and punishment
  • 7:50 Introduction of guest Amy Niemeier
  • 9:11 Five-year results of Conscious Discipline implementation at Amy’s school
  • 14:21 Amy’s understanding of consequences vs. punishment
  • 15:41 Success story: 70% decrease in office referrals
  • 16:12 How to help staff shift from punishing to teaching skills
  • 17:53 Why punishments don’t work with disconnected kids
  • 18:58 Effectiveness of natural consequences
  • 20:33 Effectiveness of logical consequences
  • 21:12 Practicing consequences in personal life
  • 22:51 Amy’s personal success story
  • 26:44 Impact of Conscious Discipline on behavior support plan at Amy’s school
  • 28:48 Why consequences are the seventh Conscious Discipline skill
  • 29:44 Three steps for making consequences effective
  • 33:25 What’s Becky celebrating?
  • 33:48 What’s Becky up to?

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.

Also, would you consider taking 60-seconds to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes? Your feedback is extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show and I love to hear your feedback! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live!

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