January 18, 2017
POSITIVE DISCIPLINE…POTENTIALLY GOOD
We all want our children to avoid risky behaviors, especially as they enter the scary teen
years. Alcohol use in our town begins as early as 11. Heroin and other opiate use has
reached epidemic proportions all over the U.S. Telling children to “just say no” has not
worked. The things that are learned through Positive Discipline have good potential for
preventing some of these risky behaviors.
Research has shown that the more developmental assets teens feel they have, the less
likely they are to engage in ATOD (alcohol use, binge drinking, drinking and driving,
cigarette use, smokeless tobacco use, marijuana, and other illicit drugs) behaviors. The
developmental assets include eight categories: support, empowerment, boundaries and
expectations, constructive use of time, commitment to learning, positive values, social
competencies, and positive identity.*
Positive Discipline helps adults in all of these categories. Here are some examples of tools
and strategies in each of the asset categories.
• Support – Family meetings are a great example of support, where everyone has a voice,
and the family works together to solve problems.
• Empowerment – Believing that mistakes are opportunities to learn is empowering.
Sharing your own mistakes and what you learned from them is modeling this, helping
children be more comfortable to share their mistakes.
• Boundaries and expectations – Being kind and firm at the same time – “I know that you
are having fun playing video games, and it is time to set the table” – is a respectful way to
have boundaries. Another way is to have a discussion and reach an agreement upfront,
and then following through.
• Constructive use of time – Helping children learn to develop routines encourages
organization, and empowers them to manage their time.
• Commitment to learning – Taking a parenting class demonstrates your