Category Archive:
Constructive discipline

Rethinking Homework

possessive instinct

Parents, imagine no homework to supervise and therefore no forgotten assignments. Teachers, consider having no homework to assign, grade, record and monitor. Alfie Kohn in his book, The Homework Myth, advocates abolishing homework based on a survey of educational research that shows there is no connection between homework and academic success. For the past twenty […]


Writing A Thank-You Note

teaching gratitude

During a visit with a group of ladies in their late seventies, I discovered that they each had notes tucked away, written by their children and grandchildren. Not every note from every child, but ”treasures” from letters, notes and cards received over the years. I’m imagining that a piece of paper that someone’s held onto […]


Who Owns the Problem?

problem

Five-year-old Samantha leaves her lunchbox at home at least once a week. Her mother, Lori, makes a special trip to school to bring Samantha’s lunch–a thirty-minute disruption to Lori’s day. Who owns the problem of getting Samantha’s lunch to school? Samantha or her mother? Some parents feel that they own all their children’s problems. When […]


The Compliment Game

compliment game

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Proverbs 25:11 Our daughter, Dana, came home from her freshman year of college and suggested that we play the Dana Game. ”I’ve taught all my friends at school how to play it.” ”How do we play?” I asked. ”We’ll go around in […]


Urgent But Not Important

put first things first

Time management is not about managing our time. Time management is about managing ourselves. We spend our time on activities that are important or not important, urgent or not. In our world of 24/7 e-mail, computers, text messaging, cell phones and satellite television, urgent and important are easily confused. For effective self-management we want to […]


Modeling Behavior

montessori newsletter

The telephone rang as we sat down for dinner. I excused myself to answer the call. “Good evening. Is Mrs. Schmidt in, please?” I recognized the voice immediately. It was a telemarketer from a local non-profit organization where I had ordered five-year guaranteed light bulbs. For months the same two ladies had informed me of […]


An Attitude of Gratitude

attitude of gratitude

“What do you see?” our communications professor asked as he held up a black and white ink drawing. “A beautiful Gibson-style girl with a feather in her hat.” “No, it’s an old hag with a witch’s nose and a scarf tied over her head.” As we discussed this picture, most of the class could shift […]


Find Three Things That Went Well

find three things that went well

“If I didn’t have bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck at all.” There are times in all of our lives that we can feel this way. Headed down a bumpy stretch of road, it can seem as if the trip is never going to end. A series of unfortunate or stressful events can create […]


Alternatives To Punishment

alternatives to punishment

Six-year old Bobby walks into the kitchen from playing soccer. Bobby’s dad, Tom, had asked Bobby to take off his muddy shoes before entering the house. Red Georgia mud dotted the new hallway and den carpet. When Tom sees the footprints, he is furious about the mess and that Bobby had disobeyed him. ”Bobby,” Tom […]


Five Whys Can Help

”For whatever reasons my eight-year-old, Eric, is critical of everything his younger siblings do. Eric tells his sister that her coloring stinks. He tells his brother that his handwriting is messy. Last night Eric burst into tears because the peas touched his mashed potatoes. Nothing seems to make him happy right now,” Michael told me. […]