Workshop Descriptions

October 15: Creating a Foundation: Core principles of Positive Discipline and this Approach to Parenting 

This first group will create a foundation for the entire workshop series. It will include an overview of the

core principles of Positive Discipline. In addition, we will explore other models for understanding and

responding to human behavior (especially children’s behavior) and discuss some information about the

brain. The essence of this workshop series is an invitation to better understanding yourself, your child and

your relationship. How do we do this? How do we recognize what is going on underneath the surface of a

child? When they’re kicking and screaming, what else might they be communicating? How can we

respond? How do we stay connected to ourselves in both calm and challenging times? How do we create

environments where each of us feel a sense of belonging and significance? In this first workshop we will

open into these questions and establish a foundation upon which the following workshops will build.

October 22 & October 29: Reflective Communication and Emotion Coaching

Highly recommended but not required that you register for both of these workshops and not just one.

Research shows that how a parent responds to a child’s emotions effects the strength of their bond and is a

significant indicator of the child’s ability to handle stress and understand and regulate their own emotions.

If you can only attend two workshops in this series, these are the two I feel are the most valuable and

essential. What is emotional intelligence/emotional competency? How do we help our children develop

this? Why is it important? Emotion Coaching is helping children to understand, regulate and express their

emotions in appropriate ways. Reflective Communication is responding to children in ways that validate

their experiences and help them to better understand and cope with life. These 2 workshops will include

some how-to steps and ample opportunities to practice these skills.

November 5: Boundaries, Limits and Choices

In order to register for this workshop, you must have attended one of the workshops on Oct. 22 or Oct. 29.

Part of being a child is discovering boundaries in life, experimenting with what happens if I do this? What

happens if I don’t? Children need adults to set boundaries. This helps the children discover where the limits

are and teaches them positive ways for responding. Setting limits is often an important step in a problem

solving process. Parents who set limits and provide boundaries are like the strong banks of a stream. The

banks must be strong because without them the stream becomes a flood or a swamp. And with them, the

water can rush freely with zest and force. This workshop will explore respectful ways to create boundaries,

set limits and offer choices. 

November 19: Inviting Cooperation: Positive Time-out, Routines, Agreements

In order to register for this workshop, you must have attended one of the workshops on Oct. 22 or Oct. 29.

As Jane Nelsen of Positive Discipline says, “Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make

children do better, first we have to make them feel worse? Children do better when they feel better.” This

group focuses on inviting cooperation without leaving children with the residue of bad feelings. We will

discuss the purpose of and process for creating a positive time out space in your home. We’ll walk through

step by step the process for making an agreement with your child, a mutually respectful problem solving

solution. We will also explore the importance of routines in helping a family to take care of itself and

practice a process for creating family routines.

December 3: Family Meetings & Self-Care

As will be mentioned in the first group, individuals thrive when they feel a part of a group, a sense of

belonging, a recognition that they have meaningful things to contribute to the community or family. In

addition, it is extremely difficult to care for and nourish others when your own physical and emotional tank

is empty. This group will focus on self-care: How do you care for yourself when you’re doing the full-time

work of parenting in addition to everything else you do. We will also go over the structure for having

family meetings, a powerful component for creating a sense of community responsibility within your


December 17: Tools, Tools, Tools & Follow-up Discussions

In order to register for this workshop, you must have attended at least 2 other workshops in this series.

The most powerful tool for parenting is the attitude and presence of the caregiver. Marshall Rosenberg of

Nonviolent Communication invites parents to ask two questions. 1. What do I want this person to do that’s

different from what he or she is currently doing? 2. What do I want this person’s reasons to be for doing

what I’m asking? And I would add, 3. How am I going to respond? With those questions as a starting point

to help ground where the adult is coming from, then there are a plethora of tools to experiment with in

various situations. Remembering that the tools are not the answers, we will use this group to explore

various ways of engaging with children. This final workshop will also be an opportunity to explore any

topics that were not addressed in previous groups or questions that have been left unanswered.