How my mom transformed my antics into teachable moments 🤔

Palmer here. Just about every kid needs discipline, but some kids NEED discipline. I was in the NEED boat as I was a kid who saw it as a challenge to break just about every rule.
We use the word discipline vs punishment – here’s why. 👇Discipline is not another word for punishment. Disciplining your kiddo means teaching them responsible behavior and self-control.The Latin origin of the word discipline is “to teach.” The ultimate aim is to encourage your kid to learn to manage both their feelings and behavior.
This meant my mom spent a lot of time in territory that was a bit foreign to her, figuring out how to respond to a kid who was wired completely differently than she had been as a kid. She was more of a “typical” kid who got some discipline but nothing that came close to being in the “Misbehavior Hall of Fame.” That spot in the museum was all mine. 😅 She had to figure out how on Earth she was going to discipline (AKA “teach”) me to keep from falling off a cliff (literally and figuratively) while not destroying my spirit, and also setting up a foundation that allowed for the two of us to have a close and meaningful relationship.

She worked to create a system that was not only meant to course correct my actions, but she also used those opportunities of my misbehaving to help me grow beyond what I was originally capable of. She used discipline as a way to bring new ideas, paths, or conversations into my life.

Here are two short examples of how she did this. While I strongly disliked these as a kid, I now find myself teaching my teen client’s parents some of these tricks because they are effective and impactful:
After catching me sneaking alcohol, my mom had me interview a therapist, a doctor, and a law enforcement officer about the dangers of underage drinking. I then had to write what I learned in a short paper.When I was in elementary school, I was caught lying and she had me write and illustrate a book about how lying could negatively impact my life and others.
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Palmer Skudneski
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