Conscious Discipline Teaches Self Control

posted 10/4/21 -- LCCAA Head Start uses the Conscious Discipline curriculum to help children develop self-regulation.

Rather than the warnings given in traditional discipline, teachers will begin by giving children two acceptable choices. Offering choices gives the child a feeling of control over their own lives. Conscious Discipline also offers children a “safe place” where they can go to be alone and calm down if needed.

Conscious Discipline uses a “Brain State” model focusing on safety, connection and problem solving. When the child is feeling distress they are in the survival state, also known as the “fight or flight” state.

If the child is not made to feel safe they will then escalate to the emotional or limbic state, often demonstrated by screaming, crying or yelling. Once a child reaches this state you will not be able to effectively communicate with them. Teachers need to remain calm and help the child de-escalate.

A child who remains in the emotional state will not be able to move to the executive state, where they would be able to solve problems. When a child moves to the executive state they are able to display empathy, helpfulness, wisdom and learning.