Abbi Kruse is from Madison, Wisconsin, where she serves as the executive director of an early education program, she founded. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother and enjoys providing support and education to help parents in their important and challenging role of raising children.
What is Conscious Discipline?
Conscious Discipline was created by Dr. Becky Bailey, an internationally renowned expert in child developmental psychology. Conscious Discipline® is built on the premise of developing discipline within children rather than applying discipline to them.
How did you get involved with Conscious Discipline training?
I was introduced to Conscious Discipline seven years ago. I attended a week-long summer institute and began implementing Conscious Discipline in both my personal and professional life. After eighteen months, I attended the Advanced Institute. The following year, I applied to become a Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor. Since that time I have continued my study of Conscious Discipline and I have attended several week-long trainings with Dr. Bailey.
I am passionate about this topic because I know it provides both teachers and parents with great insights and usable tools. I genuinely wish I had the skills of Conscious Discipline when I was a young parent and teacher!
At what age can parents and teachers start implementing Conscious Discipline?
Conscious Discipline is built around the way the brain develops. It can be implemented from infancy through the teen years. In fact, these principles can actually be adapted and applied to interactions with adults as well. The skills look different, yet both children and adults have the same needs for safety, connection, and problem solving.
The goal of Conscious Discipline is to build internal controls in children. This process of teaching self-regulation begins as we co-regulate with infants. As the child matures, we move away from co-regulating, and provide the child with more opportunities for self-regulation.
How can parents implement Conscious Discipline in their home?
Conscious Discipline gives parents a good understanding of their child’s behavior as well as their responses to that behavior. The skills of Conscious Discipline allow parents to utilize moments of upset or conflict as an opportunity to teach new skills. There are many ways to implement Conscious Discipline in the home and this should be based on the individual family.
Why is it beneficial for teachers to implement Conscious Discipline in their classrooms?
Conscious Discipline provides teachers with a great understanding of how the brain works and teaches them to read all behavior as communication. This allows teachers to move past rewards and/or punishments and respond to the child’s intent, rather than reacting to behaviors. When we respond to intent, we can replace old “skills” (behaviors we hope to eliminate) with new skills (appropriate behavior.)
What changes have you noticed in your school/home since implementing Conscious Discipline?
Conscious Discipline has provided me with a new lens, not only on child behaviors, but on interactions with adults as well. These skills have allowed me to be a better school administrator, meeting my staff members’ needs for safety and connection. They have given me usable, practical strategies to put in the hands of both teachers and parents, and they have influenced my interactions with my own family in profound ways.
The school I founded serves a large number of children experiencing homelessness and other adverse experiences. We have seen great success in teaching our children to self-regulate, get their needs met appropriately, and solve problems.
For more information on Conscious Discipline visit http://consciousdiscipline.com
You can download all the Conscious Discipline handouts here:
- conscious discipline parent handout
- breathing exercises handout
- fairplay article about Abbi Kruse’s preschool
- conscious discipline picture schedule
- visual diaper change
- “I Love You” Rituals