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Conscious discipline to help aggressive kids, parents

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Adults can find ways to discipline that don’t involve beating and shouting.

Imagine a society in which instances of bullying and aggressive behaviour in children can be replaced with conflict resolution and self control. 

T&T Association of Psychologists (TTAP) believes such a society can exist in the future once parents, teachers and other caregivers use the right disciplinary techniques on their children and those under their care. 

Dealing with children is at the heart of TTAP’s commemoration of Psychology Week this week which is themed Spare the Rod, Save the Child. The association is promoting the technique known as Conscious Discipline (CD) which research has shown to decrease bullying, aggression, impulsivity and acting out in children. 

On the other hand, the brain based, social-emotional programme can be used to improve children’s school and family functioning as well as offer parents teachers and guardians practical science based techniques for teaching children self control, character development, conflict resolution and other social skills. 

Conscious Discipline basically teaches adults to view conflict as an opportunity to practice composure and they in turn will teach children to think and problem solve instead of acting impulsively. 

CD is based on the philosophy that order to learn, the human brain must first feel safe and then must feel connected to others in relationships and only when both conditions are met, new skills can be learnt. 

For example, if a child is being disciplined and feels threatened, he or she will only think of the threat and won’t learn different ways in which to behave. 

CD uses that information by making safety and connection the basis of its approach. 

Coming to Trinidad to conduct a workshop on the CD technique is Dr Barbara Landon, a licensed Psychologist, Paediatric Neuropsychologist, and Associate Professor of Bioethics at St George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada. 

In addition to a master’s degree in Community Psychology and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Dr Landon has undertaken extensive postgraduate study of neuroanatomy and neuropathology at the University of New England.

In addition to her work as an educator at SGU, she currently directs Reach Grenada, an NGO serving vulnerable children in Grenada. 

She has worked with many hundreds of children, parents, and families, in a number of clinical and university settings, and also in private practice. 

Clinical Psychologist and TTAP secretary Nidhi Kirpalani said in an interview even though it may take years for the effects of CD to be felt, it would ultimately be to society’s benefit. 

She continued that the CD technique is vital to decreasing instances of child abuse. 

“It would definitely decrease the level of crime and drug and alcohol abuse in the adolescent population,” Kirpalani explained. 

“It will increase their self worth and self esteem so they will see that a life of crime and drugs is not the way.”

“Children of all ages can benefit and we as adults need to learn it for ourselves so that we can impart that knowledge to the child.”


Conscious Discipline
DATE: October 10 and 11 from 9 am - 3 pm
VENUE: Cascadia Hotel, St. Ann’s. 
TIME: 9 am - 3pm

Registration continues until October 7. 
To register call 747-3917 or 731-1270. 



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