Developing Capable Children

Respectful Discipline for Montessori Schools and Families


 "A misbehaving child is a discouraged child." ~ Rudolf Dreikurs



 About Positive Discipline 

Positive Discipline is used as a foundational approach to classroom and school discipline in many Montessori schools throughout the United States because of its continuity with the Montessori principles of respect and independence.   

Positive Discipline is based on the work of Alfred Adler and Rudolph Dreikurs, contemporaries of Maria Montessori.  The primary goal of the approach is to help create a social/emotional environment where children are given the tools to to succeed in becoming responsible, respectful and capable members of their communities and families.  Based on the best-selling books of Jane Nelsen, PhD, Positive Discipline teaches important life and social skills in a manner that is deeply respectful of both children and adults.

Recent brain research reveals that children are "hardwired" at birth to connect with others, and that children who experience a sense of connection with their school community (peers and adults) and family are more likely to exhibit successful social behaviors, such as cooperation, respect, interdependence, confidence and helpfulness.  However, in order to experience this success, children must learn the necessary social and life skills.  Positive Discipline is based on the understanding that discipline must be taught, and that discipline teaches.  

The five criteria for effective discipline:

  1. It helps children experience a sense of connection. (belonging and significance)
  2. It is mutually respectful and encouraging. (kind and firm at the same time)
  3. It is effective long-term. (considers what the child is thinking, feeling, deciding and learning about himself and his world)
  4. Teaches important life-skills. (respect, concern for others, problem solving, empathy, helpfulness)
  5. It invites children to discover how capable they are. (encourages the constructive use of personal power and autonomy)

 About Chip DeLorenzo, M.Ed.

Chip DeLorenzo has been a Montessori educator since 1995, and is the Head of School at the Damariscotta Montessori School in Nobleboro, Maine.  He is a Certified Positive Discipline Trainer and has been using Positive Discipline in his classrooms since he was a new teacher.  As a trainer and presenter, Chip has worked with hundreds of Montessori teachers and parents in teaching the principles and practices of Positive Discipline through various workshops and lectures.  He holds Early Childhood, Lower and Upper Elementary AMS certifications, and has worked extensively with Montessori Adolescent students.  Chip and his wife Sondra are the parents of four Montessori children.  

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