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Positive Discipline Tool Card: Humor

Positive Discipline Teacher's Tool Cards by Jane Nelsen and Kelly Gfroerer and Positive Discipline Parenting Tool Cards by Jane Nelsen and Adrian Garsia, each offer 52 Positive Discipline tools that are available to help with many teaching and parenting challenges. Humor is the highlighted tool in this blog post.

After trying out this tool with the children in your life, please share a story of success, or struggle, you've had with it. Thank you! The more you apply the Positive Discipline teaching and parenting tools, the more they will become a part of your own lifestyle. Practice makes better!



​Connecting with students using appropriate humor, can positively change the atmosphere in the classroom. It shows the students that the teacher is human and can have fun.

Story - Phil teaches 5th grade. At times, his class' volume rises to an unacceptable level for Phil, during group work. Phil's unsuccessful attempts, on a regular basis, to quiet the class down has left him frustrated. Phil decides he's going to use humor.

The next time the class ignores his request to quiet down, Phil sings like he's in an opera ("Volume lower, please... Volume lower, please."). After he has the class' attention, he sings at the volume he'd like them to speak, "Thank you for speaking at this level." The class Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon. laughs with Phil about his method to quiet them down.

NOTE: Phil does not have a good singing voice, so he thinks that encourages the class to quiet down, too - makes it funny. This style of humor works well for Phil and his particular class. What style of humor would work for you and your class?



Although there isn't a parenting tool card for this, humor is still one of the Positive Discipline concepts. Parents can use the power of humor to help their children want to cooperate with them.

Story - 4-year-old Katie wouldn't eat her broccoli. Her mom had tried everything from withholding her other favorite foods during the meal, until she ate the broccoli, to basically begging her to eat the broccoli. 

Katie's mom decided to use humor. She asked Katie, "If you could turn the broccoli into any food, what would it be?" Then the mom guesses, first starting with silly ones, like flies, mud, grass, and then naming Katie's favorite desserts. The mom hands Katie an imaginary wand and asks her to change the broccoli into the favorite chosen food. Then, she asks Katie to take a bite. If Katie complains about the taste, then the mom asks her to imagine more and try again. The mom imagines it, too, on her broccoli and they "taste test" their tranformed-broccoli foods and rate them. 


Where can you purchase these tool card decks? The card decks are available at (Select products, then select tool cards) and there are versions available for iPhone and Android in the App stores on the phones.



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