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Positive Discipline Tool Card: Recovery from Mistakes

Updated: Aug 2, 2019

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. Recovery from Mistakes 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!



Story - Jennifer, a 4th grade teacher, had been home from school for 3 days with the flu. When she returned, she still was tired and trying to get back to normal. She noticed that one of her favorite paper weights was missing off of her desk. She asked several students if they had seen it, but no one had. Two girls were laughing off to the side and Jennifer suspected one of them had taken it. She walked over to the girls, and in an angry voice asked where the paper weight was. They both denied taking it. Jennifer kept them after school to discuss it further. The girls continued their denials. She let them leave and wondered how students could treat her so badly, especially upon her return from being sick.

She opened her drawer to grab a ruler to make lines for an upcoming project, and next to the ruler was her paper weight. At first Jennifer was relieved, then she felt badly for blaming the girls for something they hadn't done.

The next day, as the class settled down, Jennifer decided to take the time to lead a lesson on recovering from mistakes. Since the class had seen her get angry at the girls, she felt it important that she apologize to the girls in front of the class. Although it was hard to get going with the recovery steps, once she did, she felt better, and got the sense that the class might actually practice the steps outside of the lesson, too. Best of all, one student raised their hand and remarked that it was good to see their teacher was like them and could make mistakes, once in a while, too.



Story - Peter had grown up in a family where the parents didn't apologize to the children. So when he became a parent, he fell into that same pattern of not apologizing to his children and expecting them to apologize to he and his wife, though.

One of the two children were compliant, so went along with Peter. The other, though, decided along the way that if his dad didn't apologize to him, he didn't need to apologize to him. This made Peter furious.

Then, Peter came to realize that it wasn't fair for him to expect something from his children that he wasn't modeling himself. First, Peter had to practice cooling down when he was angry with his children and then he would be ready to take responsibility, and follow the steps, when he made mistakes that affected them. This wasn't initially easy for Peter, but eventually it got easier with time.


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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