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  • BeckyD

Positive Discipline Tool Card: Understand the Brain

Updated: Sep 1, 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. Understand the Brain 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 - In Mrs. Carter's 7th grade class, she and her students had brainstormed ideas of what they could do if they were getting upset about something. Ideas included taking some deep breaths, going to the Wheel of Choice, and going to their cool-off spot in the classroom, Hawaii, so they could re-group.

​One day, Mrs. Carter found herself needing to calm down after coming back from lunch, during which she had heard some bad news. She decided to lead the class in a breathing meditation and found herself feeling much better afterwards. Several students commented that they felt better, too.



Story - Years ago, I saw a very powerful movie, Kramer vs. Kramer, about a husband (Dustin Hoffman) and his wife (Merle Streep) in a custody battle over their son, after they went through a divorce. 

One scene in particular, made me think of this tool card. In the scene, the father is raising his son alone. The father has a work deadline and has his work laid out on the table at home. His 7-year-old son wants his attention. The father is busy with his work, and the son knocks a drink over onto the father's work. 

The father and son both get angry at each other and say hurtful things. In that moment, it's obvious to outsiders they love each other and are just hurting inside. To each other, though, they appeared more like enemies in the moment, especially when they said, "I hate you", to each other. That was the moment when they needed a cooling off period to get back to their rational brains. Even better in real life, what if we could take a cooling-off period when we realize we're starting to get upset?


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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