Today I began to implement the Conscious Discipline strategies for the first time, and let me tell you – I think I was in an entirely different classroom than the one that I’m usually in. I had less stress today than I have had in any single day working in child care. And I promise you that I’m not exaggerating.
It wasn’t too difficult. I only had one time today where I seemed to lose control of the situation, and that was right before nap time. Other than that, I kept my cool all day, I addressed every conflict as a “safety” or “helpfulness” issue, I used the stress relief strategies throughout the day, and I stayed connected with the kids on their level. Even my most rambunctious kids had a great day. There were no meltdowns. The kids played together and interacted together better than I had ever seen them before. It was amazing.
One of the funniest things about it was watching the kids’ reaction to the difference in how I responded to their “crises”. One of them, who seems to have a knack for getting her way, wasn’t getting away with anything and was trying desperately to figure out a way around it. Another one who usually gets what she wants in sneaky kind of ways was so mad at me by lunch time that she could do nothing but shoot daggers at me, simply because she wasn’t getting away with the things that she usually gets away with. A third one, the one who makes me question my choice of careers on at least a weekly basis, had the greatest day she’s ever had in my classroom.
The whole day was amazing, and I can’t wait to duplicate it again tomorrow. I don’t expect it to be as easy as it was today for the whole month, or for the whole time on the program, but if today is any indication, I would say that this book has already more than paid for itself.