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Deconstructing Discipline

Written by: Jacqui Senn, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


In my work as a group therapist with children, I see all variations of emotions and behaviors. When children join my groups, they come with some experience of being disciplined in one form or another. Through their participation in the discussions, a few things have become apparent. One of them is that the idea of discipline as we know it must somehow be deconstructed.

I use the word deconstructed because discipline is too punitive, and most children and teens cannot tolerate the idea of being “ punished.” And through my experiences, I have learned the following from kids and teens:

  • They understand when they are wrong (even if they do not show it).

  • They realize there “have” to be consequences.

  • Feel powerless about the majority of their lives and want to be “ included” in deciding the consequences.

  • Want to be talked to instead of “at”.

  • Some behaviors are a result of what they witness within the home.

  • Isolation is often due to feelings of not being wanted or accepted.

  • Not completing chores or tasks may indicate something else is going on and not just being obstinate.

The situation that is discussed most often is the one that results in a child having their phone taken away. This is a tricky one because the phone is not only a way to communicate, it is also a way of connecting to friends and family. Most often, participants share that while they understand the purpose of phone restrictions, they feel as though taking it away completely is too much. In fact, they would prefer to have a conversation about the phone restrictions and be part of the decision-making process.

Being a parent is hard work and maintaining a family is even more difficult because of the ever-changing needs of children as they grow. One thing is clear that continuous communication (even if they roll their eyes) is a must. And sometimes, they will follow through with what they ask for, and sometimes they will not. But, family relationships are the most precious of all and worth the effort!

Want to learn more from Jacqui? Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and visit her website.


Jacqui Senn, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Jacqui Senn is an experienced Coach in the areas of Life Events, Transitions, Relationships, and Business. After Breast Cancer, she faced a new reality of being a single mother and created strategies that provided a structure that she transitioned into success. It is this model that she shares with each of her clients for them to reach their fullest potential.



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