Creation of Self-Discipline

Corporate culture and discipline illustrated by office subjects in strict order

Our Fall Parent Education Evenings were a rousing success! Thank you to all our wonderful teachers for preparing their presentations and handouts. Thank you to all our families who took time out of their busy schedules to attend.

The Christie Parent Evening covered the “Creation of Self-Discipline.”

As outlined in The Age of Montessori (, we strive to help children gain self-discipline, which is distinctly different from obedience.

Self-discipline is the child making “independent good choices.” […]

There is a difference between being self-disciplined and being obedient. The intent of completing an act varies from a self-disciplined child and one who is obedient. The self-disciplined child will complete an action, regardless of who is watching.  He will do the behavior because it is the right thing to do. In contrast, an obedient child may follow directions to please a parent, to avoid a consequence, or to receive a reward. Being obedient is following directions or commands from an adult; or exhibiting “good behaviors” when an adult is present, whereas, having self-discipline is making those choices without the presence or reminders from adults.

How Do We Foster Self-Discipline in a Child?

  • We avoid – as much as possible – simply stopping a child by saying: “No!” “No!” “No!”
    • This can lead to defiance and can discourage the child from making choices – even positive ones.
    • Setting up the environment to say “Yes” can definitely help with this
    • Discuss expectations and the reasons behind them
      • “We hold hands when cross the street so I can help keep you safe.”
      • “We sit in chairs and speak with quiet voices so that other people can enjoy their dinner at the restaurant too.”
  • Sometimes, behaviour can be a call for attention. Schedule in quality “we time” with your child to nourish this need and connection.
  • There’s a time-old saying “Talk the talk and walk the walk.” The children look to our behaviour as adults and often emulate what they see.
    • Do we sit at the dinner table and demonstrate good manners?
    • Are we speaking to the children (and other adults) in a respectful manner?
    • Are we rushing out the door and improperly managing our time?
  • Allowing the child to have a role in decision making helps put the power back in their hands, builds their self esteem and allows room for growth and learning
  • Provide children with choices – two or three that you would be happy with
    • Pink or blue boots
    • Cereal or oatmeal
    • Blue pants or red pants
  • Allow for natural consequences
    • The natural result of an action

Provide opportunities for the child to take on more and more responsibilities as their capabilities grow – not for reward or consequences, merely because this is what we do as a functioning member of a household or community.

Please find some excellent resources attached below:

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