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Elements of Discipline

Nine Principles for Teachers and Parents

Stephen Greenspan

Publication Year: 2012

Elements of Discipline is a timely and helpful book for teachers, parents, and day-care professionals that provides a simple set of rules for managing—successfully and humanely—a wide range of discipline situations and challenges. A well-respected child development specialist, Stephen Greenspan outlines his “ABC Theory of Discipline.” He combines an Affective approach, a Behavioral approach, and a Cognitive approach that, when used in a coordinated fashion, will contribute to greater child compliance and family/classroom harmony.

Greenspan suggests that, using his matrix, caregivers can provide the warmth, tolerance, and influence that will help children become competent in three socio-emotional domains—happiness, boldness, and niceness. He recommends caregivers pick and choose from the discipline literature in a manner that best suits their individual style and values.

Elements of Discipline is a lively guide to effective classroom or family management.

Published by: Temple University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. ix-x

Raising a child involves many years of work with the hope that the outcome will reward parental efforts in the home and teacher efforts in the classroom—the hope that children will end up as happy and competent adults who will go on to successfully raise their own children. But parents and teachers also hope to experience rewards along the way so the process ...

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pp. xi-xvi

This book presents what I call the “ABC Model of Discipline,” a framework that I developed in outline form more than twenty-five years ago (Greenspan 1985). That being the case, one might ask, “What took you so long to write this book?” There are several reasons, including laziness (an article is much easier to write than a book), ...


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pp. xvii-xx

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1. In Search of Balance: Domains of Discipline and Long-Term Outcomes

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pp. 1-17

Few things are more frustrating to adults than being unable to get children to mind them. A feeling of incompetence in developing and maintaining harmonious and satisfactory relationships with children is a major source of parental unhappiness and the main reason why half of all new teachers quit the profession within the first five years. When I became the coordinator of a graduate program in Special Education, ...

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2. The Affective Approach to Discipline: Underpinnings and Three Principles

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pp. 18-34

The Affective approach to discipline grew out of the writings of theorists on adult psychotherapy, particularly Sigmund Freud and Carl Rogers. Although Freud and Rogers did not say much about discipline them- selves, their theories certainly had major implications for the way adults disciplined children, ...

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3. The Behavioral Approach to Discipline: Underpinnings and Three Principles

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pp. 35-52

The Behavioral approach to discipline reflects the behaviorist perspective in psychology, a worldview that has been very influential in academic psychology but even more so in applied settings—including schools, clinics, and residential programs—and with exceptional populations. To save on words in the discussion that follows, I shall sometimes use the term “behaviorists” ...

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4. The Cognitive Approach to Discipline: Underpinnings and Three Principles

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pp. 53-66

The Cognitive approach to discipline owes much to the work of Alfred Adler, one of the first founders of psychoanalysis to break with Sigmund Freud. Adler was a major psychotherapy theorist whose work is considered to be a precursor of the (currently very popular) cognitive-behavioral emphasis in psychotherapy. He was one of the few early psychiatrists to work ...

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5. Case Studies in Discipline: Using the Three Approaches to Address Behavioral Challenges

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pp. 67-97

To illustrate the similarities and differences among the three major discipline approaches—Affective, Behavioral, and Cognitive—it is necessary to bring the discussion to a more practical level. In this chapter, I present three hypothetical case studies (compiled from typical real-world experiences)— two involving families and one involving a classroom ...

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6. The ABC Model of Discipline: Linking Domains, Principles, and Outcomes

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pp. 98-115

In the chapters leading up to this one, I have systematically built the frame- work of the ABC Model of Discipline—from its foundation in the Warmth, Tolerance, and Influence domains of caregiving to its ultimate goals in fostering long-term social competence outcomes of Happiness, Boldness, and Niceness in children. I have described in detail the ABCs of the model: ...

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7. The ABC Tool Kit: Using the Nine Principles to Deal with Discipline Problems

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pp. 116-133

After criticizing an assortment of writings on the subject of discipline for failing to offer a tool kit to help caregivers implement the ideas expressed, the time has come to present my own tool kit. In this chapter, I describe a set of specific techniques for applying the ABC Model of Discipline. In building the ABC framework around domains of discipline— Warmth, Tolerance, and Influence ...

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8. Developing an Effective Discipline Style: Using the ABC Model to Refine the Caregiver’s Approach to Discipline

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pp. 134-148

My contributions to the literature on discipline began with an articulation of the three principles of the Affective approach (S. Greenspan 1978), continued with publication of a model integrating the Behavioral and Affective approaches (S. Greenspan 1983), and took another step forward when I brought the Cognitive approach into my model (S. Greenspan 1985). Initially, I felt most comfortable with the Affective approach, ...

Appendix A: Glossary

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pp. 149-170

Appendix B: Using the ABC Model to Evaluate Discipline Advice

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pp. 171-182


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pp. 183-188


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pp. 189-191

About the Author

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p. 192-192

E-ISBN-13: 9781439908983
Print-ISBN-13: 9781439908976

Page Count: 214
Publication Year: 2012