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Evansville, Indiana
March 17, 1989     The Message
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March 17, 1989

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"lM_arch 17, 1989 The Message -- Ifr Catholics of Southwestern Indlanal A 'mid 411 iAssert]v00,, discipline I Children can behave, but parents and teachers must she t By MARY ANN HUGHES did not like him. If ever there knew the consequences. I never problems, both at home andin" Message Staff Writer was a problem, everyone All children can behave. They may not want to behave t they can behave; and it is e responsibility of parents and teachers to make sure children understand the .behavior that is expected, both ul the home and in the classroom. This is the theory of Assertive iscipline, according to Phyllis eshears, associate director of e Office of Catholic Educa- tion, who recently gave a Workshop on Assertive biipline. . he told the parents about a .ourth grade student,, named Ilramy, who was the hardest Student Ive ever had to deal ith in a classroom situation. e was totally out of control." The teachers in the school did not like him. The students blamed Jimmy, even if it wasn't his fault. When she learned Jimmy would be in her classroom, she decided to use the Assertive Discipline program with him. "One of the things Assertive Discipline asks us to do is to praise the student and it was hard some days with him. I was on him so much, never giving in, always trying to be consis- tent -- telling him, 'you are go- ing to do your homework, you are going follow the rules.'" She knew it was important to find ways to tell him he was a good kid. "I went to the point of leaving notes in his desk and I told him I loved him." But he would never ackowledge the praise. As the school year pro- gressed, he started doing what he was asked to do "because he AUTHORIZED PRO DEALER EARLY BIRD RE NOW'S The Time To Purchase Your SCOTTS CRABGRASS PREVENTER, TURF BUILDER & TURF BUILDER PLUS 2 While on SALE -- Also Great . 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Hwy. 56 West of Jasper Open Mon..Fri. 8-$:30 Saturday 8:00-4:00 let up and I tried every way I could to make him believe that he was a worthwhile person in this world." As the end of the school year approached, she still wasn't sure she had reached him. On the last day of school, Jimmy was one of the last students to leave the classroom and he left without saying a word. "I thought surely he will say something to me but he didn't even look at me." When she walked back to her desk she found a torn piece of paper ripped from his tablet. He had printed, "Dear Mrs. Beshears, you are the only teacher who ever loved me." "I think that child knew that discipline was a way of loving him. I made him do what he had to do. I think the children in our homes are the same way. Whenever we let them get by with murder, I don't think they see that as our loving them at all." At the workshop, Beshears reminded the parents that discipline is the number one concern in classrooms today. "I think parents struggle with this too." The answer to discipline the classroom, is "being assertive." "An assertive parent is one who clearly and firmly com- municates his or her wants to the child and is prepared to reinforce words with ap- .propriate actions." This means "say what you mean, mean what you say and do what you said you would do." The hardest two things a parent has to learn are to "be consistent -- to always do what we said we would do -- and to praise our kids." Beshears told the parents she believes "God gives us a gut feeling on discipline but sometimes we don't follow that because of all the things we read or hear. We allow those things to overpower what we really know in our heart might be'the best answer." To be effective, parents must develop three key skills: -- the ability to communicate to their children what they want. -- the ability to back up their words with disciplinary actions. -- the ability to balance the discipline with consistent COMPLETE INSURANCE SERVICE Auto! Homel Fire & Lifel Your Personal Service Agent James L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. 311 N. Wabash 425-3187 00Dubois County Bank CLOSE TO YOU WITH 8 CONVENIENT LOCATIONS i a ...,.:,... . m .n . .. ,:--...'  Your Full Semee FuneralHome I Miller Miller .... ::: : 42009274 ............... :: i 11 them how positive support. "We've got to catch them be- ing good," she said, adding "sometimes we have to be pret- ty fast." She suggested keeping the list of rules "to a minimum. You can't go home and put a list of 30 things. In a classroom, we suggest five basic rules and that can hold true for a home." Too many rules are as bad as too few rules. The parents must explain what will happen if the house rules are broken, and they must react every time these rules are broken. They must also explain what will happen if the children follow the rules. Parents must also revise the rules as their children grow older. "It's important that your children know what you stand for; it is equally important that they know what you won't stand for." Along with establishing rules and being consistent in disciplining, parents must also learn to "really believe that your children are wonderful, because if you don't believe that then they won't believe they are wonderful either." Beshears told the parents, "if we as parents don't tell our kids they are wonderful, there aren't many people out there who are going to do it." She noted, "when we compliment them and praise them we are building their self-esteem." Parents must learn to com- municate with their children, "because when kids can't turn to their parents they turn to someone else." Parents must also not expect their children's teachers to do what they have not done. "As parents, we are the primary educators of our children. It is a God-given responsibility. We may delegate others to share that responsibility with us, but we may not relinquish it." Diocese receives thank you letter Bishop Francis R. Shea has received a letter of thanks from Catholic University of America, for $5,863.79 which was con- tributed by people of the Diocese of Evansville. The annual collection for the university in Washington, D.C., was held on the third weekend of September 1988. CUA President William J. Byron, S.J., wrote to the bishop, "This collection would not suc- ceed were it not for your sup- port and the cooperation of the priests." I I I _' James Jett & Associates. Inc. o life o health '=' home 9" IRA retiremert plnning 514 S, Green River Road P.O. Box 8104 Evansville, Indiana 47715 Phone: (812) 473-4005