Behavior Changes

The Seven Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into CooperationEllie is doing really well adjusting to being the big sister, but there has been some regression in her behavior and we are struggling with ways to effectively disciple her. Our feeling is that it is partly her age (we sometimes forget that she is only 3 3/4 years old) and partly the change in the family structure.

Recently, I got a number of books out of the library about raising children. The one that I’m working on right now is “Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline: The Seven Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation by Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D. I’m only about 20 pages into the book so expect a longer report later. So far her focus has been about self control.

For most of us, being in consistently in control of ourselves represents a major change. So this book is about change: It’s about learning to change your own behavior, and your children’s behavior, so that you can grow closer, embrace conflict, and enjoy life. Once you model self-control for your children, they will show better self-control than you have ever imagined they could achieve.

She then goes on to talk about how disciplining and teaching are the same acts, and to think about the effects that negative disciplining can have.

She lays out her Seven Powers for Self-Control:

  1. The Power of Perception: No one can make you angry without your permission.
  2. The Power of Attention: What you focus on, you get more of.
  3. The Power of Free Will: The only person you can make change is yourself.
  4. The Power of Unity: Focus on connecting instead of try to be special.
  5. The Power of Love: See the best in one another.
  6. The Power of Acceptance: This moment is as it is.
  7. The Power of Intention: Conflict is another opportunity to teach.

Next she states that “from these Seven Powers for Self-Control emerge the Seven Basic Disciple Skills“:

  1. Composure: Living the values you want your child to develop. This teaches integrity.
  2. Encouragement: Honoring children so that they will honor you. This teaches interdependence.
  3. Assertiveness: Saying no and being heard. This teaches respect.
  4. Choices: Building self-esteem and willpower. This teaches commitment.
  5. Positive Intent: Turning resistance into cooperation. This teaches cooperation.
  6. Empathy: Handling the fussing and the fits. This teaches compassion.
  7. Consequences: Helping children learn from their mistakes. This teaches responsibility.

I’m still trying to process all of this and figure out what it means, I expect to gain a better understanding as I work trough the book further, and hopefully be able to put some of this in to pratice.

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1 Comment

  1. Sharon Nerhood

     /  August 31, 2004

    From what you have stated, this book shows promise as a guide for parents who need direction, understanding, and/or encouragement. What is Dr. Bailey’s background?


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