Mission Statement

The Positive Discipline Association promotes and encourages the development of life skills andTeacher.jpg respectful relationships in families, schools, businesses and communities.


Historical Background

Positive Discipline Association, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the principles of Positive Discipline.

Positive Discipline is fundamentally based upon the work of Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychiatrist of the early 20th century. Adler believed the behavior of human beings was based upon their desire to better themselves in life and that all human beings are equal, worthy of dignity and respect. He valued a sense of community and taught that the most basic need of people was to feel a sense of belonging and significance.

Adler realized one of the primary tools for helping people with mental health problems was the power of encouragement. His teachings are consistent with the principles of democracy in our country and are the earliest foundation for the Positive Discipline movement in the United States. Slightly later, Rudolph Dreikurs, another Austrian psychiatrist, elaborated upon Adlerian Psychology and became a strong advocate for teaching parents and teachers of all socioeconomic levels effective ways to help children and families. Most recently, the work has been adapted by Jane Nelsen and Lynn Lott, and expanded to address the needs of families, schools, and children today. Their enthusiastic efforts have reached thousands of parents, teachers and community educators over a period of more than 30 years.

Applied in the family setting, Positive Discipline teaches important social and life skills, in a manner that is respectful to both the adults and children - raising young people to be responsible, respectful and resourceful members of their community. Children who grow up in Positive Discipline homes have a sense of connection to their community (home, school), feel their input is regarded as meaningful and are less likely to engage in "mis" behavior. To be successful members of the community, children need to be taught the necessary social skills. Positive Discipline is based on the understanding that discipline must be taught and that discipline teaches. Family Meetings are a key component of the Positive Discipline home.

Likewise, applied in the school setting, Positive Discipline educates teachers about the importance of belonging and significance, respect for all people, encouragement, strategies for reducing misbehavior, and the development of problem solving and communication skills for students and staff. One key component is regularly scheduled Class Meetings which provide a problem solving forum and reduce the number of interruptions to teaching time. Positive Discipline materials provide teachers with specific lessons to use with children from preschool to high school age to teach healthy self-discipline. Teachers report they enjoy teaching more because Positive Discipline promotes better discipline in their classrooms and more cooperation among students, thereby providing more teaching time.

Child Care Centers, After School Programs, Family Resource Centers and other community agencies also benefit from the use of the same Positive Discipline approaches. A wide range of books and manuals addressing child development, Positive Discipline principles and special family situations is available. Typical book titles include Positive Discipline for Preschoolers, Positive Discipline for Teens, Positive Discipline for Your Stepfamily, Positive Discipline in the Classroom, and Positive Discipline: A Teacher’s A to Z Guide.

The Corporation, Positive Discipline Association, exists to strengthen families, schools, and communities. It provides training for trainers who educate parents (including foster parents and house parents for residential settings), teachers, administrators and other helping professionals. It provides training materials and follow-up services. All the work is based upon Adlerian/Dreikursian principles for issues relating to parenting, guidance, discipline, relationships, communication skills, and team building. Specific target groups for workshops or trainings include, but are not limited to:

  • Parents, grandparents, foster parents and other family caregivers
  • Families
  • Parent educators
  • Teachers and school administrators for preschool through grade12
  • Child-care providers
  • Therapists, counselors, social workers
  • Community organizations
  • Communities of faith
  • Corporate trainers

Our core workshops (Teaching Parenting and Positive Discipline in the Classroom) are offered by Certified Positive Discipline Trainers, primarily in a two-day, experiential, format in various locations around the country. Rigorous training, continuous networking, and an annual Think Tank assures a high level of competency among our PD Trainers. Training is also provided upon request to an entire school or agency staff, and can be customized to meet the uniques needs of your staff and clients.

A fourteen hour program format is available specifically for educating parents and/or teachers. Provisions are in place to offer scholarships and a reduced fee schedule for individuals of low to moderate income who might find the fee prohibitive for workshops and trainings.

The Corporation is organized exclusively for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Specifically, the Positive Discipline Association provides:

  • Consistent, high quality, up-to-date training for Positive Discipline facilitators with the goal of becoming a Certified Positive Discipline Trainer or Certified Positive Discipline Lead Trainer.
  • An annual conference, Think Tank, where Certified Positive Discipline Lead Trainers, Trainers, and Trainer Candidates can share ideas and advanced training in support of their work.
  • Consistent, high quality, up-to-date training for such groups as counselors/therapists, parent educators/parent educator trainers, childcare providers, teachers, school administrators and staff. that that promotes developmentally appropriate self-discipline, respectful relationships, cooperation and positive engagement in communities, schools, families, child care centers and child care homes.
  • Opportunities to provide training to others who are interested in building Adlerian communities with a Positive Discipline foundation.
  • Support, encouragement and skills training for parents to promote mutually respectful relationships within families, between parents, children, and adolescents.
  • On-going research documenting the outcomes of Positive Discipline training for continuous improvement in the training tools used for teaching and sharing Positive Discipline.

This mission statement and statement of purpose is consistent with stated purposes found in other corporate documents and in no way limits these other purposes.

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