How did this program get started?

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child tells us that we must do everything we can to protect children from violence. Most of the physical and emotional violence that children experience happens when parents are trying to punish them. So to prevent violence, we must help parents move away from punishment and toward solutions that don’t put their children’s safety and development at risk.

Many parents around the world are looking for ways to teach their children without hurting them, physically or emotionally. But they often feel that they don’t know what to do.

Save the Children Sweden, an international non-governmental organization, set out to help parents make the shift from punishment to teaching. They partnered with Dr. Joan Durrant, a Child-Clinical Psychologist and Professor at the University of Manitoba. Together, they developed an approach to parenting that gives parents clear guidance on discipline while respecting children’s rights to protection.

The book for parents was first published in Asia in 2007. It has since grown into a program that has resonated with parents and practitioners around the globe.

What is the program about?

Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting is a parent support program that helps parents gradually move away from physical and emotional punishment and toward solutions that nurture their children’s healthy development and learning.

Sometimes “positive discipline” is misunderstood as “permissiveness.” Actually, positive discipline is about finding long-term solutions that help children develop their own self-discipline over time.

It’s about:

  • clear communication
  • building a relationship based on respect for each other
  • helping children learn how to handle difficult situations
  • teaching courtesy, empathy, non-violence and respect for others and their rights

The Positive Discipline Model

In this program, parents learn how to think through 4 steps that will help them resolve conflict in a way that teaches, rather than punishes, their children. This problem-solving framework can be applied in any situation, not just the challenging ones.

Step 4: Problem Solving

How can I plan a response that will help me reach my long-term goals?

Step 3: Understanding how  children think and feel

What lies behind my child’s behaviour? What does my child understand about the situation? How can I effectively teach a child of this age?

Step 2: Providing warmth & providing structure

How will I ensure that my child is emotionally and physically safe?

How will I give my child the information needed to learn and succeed?

Step 1: Identifying your long term goals

Do I want my child to become confident or fearful? Happy or angry? Non-violent or aggressive?

Where is the program offered?

The program was first offered in Bangkok, Thailand in 2007. Since then, it has spread throughout Asia, the Pacific, Europe, East Africa, the Middle East, and Canada.

Today, the program is offered in more than 25 countries. Click on the stars on the map to see where PDEP is being delivered.