Have you ever had a bad day? How do you handle it? What do you do when your child comes home sharing that they have had a bad day? Just as the adults of the world don’t always have a great day, some days our kids do too. At Joyner we have really had a focus on Conscious Discipline this year. We are learning. One of the basic skills is Positive Intent. It aligns with popular guidance to Seek first to Understand.

As you talk with your child about the bad day, I encourage you to put your listening ear and heart on the open. Approach the bad day with positive intent. Listen to the worries or the struggle. Try to understand why the day went badly and consider the learning opportunity that can come from it.

Often if a student comes to speak to me, it is with intentionality that I do a lot of listening first. I ask questions to clarify and understand the situation. I cannot bring judgement yet into the story until I truly see the intentions and actions of the student and those around that student.

I want to look beyond the behavior and possible bad or inappropriate choices so I can see the learning opportunity that I might have with the student. Conscious Discipline has been a guidance in my work in this approach. Seeking this positive intent allows an open mind set to situations. Building a framework of teaching takes a greater positive turn for our students. We might find ourselves talking again together, but we also can then continue our problem solving and teaching. And I love that I am able to celebrate the growth I see in our students as they learn their role in the school family community and life.

When I talk with my own children at home after a bad day, I feel that immediate need to just solve the problem and help give an answer. But I have learned that it works out with a greater richness if I take the time to process and guide and teach.

I am so grateful for the many happy days that we have at Joyner. And I also see so much opportunity to grow on those other days too.