Behavior Management

IRE has started learning from Conscious Discipline, a social-emotional learning program that provides a way of responding to each child’s individual needs to increase self-regulation, a sense of safety, connection, empathy, and intrinsic motivation in both children and adults. The Conscious Discipline website offers a wealth of knowledge regarding understanding and responding to children's behaviors.

Click here for some of Conscious Discipline's discipline tips, based on frequently ased questions.

Click here for their free articles about behavior management.

Understanding Safety, Connection, and Problem-Solving

Children and adults express the stressors of life in a variety of ways. Dr. Bailey provides insight about these behaviors and how to respond using the lens of the Conscious Discipline Brain State Model. This model helps us understand the complex, integrated function of the human brain in practical terms.

Learning to recognize the three brain/body states (Survival State, Emotional State, Executive State) and respond by fulfilling the underlying need of each (Safety, Connection, Problem Solving) is the key to effective discipline and overall wellbeing, especially during times of stress.

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How to Create a Daily Schedule for Young Children

"A visual daily schedule helps children know what to expect throughout the day. These schedules soothe the lowest center of the brain, the Survival State, to help us feel safe. Especially during difficult times like we’re experiencing with COVID-19, it’s important that we offer a daily schedule to our children so they know the plan for the day to help them feel safe. "

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How to Give Effective Consequences Rather Than Punishments

Conscious Discipline offers solutions for social-emotional learning, discipline and self-regulation. The goal is to help parents and schools reach and teach every child. Once instilled, these essential skills will last a lifetime and positively impact generations to come.

A common misconception about Conscious Discipline is that there are no consequences. The reality is that Conscious Discipline has effective consequences instead of traditional consequences. The first six powers and skills of Conscious Discipline build a foundation that makes effective consequences possible.

Building that foundation takes time, but the payoff is huge! Effective consequences motivate children to make permanent positive changes in their behavior. This is something that quick fixes like time-outs, spankings, and even reward systems can never achieve.


Before we can discuss why, we first must face the truth: Punishments don’t work. Because our belief in punishment has been deeply ingrained for generations, this truth isn’t easy to accept.

But if punishment works, why have all of us been punished at some point, only to repeat the behavior? Why are the same students punished over and over? Why are prison recidivism rates so high?


  • Punishments are all about us and our judgment of the behavior, rather than about the child’s actions and how they have impacted others.

  • Punishments don’t ask children to reflect on their actions or take personal responsibility.

  • They don’t ask children to recognize or manage their emotions.

  • They don’t teach missing skills.

  • They don’t intrinsically motivate children to change their behavior.

Instead, punishments intimidate children into compliance (or into lying and manipulating). Do we want children to behave because they’re scared of punishment and want to please us, or do we want them to behave because they’ve truly learned a better way?

Punishment also teaches children to rely on the judgment of others to dictate their behavior. This may work out while they’re young and the “other” is an adult. But what about when they grow into teenagers and the “others” become their peers?

The truth is this: Punishments don’t work. This isn’t just feel-good fluff; it’s brain science.

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Positive Discipline By Jane Nelson

The Whole-Brain Child By Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

Parenting from the Inside Out By Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell

Parenting with Love and Logic By Foster Cline and Jim Fay