Conscious discipline training held on Statia | THE DAILY HERALD

Conscious discipline instructor Elizabeth Montero-Cefala (standing on chair) conducts an exercise.


 ST. EUSTATIUS–A two-day Conscious Discipline Training for teachers, parents and others in the education and child care field was held on St. Eustatius this week. The workshop, led by Conscious discipline master instructor Elizabeth Montero-Cefala from North Carolina and held in the Mike van Putten Youth Centre, was organized by the Expertise Center for Education (ECE).

Conscious discipline is a social and emotional programme for children from birth through high school. It focuses on adult regulation and composure followed by the child’s needs, she said.

Participants asked “many thought-provoking questions” that showed how their reflection on discipline and on how to apply the programme in their own environment. “Not just in their professional world in regard to children, not just in the schools but also in their own homes with their own children, grandchildren, colleagues and co-workers,” said Montero-Cefala.

This week’s training was a continuation of one from October 2018, held under the guidance of conscious discipline instructors Helen Guda and Regina Ras-de Kort. The recent workshop continued the journey to enhance participants’ knowledge, said the instructor. This is not the final training. Instructors will return to Statia for follow up courses.

Montero-Cefala, parent of two teenagers, said she has survived the baby and toddler years to everything in between. From that experience, she said, “I want to say to parents that this is something that I’ve been able to do in my own world with my own children. This is something that you can do too. The programme makes all the difference in the world where it helps you to become the parent you’ve always dreamt of becoming.”

ECE Director Camelia Berkel-Dembrook said the intention is to continue to focus on teachers developing a child-centred approach. “It’s not only important for children to be disciplined, but we as adults need to be disciplined so this will transcend onto children. It is not only about what we want for children, but what we want for ourselves. We aim to ensure that behavioural issues and educational issues are corrected,” she said.

Berkel-Dembrook said the change of outlook is not something to happen in one workshop. It is hoped that in the next two to three years a gradual change in attitude and approach towards children will come to the fore. ECE will support schools in this process, she said, adding the hope that school boards, management and teachers will also take part in the training.

“ECE can give as many training as possible, but if people do not take the information and make use of it, the programme will be of no use to those that don’t apply it,” she said.

Source: The Daily Herald