A new way to look at education and relationships
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Positive Discipline is based on the works of Alfred Adler and Rudolph Dreikurs, ealrly 20th century Austrian doctors and psychiatrists. It was developed in the 70s by Jane Nelsen and Lynn Lott. In this approach that suggests a new way to look at education, kindness and  firmness are present at the same time and allow to set boundaries while respecting the children's needs and maintaining dignity for everyone. Neither permissive nor punitive, Positive Discipline allows kids and teenagers to develop social skills that are necessary to their fufillment, to their sense of belonging, and to their constructive contribution to their community. In looking at the belief behind the children's behavior, adults will be able to modify children's beliefs and encourage appropriate behaviors.


Alfred Adler (1870-1937) worked with Freud and participated in the creation of the psychoanalytical circles. After he left them, he developed a humanitarian and holistic approach to the individual known as Individual Psychology. It takes into account the thoughts, feelings, and actions of each individual. After imigrating to the US, he shared his ideas and theories thanks to his model of child's understanding and his educational model for parents.

Adler's principles are:

- Each individual needs a sense of belonging and significance.

- Each individual deserves respect and dignity equaly.

- Encouragement allows a constructive shift.

- There is a reason behind any behavior.

- Children build from their experiences beliefs that influence their behavior all life long.

- Freedom comes with responsibilities.


Rudolph Dreikurs (1897- 1972) 

A student of Alfred Adler, he developed his thinking and made it more accessible.

His very pragmatic approach has allowed parents, teachers, and educators to integrate Adlerian principles through experience, understand the hidden needs behind the behavior, and encourage cooperation without punishment nor rewards. He insists on the need to encourage children  in order to help their fulfillment and develop their self confidence.

Dreikurs' books still bring a very modern look on children's needs and on the efficient responses adults can give them.



1. It helps children feel a sense of connection. (Belonging and significance)

2. It is mutually respectful and encouraging. (Kind and firm at the same time)

3. It is effective long-term.

4. It teaches important social and life skills.

5. It invites children to discover how capable they are. (Encourages the constructive use of personal power and autonomy.)


A misbehaving child is a discouraged  child.
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