The premise of this model is to help people find a sense of belonging and significance following FIVE CRITERIA:

Note: The FIVE CRITERIA are also applicable to adult relationships.

1 – Helps children feel a sense of connection.

(Belonging and significance)

2 – Is mutually respectful and encouraging.

(Kind and firm at the same time.)

3 – Is effective long - term.

(Considers what the child is thinking, feeling, learning, and deciding about himself and his world – and what to do in the future to survive or to thrive.)

4 – Teaches important social and life skills.

(Respect, concern for others, problem solving, communication, and cooperation as well as the skills to contribute to the home, school or larger community.)

5 – Invites children to discover how capable they are.

(Encourages the constructive use of personal power and autonomy.)

Positive Discipline is a model based on Adlerian Psychology. It can be used by parents, teachers, couples, business and community leaders to learn to create responsible, respectful, and resourceful relationships in their communities. Based on the best-selling Positive Discipline books by Jane Nelsen, Lynn Lott, and co-authors, this model can be applied to both children and adults to become contributing members of their communities. (Taken directly from

Southwest Montessori Academy has implemented Positive Discipline philosophy and tools into our daily practice since the day we opened, and we continuously teach the principles to our staff and parents. We believe that all people, especially children, are seeking belonging and significance – which we foster through contribution and mutual respect. Positive Discipline uses an approach that is both kind and firm which supports character development. Young children are learning how to interact with others, and we support them as they learn from their mistakes along the way. We help children learn important social/emotional skills such as self-regulation, conflict resolution, cooperation and communication of needs and feelings. Together, we focus on solutions and invite cooperation through connection. We use Positive Discipline in the classroom to create an atmosphere that encourages students and builds the foundation upon which learning takes place.

Karrin Marquell, our Head of School, is a Positive Discipline Certified Parent and Classroom Educator and a member of the Positive Discipline Association.