Discipline is NOT a Dirty Word

Discipline is NOT a Dirty Word

Discipline is NOT a Dirty Word: a Workshop to Support Parents, Caregivers and Teachers of Young Children

Cornell Cooperative Extension is helping you put knowledge to work. This edition of Discipline is NOT a Dirty Word has been updated in 2020 and includes a broadened understanding of brain research, as well as approaches developed in the field of mental health that acknowledges the impact trauma can have on individuals, families and communities. The content of this curriculum provides tools and strategies for parenting, as well as to increase resilience. The path of growing resilience and practicing trauma- informed work is not a linear one and is instead one of on-going learning, reflecting and sharing.

What is Discipline?

The word discipline is closely related to the word disciple. A disciple is a follower, or one who learns from a leader. So a disciplinarian can be thought of as a teacher or leader, and discipline is a set of attitudes and behaviors a leader hopes a follower will want to acquire as their own.

Discipline is NOT a Dirty Word offers five parenting tools to support parents, caregivers and teachers in raising and working with children. These include focusing on “do” instead of “don’t” statements; detecting feelings and needs; giving choices; changing the environment; and setting limits that ensure safety in a loving and firm way.

Sometimes, in the heat of certain moments that exist in all families, we wish desperately for something to help us temper an emotional exchange with a child. The tools and strategies are designed to help parents and caregivers remember them during difficult times.

Printing this Curriculum

In case you wish to print this curriculum, we have inserted blank pages in order for each new session and the handout sections to start on the right side. To support a natural flow of the document when printed, we recommend that each of the four sessions is printed double-sided and that the handouts are printed one-sided. This will make it easiest to copy the handouts for participants.

Click here to open and print the DNDW Curriculum

Facilitator Training

If you are interested in hosting or participating in a facilitator training, please contact Julika von Stackelberg at (845) 344-1234 ext. 274 or


Julika von Stackelberg
Parenting & Family Life Educator
(845) 344-1234, Ext.274

Last updated January 13, 2021