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  • Osman Khan

Positive Discipline

Dear Granada Family, 


Assalāmu ‘Alaykum. I wholeheartedly believe that one of Prophet Mohammed’s (s) most salient qualities was his ability to understand and relate to the people around him. No matter whom he encountered, he had a magnificent gift to engage with people in the most authentic and genuine way possible. 


Prior and post wahi, revelation, his approach to reach and subsequently teach was founded on the principals of empathy and understanding. He not only cared for the person who he was talking to, but understood the context of each and every individual he encountered. Even a cursory study of his (s) sira will show you that he was a man who understood that in order deliver the message of Islam, you must first build bridges, for even the greatest truth needs a solid conduit before it or any other message can be delivered with long-lasting success. Believe it or not, this is the exact reason that just over two years ago GIS revisited and revamped their discipline model and implemented the principles of Positive Discipline (PD).


Not to be confused with positive reinforcement which emphasizes external motivation as the key ingredient to better behavior, Positive Discipline places its emphasis on the internal aspects of behavior modification. Study after study shows us that if an external reward system (well-intentioned as it may be) designed to motivate and/or alter  behavior is removed, the negative behaviors that were attempting be eliminated return immediately. However, when you help internalize motivations for that behavior, the behavior gets habitualized and no external reward or motivation is needed any further. Whether it’s money, stars, or color coded behavior charts, external motivation does not lead to life-altering and life-changing behaviors. Although intrinsic motivation is one of the basic founding principles of Positive Discipline, there is so much more. 


One of the most effective aspects of PD is how the program helps students, teachers and parents alike to better contextualize and understand other people regardless of age -- identical to what Prophet Mohammed (s) did. When we look at so many of the concepts in PD such as Connection before Correction, Mistakes As Opportunities to Learn, Beginning With the End in Mind, Problem Solving Skills, Praise Vs. Encouragement, we see so many things embedded in these practices that the Prophet (s) did as well. 


In order to familiarize our community with these principles and the overall PD philosophy, I will be holding two workshops this year. The first one will take place on Wednesday, September 30th via zoom from 5pm to 6 pm (Positive Discipline for GIS Parents  Meeting ID: 960 2157 1889 Passcode: GISPD) -- the second one will be announced at a later time.


Due to the fact that so much of the teaching in PD coincides with the tenets of our faith, an entire book was written that helps to bridge these principles with our faith. The book Positive Parenting in the Muslim Home, which  was co-authored by Noha Alshugairi who is a licensed Marriage & Family therapist and certified Positive Discipline trainer and Munira Ezzeldine who is a professional counselor and award-winning author, shows how proven methods in PD coincide with Islamic tarbiyah and how you can begin to implement those exact principles in the home. My workshop will be centered around the core concepts that are built in PD.  If you are able to pick up the book before or after the training, I believe it will really help provide a great foundation for your home which coincides with our school philosophy on student discipline. 


Next Week @ GIS:

  1. Positive Discipline for GIS Parents

  2. i-Ready

Book Recommendation: 

  1. Positive Parenting in the Muslim Home  (same as above)

  2. Positive Discipline:The Classic Guide to Helping Children Develop Self Discipline, Responsibility, Cooperation and Problem Solving Skills This is the original book that covers the core principles of PD. 


Contemplative Quote: “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference” -- Aristotle


This quote goes right in line with the implementation of PD. As a faith-based educational organization, our aim is to help cultivate human beings whose habits developed in their formative years that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.  This does not mean that habits cannot and do not change as we get into adulthood, but if we can sow the seeds of positive habits early on, the harvest will not only benefit themselves but the world they live in.


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