Sunday, January 5, 2014

Becoming a Great Human Being. What will we Teach Our Children?

It's much more than teaching kids to "share your toys"...
It requires warming up to another person's personality 
and just spending time, 
...time getting to know 
who they are.

Just like adults, 
children need time with their peers. 
They need time without adults hovering around 
trying to make sure everyone is happy.
Sometimes the best friendships are 
quiet and calm and

Taking turns doesn't mean everyone has to be the princess.
Helping someone else is also fabulous and friendly.

Early childhood programs don't just nurture 
the ABCs and 123s. 
Good programs allow for the 
unfolding of the individual
and the lovely 
of more than one personality 
into a delicious environment 
of friendship 
and happiness.

One on one and in a group, 
children need to practice 
the skills they will master over their entire life.

Communication, contact, 
connection and compassion.

respect, trust and confidence.

So, in closing we adults must take a back seat in social settings.
We need to create environments where 
children can try and even, perhaps fail...
but situations where they can 
practice these opportunities. 

Create that environment. 
Be that parent. 
Become that teacher.
Provide that school.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Author to Author. Julie Rubs Elbows with a Jazzy Star!

As much as I love being a Speaker, 
sometimes it's wonderful to be 
IN the audience 
instead of having an audience.

One of my favorite books is 

I recently had the pleasure of meeting and spending time 
with talented author and musician 
Matthew Gollub. What an inspiration he is.

Don't miss THE JAZZ FLY and THE JAZZ FLY 2! 

Thanks to Barnes and Noble for hosting 
in Sacramento. 

If you don't have these books, the holidays are around the corner and they have CDs inside the books. 

Add a little rhythm to your child's life.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

From Wiping to Shaking: Toileting Basics you must Teach!

Teaching the Basics by Julie Jenkins Sathe

Just because your child can go potty in the toilet does not mean your job as a toileting guru parent is complete. Your child doesn’t know how, until you teach them, to care for their body and the bathroom in the way that we all want. Whose job is this? It’s yours! If you have a great child care provider, it’s their job too. (Grandmas and Grandpas get on board, as well!) Firstly, don’t allow yourself to be embarrassed to talk to your own child about the parts of their body that pee and poop.


Girls’ bodies have special needs: We must teach young girls how to wipe. Yes, how to wipe. It makes the most sense to a girl to wipe from back to front. It’s quicker and easier to reach. BUT IT’S WRONG. This is a DANGER ZONE for girls to wipe feces into their vaginal area and will likely promote infections.

So, use the Enlightened Discipline chore word of clean to explain this.
“Reach around your back and wipe your bottom. Wipe it as many times as needed to be clean. Drop the paper in the toilet. Flush.”

If you notice that your girl-child is itching or red in the genital area, make sure you go over these instructions and watch how she wipes. A visit with your pediatrician if the irritation occurs is the right decision.


Boys’ bodies are natural to wipe correctly and even if they don’t, infection is less likely. But boys must be taught to aim in the toilet. Their penis doesn’t stay still while urinating. So, we must teach our young boys to:
  • lift the lid (for a bigger target),
  • watch (you’d be surprised) where he is peeing and
  • control his own body part (penis) with a finger or hand.
  • Then, final step: shake it!
The rest of the family will prefer a dry seat. Go one step further and have them wipe the seat area down with a little toilet paper.


As a parent, teach your child how to get enough toilet paper and wrap it on THEIR hand to wipe their own bottom. If bowel movements are very loose, use a diaper wipe as the last clean up. Avoid the temptation to start (and continue) wiping your child’s bottom. Children who are just beginning to use the toilet (around age two) must learn that this is their job. Yes, it’s poop and it’s their poop. If they get it on their hands, they learn how to get more toilet paper and to wash well afterward.

Voila! Now you are teaching toileting skills. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Simple Skill becomes a Habit and Changes Everything

Enlightened Discipline does not create a magic potion that makes children under your power. It certainly isn’t the only way to get children to behave well…adults have been getting children to conform, behave, act differently for centuries. It’s not because there is no other way. It’s not because this way works and another way doesn’t. It is because this way is better. You are better. You are a better teacher, parent and mentor to a child.

With the Enlightened Discipline methods you are teaching so much more than merely what YOU want. You are teaching every child, every time, the WHY in all things. This one additional component gives the child the best possible social and behavioral education. The WHY is what they will carry with them forever.

I liken the Enlightened Discipline strategies to the habit of being polite. For instance, I can usually get people to do for me without having manners. But it will change my experience and theirs immensely when I add a simple “please” and “thank you”.

Similarly, a teacher or parent can get a child to behave. Read all the books, tapes and listen to experts: bribes (called rewards or incentives), isolation and banishment (called time outs), to more punitive punishments abound.

Do they work? Yeah, sure.

Do they teach? They teach a child what the adult wants for that moment in that instance. They do not teach the child how to think on their own and to solve their own problems in the future.

We hear much about “critical thinking” skills in the upper grades, Enlightened Discipline teaches “critical thinking” at the very beginning of life when all ideas are getting locked into place. It’s a simple thing like good manners. 

Enlightened Discipline will require you to change your behavior in tiny ways. These changes will become habits and replace old habits. The change in how you effect children will astound you. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

We ARE the Change!

We hear it, read it and LIKE it: the slogans and campaigns that encourage us, the people, to be the ones to make things happen. To be the change, make the move, shake things up. But what does that mean to the life of an early childhood teacher?

It could mean that you are willing to take a stand on the way we teachers treat discipline as a concept and children in general. Are we going to follow the path of all those before us; glaring eyes, gritting teeth teachers who use techniques like bullying, scolding, lecturing and passive punishment (a.k.a. “time outs”) or bribery (a.k.a. “positive reinforcement”)?

Or are YOU going to step into the light and find out we can all work to do it better? To do what we’ve been saying for years: TEACH.

Children must be taught why their behavior matters to them and to others. They must be taught in ways that are internal and will lead them to make the same decisions when you, the adult, are present or when they are on their own. Is it magic? Is it a trick? Is it foolproof? No. It’s good sense, logical and consistent. Like all good things.

If you are willing to step into the light and be counted, start a book club like Twin Rivers Unified School District and read Enlightened Discipline, host a Parent Growth Seminar like Rainbow Day Care and The Center for Spiritual Awareness, offer Enlightened Discipline Teacher Certification like Discovery Tree Schools, Inc and Creative Child Care, Inc. Go talk to your Director, your Principal, your Program Coordinator, whoever you can get to listen.

Cuss and discuss the ideas, challenge each other and yourself and see where you stand. I believe you will stand in the light of Enlightened Discipline when you are finished.

Have another idea? Contact me and share it! Join the wave. Let’s get going. Our kids can’t wait!

Love Enlightened Discipline with me!


Monday, August 22, 2011

More than Just Words

Ø      Tone   Ø      Volume   Ø      Pitch    Ø      Body Language

Enlightened Discipline, just like any other method can be abused or misused. I can talk and teach all day long about the “right” words to use when teaching Enlightened Discipline, but like any other method, an individual can manipulate the concept with their tone, volume, pitch or use harsh body language with a child and still technically say the correct words.

Those who are parents or have been teachers in a classroom alone for any length of time absolutely know what I mean.

You can say, “Karen it’s not clean to put your feet on the wall at naptime. Put them on your plastic mat.” The perfect Enlightened Discipline approach.

But all that teacher has to do is: clench her teeth, point with a silent and scolding look in her eyes, raise her tone in volume or a shrieking pitch, (even a quiet, threatening whisper) or loom with her adult body in an intimidating fashion and anything “enlightened” is lost.

I encourage teachers to pass the baton to a new team member when they begin to be frustrated by any child. Know when it’s time to call for a new person to take over. With children, sometimes that’s all they need. The conflict may just be a power struggle with YOU and you can win by bowing out. The same thing applies with two parents. Sometimes the second parent can come in and it changes to whole picture.

Power struggles are no-win for teachers or parents. The whole point to Enlightened Discipline is teaching the child to win in life by behaving in ways that are win-win for the whole world. When your emotions take hold and you want to use the old ways, bow out. Find a partner to help. Once you have pushed back against the force of the child’s will the tug-of-war has begun. The only appropriate way to end it is for YOU to drop your side of the tug-of-war rope.  Ask a team member (second parent or older sibling) to pick up where you left off. Their new tone, fresh demeanor will usually work.

Teaching or parenting alone? It’s harder. You will need to give yourself a lot of leverage and drop the tug-of-war rope, (figuratively speaking) immediately, come back in a few minutes with a new perspective and back on track with Safe, Kind and Clean.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Shake Up Your Family Schedule ... and see how much fun you can have!

We hear how important it is to have quality time, family time, time to get out and exercise, time for enjoying your relationship with your partner or spouse. So maybe you have a date night set aside, but what about all those other nights? How do you pull it all together to make it work?

1. Talk a walk night. That’s right. Something simple like taking a neighborhood walk with the whole family. Take a stroller or wagon, bring the dog or a paper bag for litter pick up (don’t forget hand washing later) but align this with your family style. Just 20 or 30 minutes before dinner, before bath and couch time, before you go and do laundry. Breathe, walk and enjoy the luxury, the freedom, the weather and each other.

2. Picnic dinner. Take dinner to the front yard, back yard or neighborhood park. Take it out to your apartment deck….but take it out of your normal routine. This may be homemade or on a fast food night. Take it outside and make it fun. Spread a table cloth, eat and relax. Listen to each other’s stories, birds, and neighbors and make the meal count.

3. Make videos/dvds a special event not a built in babysitter. Label one night a week “Video Night”. Have your children draw the potential movies out of a hat, teach about democracy and have them vote, or go to your local library and pick out a movie for free! Make this a family shared movie. Discuss it and, once again make the evening count.

4. Kids eat free! We see these signs all around town. Make eating out with the kids an experience to: expand their vocabulary, expand and enrich their food tastes, broaden their cultural experience through the fabulous food we have… and allow the adults to be pampered. In order to teach children how to behave in public, you must practice. Go somewhere new. Try a new item. You can do all this on a budget and get home in time for bath!

5. Pick a social event and teach compassion and community. Every week or month have a special night that is serving others. Take dinner to grandma or great-grandma, have your children make or help with serving the homeless community, offer to host a potluck in your neighborhood. Extend your community and you will indeed enrich your life and the lives of your children.

Here are just a few ideas to shift, rather than change, your schedule. I hope they will inspire others. These ideas that might add a new sparkle into your home life and create memories forever. Put one or all of the ideas on the calendar and make a new family tradition. As I always say, start today.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What If?!

What if I had an idea that no one else thought was reasonable? What if I asked all the professionals to change their minds? What if I said, “Let’s throw away what you are doing and do something easier”? Do you think people would listen?

That’s exactly what happened when I developed the concept of: Safe, Kind and Clean as a teaching and discipline philosophy. It is so much more than “discipline” that I resisted using that term for years. People hear “discipline” and they think “punishment”. I was going to be more ‘enlightened’ so I called it Behavioral Education, and I still love that description. My first book was published under the title: Safe, Kind and Clean: Behavioral Education and it got lumped in, on the internet, with laundry products. No joke.

A friend of mine, and an Early Childhood Instructor at our community colleges introduced me to several of his colleagues and said, “This is Julie Jenkins Sathe. She wrote a book on discipline.”

Ta-da! That was it. No funny looks, no questioning smiles. As I shook hands, my squeamishness over the term discipline started to dissipate. Do you know why? They knew what my book was about! Voila!

Within a few months, I had re-titled and begun the branding process of Enlightened Discipline. This title does lump me in online with some spiritual books, but I’m much happier with that than the former confusion with janitorial services.

Enlightened Discipline is simple. It’s so easy, in fact, that I can’t believe someone else didn’t think of it before me. Of course, I do believe we all are thinking along similar lines and that’s why I hear all the time from workshop participants, “That’s what I was trying to say all along.”

The biggest challenge with Enlightened Discipline is not what you do; it’s what to leave out. One must entirely stop the “passive punishment”, usually in the form of Time Outs; that have been used - and have failed for years. So read on. Learn the simplicity of Enlightened Discipline. It is simple. But like so many things in life, simple doesn’t mean easy. Why? Because it requires the adults to change.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Don't Forget the WHY!

Enlightened Discipline really began with one thought. Time Outs don’t work. That was the thought. And all of the actions, practices and descriptions became natural as soon as I refused to use Time Outs as an option.

The hardest thing to do is to teach early childhood teachers to stop the behavior of Time Outs as any option, ever. Once teachers stop putting kids on Time Out, then they really begin to teach. Sometimes adults need to be taught and re-taught until they can feel the difference.

It’s our job, as those who support each other to key in on staff members who need us to “take the torch” in a specific situation. You know the times. You’re all heated and upset and just cannot wrap your head around the best response to a child that has brought you to the end of your rope. We’ve all been there. So, for those nearby….lend a hand to that teacher. Take the torch and let the struggling teacher take a break, or at least a backseat.

If you know you’re losing control, finesse or your emotions, also know that you must call for someone else to intervene for you. We are responsible for asking for help when we need it.

But let me sum up the truth about Time Outs - Peace Time, Quiet Time, Think About it Time or any of the passive punishments that adults use: If YOU are controlling the child’s
1) space or 2) time….. No matter what you call it, it’s a Time Out.

Once teachers and parents have released the option of a Time Out, then and only then can you truly embrace Enlightened Discipline. If you hang on to Time Outs as a last resort, you are giving yourself a crack to crawl through and the teaching will stop.

Enlightened Discipline is teaching the WHY in all behavioral situations. Why? There are only 3 possible answers: Safe, Kind or Clean. Why. It’s the underlying truth to how Enlightened Discipline is different. Don’t forget THE WHY.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Enlightened Discipline for School Age and Transitioning to Teens

I recently had the opportunity to take Enlightened Discipline to a new audience, the school age and jr. high teachers, leaders and mentors of the California School Age Consortium. Let's face it, these teachers are heroes. After kids go to school and struggle all day there, they go to their school age program (which of course they are really too cool to have to be in) and these teachers, assistants, leaders work with these kids until mom and dad get over to pick them up. What a chore. And what an opportunity!

Enlightened Discipline, using the same 3 core principles that we use with younger children is still just as valid and effective as ever. The teachers at CAL-SAC were thrilled to hear that Time Outs are not effective and usually they are a power trip for adults. It's true. We all know it. Helping these kids and emergent teens find their own answers is our real job and truthfully our only job.

It's nice that I was able to bridge the Enlightened Discipline philosophy into the "Teens! Change is Your Choice" book. After all, when you are teaching what you believe's always the same thing.

Thanks to CAL-SAC and all of those who work with youth and teens.