Saturday, March 13, 2010


(Originally posted at Rational Jenn)

I am proud to announce that I'm now certifiable a Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator! There are many more classes and steps to take to become fully certified (which I plan to do), but this is the first step. I'm officially a CPDPE.

The workshop was wonderful, and I have so much information to process, and many, many ideas to mull over for the future. But I am hoping to turn this--teaching PD classes and workshops--into a side business. Obviously, it will be very part-time for the foreseeable future, but it's definitely something I could grow.

What I found most beneficial, besides the materials that I can use to demonstrate some of the ideas in Positive Discipline, was remembering that not everybody who uses PD sets the same kinds of limits I do. This is helpful for me to remember, and will be very important going forward. For example, there are PD ways to handle homework (which we don't have, and probably will not ever need to deal with in the same way as families who send their kids to school). There are PD ways to handle meal times in homes that have more restrictions with food than we do. There are PD ways to handle so many things that are different for us, because we have either chosen not to do them here for whatever reasons, or haven't yet reached that stage (teenagers!).

I was also reminded that facilitation skills are not necessarily the same as having expertise and all the answers. My job before I had Ryan was as a Performance Improvement Consultant for the large pediatric hospital system here in Atlanta. I was specifically brought into the department because I was not clinical. My co-workers were all nurses by trade, and they felt strongly that they wanted an "outsider" as part of the team. I had the business training, took the training in how to facilitate process improvement teams, and my non-clinical background actually did become one of my strengths. Someone who isn't intimately familiar with all of the ins and outs of a specific situation will ask questions, and can ask questions in a way that helps those who are familiar look at their situation in a slightly different way. Often, I would be brought in on projects I wasn't directly involved with, just to ask my newbie questions and get people to think in a slightly different--and hopefully better--direction.

And I'm happy to say that my facilitation training all came back to me as I was leading a group through an exercise. Whew! As an introvert, this kind of activity is not naturally comfortable to me, but my years of managing people, facilitating process improvement teams, and presenting projects in graduate school have apparently stuck with me. Hoo. Ray. (I actually used my MBA today!) I'm not saying I'll be super-perfect at this, but I am confident this is something I can do, and improve as I go along.

I'm SO excited! Kelly (who took the training, too) and I are planning all sorts of fun things. :o)

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