Project Lead(s): Randall Waechter, Barbara Landon
Beating, slapping, whipping and paddling are only a few examples of methods used to discipline children in the Caribbean. Widespread corporal punishment is not only degrading and ineffective, but this violence negatively impacts healthy brain development during the first 1,000 days of life and beyond. The economic consequences in this globally competitive world are of great concern. Adults employing corporal punishment often lack knowledge and skill regarding effective discipline methods.
Conscious Discipline (CD) is a best practice program targeting new and expectant parents, community leaders and other caregivers. It combines addressing perceptions while teaching skills, thereby reducing child maltreatment and building self-regulation and positive attachments. The innovators will intensely train around 70 local community “champions,” who will return to their communities and teach others. By disseminating conscious discipline parenting practices, the intervention aims to improve the safety, secure attachment and problem-solving capacity of children – which are all known to maximize brain development – and will hopefully benefit the long-term political, social and economic welfare of the Caribbean Region.