UPDATE March 29, 2021
We are excited about rolling out a brand new edition of our Making Sense of Discipline course. Since the filming of the existing course, a number of insights have emerged in neuroscience, especially regarding the role of play as well as a more precise understanding of feelings. We believe these added insights will be helpful to parents and teachers, and in addition, make their job of managing behaviour that much more natural, intuitive and even easier. The details below are based on the original course but are still foundational for the upcoming new edition. This page will be updated after the new edition runs for the first time in May/June 2021.

Dr. Neufeld speaks to the question of “what to do when …”, but does so in the context of the larger question of what is required for healthy development. Some of the prevailing discipline practices – like time-outs and consequences – are discussed from this perspective. Strategies are provided that are attachment-safe and developmentally friendly. The guidelines and principles apply to children of all ages.

Course Description

Most every parent and teacher wants to know what to do when ….. This tends to be the most pressing and universal issue in dealing with children. Finding the right answers to these questions becomes more challenging when parents and teachers are concerned about issues like attachment and healthy development and do not want their discipline methods to undermine or sabotage these processes. At the same time however there is the responsibility to teach the lessons that need to learned and to impose order when required.

This course speaks to the question of what to do when …, but does so in the larger context of what is required to raise children to their full potential as human beings. Some of the prevailing discipline practices - like time-outs and consequences - are discussed from this perspective. This course provides participants with the opportunity to develop a comprehensive approach to discipline with strategies that are attachment-safe and developmentally friendly.


This material is applicable to any venue involving children: home, school, playground, residential programs. As such, the material is suitable to parents of children of all ages as well as to teachers, principals, day-care providers, and early education providers.


Course objectives:

  • to apply developmental science to the arena of discipline
  • to enable parents and teachers to think critically regarding the current discipline practices
  • to provide a philosophy of discipline that is congruent with science and with the developmental needs of the child
  • to equip parents and teachers with the inner confidence to handle problem behaviour
  • to provide discipline strategies that are attachment-safe and developmental friendly
  • to provide special strategies for stuck kids who cannot benefit from normal discipline measures

Course Outline

Session One - Why are some children naturally well-behaved? CRACKING NATURE’s CODE for GOOD BEHAVIOUR

This session traces the six traits of well-behaved children to their developmental roots. Surprisingly the keys to consistently good behaviour lie not in learning or discipline but in right relationships and in healthy brain functioning. These traits are spelled out and their developmental roots revealed.

Session Two - DISCIPLINE METHODS TO AVOID AND WHY: a critique of current discipline practices

This session looks at the most common methods used today - alarm-based methods, separation-based methods, and consequences - and explores their impact on the six traits that underlie good behaviour. Guidelines are given for when consequences are appropriate and when they are likely to backfire.

Session Three - DISCIPLINE THAT DOESN’T DIVIDE: twelve practices of safe and natural discipline

This session offers effective strategies for handling incidents as well as for addressing the deeper roots of problem behaviour. In addition, discipline methods are provided that double as powerful primers of maturation.


This bonus session is from the Power to Parent, Part III. This session looks at why the most common discipline methods do not work with stuck kids and then provides eight guidelines for disciplining children who do not feel futility when it is encountered and who lack mixed feelings when they should have them.

Registration Details

The tuition fee for taking Making Sense of Discipline through continuing education is $150. This includes a virtual campus student pass of four months to access the videocourse material as well as other supporting materials. If a personal copy of the DVD set is desired, the tuition fee is $200 (please note that the original edition DVD is the only option available - the new edition does not have an accompanying DVD).

The tuition fees for live courses arranged by individual Neufeld Course Facilitators or by other agencies are set independently and may differ from course to course.

SELF-PACED STUDY: Starting March 29, 2021, the original edition of this course is no longer available in Self-Paced Study format. Instead, interested students will be encouraged to register for the BRAND NEW EDITION of the course that Dr. Neufeld is currently filming which will be offered in the Scheduled Online Class format in May 2021. The Self-Paced Study format will return later in 2021 after the new edition is adapted for Self-Paced Study.

SCHEDULED ONLINE CLASS: Dr. Neufeld is recording a BRAND NEW EDITION of this course that will be taught in the Scheduled Online Class format in May 2021. See registration on upper left side of this page.

© 2021 The Neufeld Institute