I created the Joy of Discipline program in 1988 with the goal of making one of Washington, Dcs public schools a model school for restoring discipline for children both in their classrooms and in their homes. Through 17 years of experience with the program, I believe that the primary problem with discipline lies not with children but with parents, teachers and other adult role models.
Children learn what adults teach them, not only with words but also with deeds.
If drinking and smoking are not proper for children, they are not proper for adults, either. This is one obvious reason why children become problems for teachers and parents. There is an old Korean saying that says: The upper stream must be clean to expect clean water downstream.
Problems with children and discipline and self-control cannot be changed overnight. We must start with one person: ourselves as parents, teachers and responsible adult role models. It is our responsibility to spread this philosophy of discipline in one classroom, throughout one school, across one city, and around the world.
The mission of the Joy of Discipline program is to promote the Lead By Example Action Philosophy for parents, teachers, and students. Its basic principles are:
Lead by Example: Do what is expected from your children; never do what you don’t want your children to do.
Teach sincerely: Never fail to correct your child’s mistakes with a smile until the child develops the habit.
Lead by example… consistently.
Let us work to develop one ideal school first, just as McDonald’s first created a working formula in a single store before initiating it in thousands of restaurants throughout the world.
The essence of Tae Kwon Do is self-discipline and self-control. Tae Kwon Do is an ideal vehicle to motivate children and adults to the importance of a balanced education consisting of the three basic human qualities of knowledge in the mind, honesty in the heart, and strength in the body.
Tae Kwon Do teaches how basic physical qualities can be transformed into basic human qualities such as speed (alertness), endurance (perseverance), timing (punctuality), power (knowledge), balance (rationality), flexibility (gentleness), and posture (honesty). The Joy of
Discipline program is comprised of the Joy of Learning, the Joy of Self-Discipline, and the Joy of Exercising. This program was first introduced to Principal Pauline Hamlette of Amidon Elementary School in Washington, DC, by Dr. William Bennett, the former Secretary of
Education in 1988. It was later expanded to eight D.C. Public elementary schools. The purpose of self-discipline is to develop a positive mental attitude. Martial arts training has proven to be an effective way for children to develop a clear mind. The discipline of daily martial arts exercise, with its Lead by Example Action Philosophy has helped many people to coordinate and balance the body and the Omind. Everyone can apply this structure to all areas of their lives. America must rediscover and restore the forgotten sense of discipline for children in every home and in every classroom. The Joy of Discipline program can restore this lost sense of discipline, and enable children to automatically develop a sense of self-worth and self-confidence.