Responsibility Centered Discipline

Posted by Pierz Schools on 9/29/2022

Pierz Healy High School has started down a path to totally transform how we handle student discipline issues and, more importantly, how we help each student graduate as a responsible, self-disciplined adult. We are adopting the Responsibility-Centered Discipline (RCD) program, which was created by author Larry Thompson and is now being implemented in hundreds of schools in all 50 states and several other countries. This program teaches practical techniques to help teachers de-escalate confrontations with students, while also enabling teachers to successfully redirect students who need correction.

We began implementing this program several months ago, and we have already begun seeing significant improvements in school climate in teacher-student relationships. Mr. Thompson will join us for the upcoming Parents Night on Monday, October 10, 2022 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm in the Pierz Healy High School band room to answer your questions and to explain how RCD is working at our school.

He will also offer tips that you will find helpful when working with your child or teen, including:

» Obedience-Based vs. Responsibility-Based
» Why Time-Based Consequences Don’t Work
» Developing Self-Regulation Skills
» Exits Off the Road to Responsibility
» The Response-Ability Process
» Give ‘em Five Conversations

Mr. Thompson is the author of several books, including Roadmap to Responsibility and Give ‘em Five. He has just finished his latest book, Roadmap to Responsibility: The Power of Give ‘em Five to Transform Families. He is a thoughtful, engaging presenter with a terrific sense of humor, and we are excited that he has agreed to present to the entire Pierz Healy High School community.

The Responsibility-Centered Discipline program has been implemented in a number of different settings including public schools, private schools, charter schools, alternative schools, parochial schools, and even juvenile schools. It has been proven to work in elementary, middle and high school settings and is effective with students with disabilities including oppositional defiant disorder, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD etc.

Parenting is filled with decisions. Which concerns are most important? How do parents handle all these endless scenarios? Every child is different. Every age and stage brings up a new set of complexities. As parents seek to direct children toward responsibility, success and fulfillment, life presents many potential detours. The Responsibility-Centered Discipline program that is being implemented at Pierz Healy High School can also help parents identify their destination and recognize when they are getting off course. The RCD concepts provide tools to help parents put a balanced parenting style – not too permissive and not too authoritarian – into action. Mr. Thompson will define the common exits parents allow their children and teens to take off the road to responsibility. This session will help parents recognize how they may be making it easy for children and teens to escape solving their own problems and, therefore, losing the opportunity to grow in independence. When parents and children stay together on the road to responsibility, the children and teens are required to think critically. With emotional support from their parents, they will—maybe for the first time—tap into their own creativity to solve their problems. By the time they launch into full independence, they will have an internal resource that has been practiced many times. Responsibility-Centered Discipline uses a “Give ‘em Five” guided conversation to train educators and parents to incorporate five important themes into their corrective conversations.

The five themes are:
» Support – Use supportive statements that connect to your relationship with the child or teen to identify a strength that she possesses.
» Expectation – Let the child or teen know the expectation you have for him.
» Breakdown – Communicate where you see the expectation breaking down or failing to be met.
» Benefit – Tell the child or teen how meeting the expectation benefits her.
» Closure – Determine whether the situation has been resolved or whether the conversation is at a place where you can feel comfortable moving on.

On this adventurous road of parenting there are three different styles that parents tend to use:

» PERMISSIVE PARENTS are strong in warmth and acceptance, but make few demands. They just want their children to be happy. They are strong in emotional support, but may be uncomfortable holding the line when children and teens push back against the limits. For these parents, leadership may be weak, and expectations may be low.

» Rules and control are high priorities for AUTHORITARIAN PARENTS. Warmth and acceptance are contingent on performance. These parents are strong on issues of consistency and clear expectations, but often try to exercise control by utilizing strong, negative emotions. Their children may not feel supported in coming up with their own solutions. The result can be high levels of tension in the family and low levels of connection and shared joy.

» AUTHORITATIVE PARENTS can blend together warmth and acceptance, while still challenging their children and teens to grow in maturity. These parents do not veer off the road to either side—permissive or authoritarian. They’re balanced, as they provide genuine warmth and clear, consistent expectations. 

For questions please contact Tony Andres (320) 468-6458 Ext. 1205 | Email: