Home Children's Ministry Leaders Children's Ministry Blogs Discipline By Design Series – Part 1 of 12

Discipline By Design Series – Part 1 of 12

In a recent article, I discussed how crucial it is to show love through discipline, and I tried to give some practical ways to use a child’s love language as a positive means for providing the discipline they truly do desire – and you desire also!

Writing that article reminded me how much parents and teachers need instruction in disciplining. For many, discipline is what they dislike the most about parenting and teaching, which is why it continues to be one the topic I speak about and write on the most.

But there’s no way around it: Kids need — and actually  want — discipline. Clearly defined boundaries help kids feel safe, loved, and free.

That’s one reason why disciplining through love languages is a great way to train our children.

Another secret of positive discipline lies in the relationships that we form with our students, which is what I want to discuss today in part 1 of 12 of a weekly discipline series I am writing based on a workbook and video series I did several years ago with Samson Resources.


As I’ve written about in more detail in my free eBook Discipline to the Design of the Child, one of the key ways you begin to discipline through relationship is first by understanding their unique temperament.

Once you know what makes them tick, what motivates them, what causes them to shut down, and what helps them learn best, you have a perfect avenue for showing them that you care.

As they say, children don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!

But simply saying “I care about you” isn’t enough. The cliché is true: actions speak louder than words. By showing your children and students that you care enough to understand their unique attributes, you will immediately have the inside track with that child, and your teaching, disciplining, and bonding will all become easier and more impactful.


There are a number of tools on the market you can use to identify the temperaments of both your students/children and your own. From Myers-Briggs to the Hippocrates System to the Animals with Trent and Smalley, to Colors, you have plenty of resources to get you started.

One particular model that has proven itself over and again is the DISC model. I love the work that Ken Voges has done with this model to relate it to people in the Bible, the Leadership Style of Jesus, and Understanding Why Others Misunderstand You. I  have developed resources for teen and children with Ken Voges and he has more at his website.

If you are not familiar with this model, you can purchase the test on my website for children and/or youths/adult. It is easy to take and really puts personalities in a practical framework for daily use.

Whenever I meet new parents, teachers, or students, I always find myself assessing where they fall in the DISC model as quickly as possible so that I know how to best reach them. It really works beautifully.

Most models will assess people for areas such as task or people oriented, outgoing or reserved. Again, the DISC model provides practical ways to accomplish this.

The point here is that you find a model – or more than one, since no personality can be completely captured by any one assessment – that enables you to better understand the personalities you encounter in your children and students. As you do so, a sense of mutual respect and caring will develop that will make life much more pleasant for all involved.


In Discipline to the Design of the Child and in the Discipline by Design video series, I offer detailed coverage of the different teacher-student or parent-child personalities and how those different personalities interact – or combust! – and how to best build bridges to each learner/child.

It is usually not a problem to get along with those who are like us, is it? The challenge is to reach every child, especially those who are not like us or we simply do not understand.

That might sound like pie-in-the-sky thinking to some, but the truth is it is just within your reach if you will take the time to understand their personality so that you can discipline more effectively, instill more order in your classroom or home, and discover new ways of connecting with those children you thought were beyond your grasp!

Over the years, my faculty love when we have our in-service dedicated to unlocking personalities – including those who have taught with me for years! You always learn something new and come away with a new way to connect with your students.

The same is true for parents who come to hear me speak. Again, even those returners learn something new each time, especially as their children age and their personalities begin to shift.

The job of loving, disciplining, raising, and teaching children is ongoing. It is a constant learning process, one that begins with understanding each child’s unique personality and building on that knowledge as you form a relationship that only grows stronger.