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Updated: Sep 18, 2022

Jane Nelsen, author of the "Positive Discipline" book series,

asks parents facing any issue to honestly ask themselves:

"What do I really want? Do I want blame? …or solutions?"

For me, this bit of advice opened up my whole world. The impact of this information has spread to our schools and right brain education programs all around the world. Right-brain children thrive in environments that support them and to do that, we need to guide them to seek solutions.



Early on in my own parenting, when my two eldest children were still quite small, I had a lot of unconscious reactions. If a mess had been left on the living room floor, I'd want to know who did it and correct them right away. I wanted to blame. But, I wasn't conscious of it.

When I read Positive Discipline, I had an "aha" moment. I realized that I was continually dragging the children down into the pain of their misbehavior. It didn't transform them - and it didn't give the house a good feeling.

So, I took out a big, thick marker and made a sign on my refrigerator so that I would see it each day: DO I WANT BLAME OR SOLUTIONS?

Soon, if a mess had been left on the living room floor, instead of angrily yelling: "Who forgot to pick up their toys?!" ...I would re-think it.

"Boys, what do you need to do with your toys so that Dad and I can walk through the living room without accidentally stepping on a toy?"

If the toys were Lego blocks, then I'd get an immediate action as response. Swoop! The toys would disappear.

There were times when I'd forget and say something like, "Who left their dirty clothes on the floor?"

Can you guess what I would hear in reply?

Yep. "Hey, Mom, do you want to blame or solutions?!"

Positive parenting is right in line with Right Brain Education. If you examine blame- and solution-making, it leads you straight to the different characteristics of each hemisphere.


• critical thinking

• seeks rules and punishment

• penalizes for mistakes

Left-brain parenting:

…tears down the dignity of the child

…is logical, looking only for the source of the problem

…seeks INSTANT change and punishment


• creative thinking

• seeks kindness and respect

• rewards with the growth of happy relationships

Right-brain parenting:

… is forward-thinking--shifting from shame to resolution

… encourages positivity and upholds the dignity of the child

… empowers them to help to make things better

… is patient. It can see the big picture and the value

of the gradual evolution of the future adult

Right-brain parenting encourages your child to develop inner values,

self-discipline and integrity, with positive thinking skills.


Create your own "DO I WANT BLAME OR SOLUTIONS" poster.


Here are the hands on tools that will guide you through the resolution of just about any situation--kindly and creativity.

Here are the 5R's--5 key talking points to resolving a situation while upholding the dignity of your child.

The 5 R’s 1 - Review "What is happening?" or "What happened?" 2 - Realize "How did that make [the other person] feel?" 3 - Remorse "Do you need to say you're sorry?" 4 - Repair "Do you need to fix anything?" 5 - Resolve "What will you do next time?"

When young right-brain children are upset, the first R (Review) involves talking. Describe the situation, acknowledge and give words to what they might be feeling:

1 - Review "What is happening?" or "What happened?"

"Tommy took your airplane. You are angry."

Paulo nods. He sniffs.

"You were so angry, so you hit him."

Paulo nods again.

2 - Realize "How did that make Tommy feel?"

"Sad." "Hurt."

3 - Remorse "Do you need to say you're sorry?"

"I'm sorry Tommy."

4 - Repair "Do you need to fix anything?"

Paulo hugs Tommy.

(If he had broken the airplane, that would be an opportunity to fix it.)

5 - Resolve “What will you do next time?”

Paulo shrugs his shoulders.

(If your child doesn't know, then offer suggestions as gentle, respectful questions.)

"Would you use words instead of your hands?"

Paulo nods.

"That's great, Paulo. Well done!"


Trace your hand on a piece of paper. On each finger, write down the 5R's. Color and put it on your wall. Start using the 5R's today!

For more information on positive parenting and Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson, please visit:


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