The UK's top discipline coach is sharing his secrets for the first time in a new book.
Tough-talking former American Football player Jim Roberson is responsible for dealing with pupils in some of the country's most unruly classrooms and has an uncompromising attitude towards bad behaviour. He has worked with schools, young offenders’ institutions, police forces and youth projects to get naughty kids back on the straight and narrow.
His debut book, The Discipline Coach, offers inspiration and practical methods for parents, teachers and anyone working with young people.
Jim, and African-American who now lives in the UK, grew up in the tough Bronx neighbourhood of New York where he learnt that discipline, respect, responsibility and preparation were the keys to a better life. It is these attributes he believes teachers should instill in pupils to revitalise disaffected students.
Father-of-four Jim was a successful American Football player before becoming a coach and teacher. His methods in the classroom turn the traditional approach to behaviour management on its head and he describes discipline not as something others do to you to get you to behave nor even as something you do to yourself, but rather as ‘what you do for yourself’.
His approach has made a huge difference to hundreds of children, teachers and parents throughout the UK.
Controversially he argues against parents becoming too friendly with their children and advocates a tough love attitude shift away from society’s obsession with making sure children have it all.
He said: “The common refrain from many parents is ‘I am going to give my kid everything I never had’. They give their children what they want; and Xbox, an iPhone. When I was growing up in the Bronx I didn’t have everything I wanted, but I had everything I needed.
Sometimes I needed slap and I got that, sometimes I needed one of my folks to come into school and shake me up, I got that too. If you give kids stuff, does it make it easier for them? Is it enabling or is disabling? The best thing you can do for a child is to make them self-sufficient, to give them the skills to look after themselves, and those don’t come in the box with an iPad.”
The Discipline Coach is published by Independent Thinking Press at £16.99 and available from Amazon.
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