Having options or tools implies making decisions. Instead of acting impulsively or passively, we can step back to consider the circumstances and use the best combination of tools to respond. That makes Responsive Discipline thoughtful. Making a decision is not impulsive or indulgent. Sometimes decision has to be swift for safety's sake. But impulsive decisions are most often ineffective. The first impulse is not always the wisest action.

Nobody is perfec—a common, reasonable view that most of us ignore at times. Of course we are going to make mistakes.

JOURNAL 8: Oops!
Can you remember a couple of situations when you wished you could back up time and change how you responded to a child? Write them down in your journal.

Every mistake can be a good teacher. What lesson can you learn from each of your “oops”? How can you put this insight into action to prevent a similar mistake in the future?

Next: Toolbox