Loading Events

Compass Seminars – Making Sense of Discipline (Gold Coast)

Screenshot 2024-01-18 at 1.17.38 pm

Compass Seminars – Making Sense of Discipline (Gold Coast)

A full day in person workshop exploring how to support self-regulation and self-discipline in young people 

Compass Seminars presents Making Sense of Discipline (Gold Coast)

Students and young people are increasingly angrier, lonelier, more anxious and less able to self-regulate. This one day presentation speaks to the question of what to do when feelings get big and the behaviour gets bigger! This tends to be the most pressing and universal issue in dealing with children. Finding the right answers to these questions becomes more challenging when adults are concerned about issues like attachment and healthy development and do not want their discipline methods to undermine or sabotage these processes. At the same time however, there is the responsibility to teach the lessons that need to be learned and to impose order when required.

Learn how teachers, parents and counsellors can support social and emotional development whilst providing boundaries and safe relationships. Change your thinking about discipline by exploring the six traits of the well-behaved and the twelve best practices of safe discipline in the larger context of what is required to raise children to their full potential as human beings. This presentation provides participants with the opportunity to develop a comprehensive approach to discipline with strategies that are attachment-safe and developmentally friendly. The guidelines and principles apply to children of all ages, based on the work of the Neufeld Institute.

Major Themes Explored


Current approaches to discipline are deeply embedded in assumptions about human behaviour that originate over four hundred years ago and have since been thoroughly debunked. In this session, we put the topics of discipline and behaviour management into some historical perspective and reveal the flaws in approaches that ignore the role of attachment, instinct and emotion. In addition, we reveal the implications of thinking of discipline as ‘teaching the child a lesson’. Fresh understandings of how the brain actually works helps to provide a foundation for an enlightened approach to managing a child’s behaviour until they are capable of managing their own. Critical to any approach to discipline is to use practices that are developmentally appropriate, not only in terms of age but also in terms of readiness.


Every single child has the potential to be well-behaved quite spontaneously and from the inside out. The realization of this potential depends upon the development of six natural traits, none of which are genetic or learned. What these traits are and how they are developed, is the topic of this session. Surprisingly the keys to consistently good behaviour lie not in learning or discipline, but in right relationships and in healthy brain functioning. Taking a long view of discipline enables parents to provide the conditions that are conducive to healthy development. For teachers, understanding what traits are missing and why, provides much insight into how to compensate for developmental deficits. This session also helps to explain why some children have much more trouble behaving than other children.


In this session, we cover the territory of discipline by outlining four basic directions one can take in managing a child’s behaviour, with three core practices involved in each of the four directions. Included in this session is a discussion of how best to manage incidents where troubling behaviour occurs, as well as practices that help children grow out of discipline problems. This session also includes strategies for compensating for immaturity or stuckness in a child. All twelve practices are not only effective when properly applied but also attachment friendly and developmentally safe.


Play is a powerful instrument in managing behaviour. Play not only changes the heart, but also preserves and develops a child’s will as well as prepares the mind to become more informed by the outcomes of behaviour. When employed properly, play can be used as the default method of managing the behaviour of the immature. Play is especially important in pre-empting powerful instincts of resistance as well as managing difficult alpha instincts and attacking impulses. Since most troubling behaviour results from the failure to adapt to that which one cannot control, play also serves a significant role in fostering this adaptation.

Presented by: Deborah MacNamara (Canada). A dynamic speaker and bestselling author, Dr. Deborah MacNamara is sought after for her expertise on topics such as childhood development, adolescence, parenting, and educating kids. Dr. MacNamara is the author of the bestselling book, Rest, Play, Grow: Making Sense of Preschoolers (or anyone who acts like one), and a children’s picture book, The Sorry Plane. As a clinical counsellor, educator, and researcher with more than 25 years’ experience working with families and teachers, she translates the science of human development into stories that transferrable to the home to classroom. She is on faculty at the Neufeld Institute where she works with Gordon Neufeld to make sense of kids to the adults who are responsible for them. Deborah resides in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two children.

Date: Thursday, 14th March – 9am to 4pm

Venue: Vibe Gold Coast, 42 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise, QLD, 4217

Cost: Early bird price until 9 Feb – $259 per person // Standard price – $349 per person

Register: Online