We recently completed a two-day Teaching Parenting the Positive Discipline Way workshop and one thing that kept coming up was, "But what do you do when the solution doesn't work?" There were a few people who just weren't ready to let go of the idea of "consequences." My thinking coalesced as I tried to figure out what I know and believe about what to do when a "solution doesn't work." I'm pretty proud (for now) of what I have come up with:
Correction through connection.
To me, PD is about relationships. If a solution doesn't work, more time for training may be needed, but it's more likely that the adult needs to build the relationship, being absolutely certain he or she is treating the child with respect. Once trust is re-established, the child will most likely be much more willing to work together to find a new solution or try again, because he has been able to maintain his dignity.
Correction without connection is punitive. Correction that uses the power of connection to lovingly guide and teach, especially when "mistakes" are made, is truly the heart of Positive Discipline. I am honored to be one of its spokespeople.
So, if you are trying to implement PD, and your "solution" doesn't work, try "correction through connection" and see what happens. When both parties are equal in dignity and respect for themselves and for each other, things will "work" much better.