One thing that has helped me gain clarity on why I do what I do has been to ask myself: what do I want the reason to be for someone doing what I ask? If my answer is: fearful, if my answer is: not to repeat the offence because s/He wants to avoid punishment, then I know I’m on a wrong track.
I prefer a model that views behaviour as social thinking, social reasoning. Just as we don’t punish children for not knowing that 2+3=5 unless we teach them, then our role lies in working VERY hard at teaching social thinking skills. I listened to an extraordinary webinar two days ago on executive functions and how social learning is precisely about the breaking down into mini steps the social thinking we find so common sense. That was Michelle Garcia Winner. Another huge source of inspiration has been the work of Marshall Rosenberg- there are excellent podcasts on how he teaches us to teach empathy.