Our goal is to help children develop positive self-esteem and control. Styles of discipline can impede or facilitate that goal. We believe positive discipline gives the best long term results. Only constructive methods of discipline shall be used to help promote good behavior. Children under age two will not be disciplined, but rather redirected to another activity. Teachers will work with the child and cooperate with parents to resolve any problems that may arise.
Positive behavior is encouraged through providing a wide range of stimulating activities, praising good behavior, redirecting children to different activities, and accepting or reflecting the child’s feelings.
Discipline Measures We Won’t Use
If inappropriate behavior arises, we DO NOT use physical punishment such as spanking. Nor do we name call, demean or withhold meals.
Our Discipline Practices; How We Manage Children’s Behavior
1) Teachers plan the schedule and activities, and arrange the classroom environment to PREVENT behavior problems when possible.
2) We tell children what they CAN do. Clear expectations are communicated…and yes, repeated often. We design the classroom environment so it gives children cues on appropriate behavior.
3) We recognize children’s appropriate behavior with specific encouragement/praise. Example: “Thanks for picking up the blocks. Cooperation really helps!” or “You used your words when you were frustrated.”
4) Teachers and children learn to manage feelings through appropriate verbal and non-verbal expression. Teachers are role models for using positive methods of communication.
5) Teachers guide children in learning positive conflict resolution skills. Children are coached to learn how to negotiate, share, trade, cooperate, creatively problem solve and compromise.
6) We firmly—but calmly—state limits or rules that protect children, materials and the classroom living/learning environment. Children are made aware of reasons for limits and rules. They are also involved in creating reasonable classroom rules.
7) Children are told of limits and consequences for inappropriate behavior. We enforce limits and consequences consistently in a straight-forward, no nonsense manner.
8) Natural and logical consequences are enforced that are appropriate to a child’s understanding and abilities. For instance, a child is taught how to clean up their own spilled milk. A child would help a teacher repair a torn book. Sometimes a child will, for a short time, lose the privilege of using a toy if they abused it or disregards rules.
9) If a child is disruptive to the environment or harmful to others, he/she may be separated from the group, usually to a chair away from the activity. After gaining self-control and talking to a teacher, the child may have a fresh start.
10) If a child’s behavior becomes too challenging, teachers may request a conference with parents so they can shed light on the child’s behavior and co-plan discipline measures. If a child’s behavior greatly interferes with or impedes smooth and peaceful classroom operation, or puts him/herself or others at risk of unacceptable bodily or emotional harm, director will discuss with the child’s parent(s) recommendation for outside assessment, and—if necessary, dismissal and alternate placement options.
At times, it may be necessary for children at YSBCDC to be separated from the group momentarily (with supervision) allowing time for the child to think about the situation. The child may rejoin the group when he/she is prepared to cooperate with others.
Our Program recognizes that biting is, unfortunately, not unexpected when toddlers are in child care. We are always upset when children are bitten in our program, and we recognize how upsetting it is for parents. While we feel that biting is never the right thing for toddlers to do, we know that they bite for a variety of reasons. Most of these reasons are not related to behavior problems. Reasons children bite:
- Children learn by exploration and toddlers are “oral beings”; thus’ they will place everything into their mouths, which may include another child’s finger.
- Children bite to relieve the pressure resulting from new teeth breaking through the gums.
- Toddlers’ do not have cognitive (thinking) ability to discriminate between animate (live) and inanimate (not live) objects. This mean that the child may not be able to distinguish between teething ring and another child’s plump arm.
- Biting is a basic response to frustration, hunger, or being tired because toddlers and two year olds do not have the vocabulary to articulate these feelings/emotions and due to limited social skills.
- Toddlers and two year olds bite in order to move children who are in close proximity, too rough, or too intimidating.
- Children bite to get attention whether negative attention verses no attention at all.
- Children bite to protect personal space because they need a certain amount of space around them and do not want intrusion.
Our Program, then does not focus on punishment for the biting, but on effective techniques that address the specific reasons for the biting. When biting occurs, we have three main responses:
- Care for and help the child who was bitten.
- Help the child who bit learn other behavior.
- Work with the child and parents who bit and examine our program to stop biting.
Our teachers express strong disapproval of biting. They work to keep children safe and to help the child who bit learn different, more appropriate behavior. When there are episodes of ongoing biting, we develop a plan of specific strategies, techniques, and timelines to work on the problem.
When children bite, their parents are informed the same day and receive a copy of accident/incident report. When children are bitten, their parents are informed and given a copy of accident/incident report form. The incident/accident reports must be signed by the parents. The original copy is kept in a folder in the office. We keep the name of the child who bit confidential. This is to avoid labeling and to give our teachers the opportunity to use their time and energy to work on stopping the biting.
We encourage parents to bring their concerns and frustration directly to the teachers. The director is kept informed of the problem and will work with parents and teachers to help bring the biting under control. Communication is very important to help children learn not to bite!