Discipline Procedures(657) 278-2961
The Children's Center discipline procedures may be summarized as follows:
- Prepare the environment so as to avoid unnecessary conflicts for children.
- Create psychological safety through predictability of routines, expectations and schedules.
- Help children to know and understand the "limits".
- Give children positive verbal redirection if necessary.
- Help children express their wants, needs, and feelings.
- Help children to understand the wants, needs, and feelings of others.
- Support children in learning to resolve conflicts with others; give opportunities for children to solve problems.
- Protect the safety of others by gently restraining or removing a child from a group if necessary.
- Keep parents informed of their child's behavior, and work out strategies with parents.
Children build knowledge through exploration and experimentation, and they need feedback! We know that they cannot be expected to control their intense impulses, but that they can gradually develop self-regulation and self-control. At the Children's Center we attempt to create an environment where exploration and experimentation are safely supported at the children's developmental level, where children know what to expect, and we give feedback that helps children construct knowledge and understanding.
The Center's environment is designed to reduce the child's encounters with forbidden behaviors and temptations. The goal is to keep all children safe and secure and to avoid unnecessary conflicts. We avoid abrupt transitions by letting children know what is coming next so they can prepare. It is very important for a child (or anyone) to know what is coming next so they have time to disengage from one thing and move to the next.
When a child does experiment with dangerous behavior, such as throwing sand, we suggest a positive alternative and a brief, age-appropriate explanation. ("You may pour your sand in this bucket. Throwing it can hurt people." --instead of "Do not throw sand".) When a child experiences negative feelings such as anger, our staff is trained to acknowledge and accept feelings directly, and help the child process them. When a child's actions interfere with another person, we use the opportunity to help each child understand the feelings, rights, and alternatives. For the youngest children, the adult verbalizes these things ("Tommy is sad because it hurt when you pulled his hair, and he does not like that. Touch him gently".) Older children learn to express their feelings and requests for themselves, with plenty of adult support and encouragement. Children are also encouraged to find solutions to problems. ("You both want to play with those blocks; I wonder what you can do.")
When children are not ready to accept the limits that are necessary to protect themselves and others, we find alternatives such as redirection to another activity, another area of the room or yard, holding the child or holding her hand, or removing the child from the group for a calming-down time, usually with one of their teachers, or with Bev or Lydia.
We want to work closely with parents to help your child learn behavior limits, and will always notify you of any situation that has required special attention. We want parents to know that the child receives immediate feedback at the Center, and further action on the parent's part is not expected for the specific incident. By sharing information, parents and teachers can develop teaching strategies to help the child.
From time to time, we may need to protect the physical and emotional safety of a group by removing a child who is not ready to manage his or her behavior. If a child's behavior management issues reach such a point, the parent will be called to pick up the child for the rest of the day (parents are normally forewarned that this may occur). Usually the issues resolve after one or two such occurrences. If not, we will continue to work with parents to find solutions that maintain the safety of the Children's Center children and staff, while helping the child and family as much as possible.
At no time will the following be permitted: corporal punishment, punishment that causes humiliation, fear, pain or discomfort, locking children in an area or using mechanical restraints, associating punishment with illness, toilet training, food or rest, or the use of verbal abuse, threats or derogatory remarks about a child's family. Parents are encouraged to communicate frequently with teachers about expectations for their child's behavior. Concerns about serious behavior problems will be documented by the staff on incident report forms and shared with the child's parents.
Please see your child's Master Teacher regarding the age-appropriate approaches in the classroom.Also see the "Communicating with Children" section of the Parent Handbook.