The job of young children is to learn about the world. They are trying to make sense of a lot and trying to learn how to behave in this mysterious place. Young children are striving for understanding, help independence and self-control. Children learn by exploring, diagnosis experimenting and testing the limits of their environment and experiencing the consequences of their behavior. In this way, children come to understand how the world works and their own limits.
Our approach to guidance and discipline is to promote a sense of independence, autonomy and self-esteem, while maintaining the control necessary for a safe and non-threatening environment. The basis of this control is a secure, orderly, developmentally appropriate care giving environment: a positive “yes” environment which allows children to experiment and test their own behavior within clearly defined limits.
1. Set realistic expectations for young children’s behavior
2. Create an environment that enhances the probability that children will behave in appropriate ways
3. Focus on positive communication techniques to gain children’s cooperation
4. Turn destructive situations into constructive ones by giving children alternatives
5. Use natural and logical consequences to motivate and empower children to make responsible decisions about their behavior
6. Teach preschool children to use problem-solving skills and strategies to resolve conflicts.
We do not:
· Shame or humiliate the child.
· Place a child in “time out”.
· Say “bad” girl or boy to otherwise imply that the child is the problem, instead of the behavior.
· Use “no” too often; instead, we use the positive (“Hold on to the cup”) and other words like “stop” or please don’t.
· Use bribes, false threats or false choices.
· Use food or scheduled activities (story time, playground) as reinforcements.