Discipline Policy “The Guidance Approach”
The CDP staff uses the Guidance Approach to discipline. We provide a supporting environment where children begin to learn and practice appropriate and acceptable behavior as individuals and as a group. Some techniques used are: Modeling, Warning, Redirecting, Suggesting, Humor, Praising, Promoting, Ignoring, Encouraging, Setting limits, Playfulness, Persuading and Listening.
When using the guidance approach to discipline also means using developmentally appropriate guidance. We ensure this by having a clear understanding of the stage of development each child is in. Through our comprehensive screenings, anecdotal observations, child development guide and child development checklists, we have a system set up to best choose the discipline method or environmental accommodations which meet the child’s stage of development. Individualizing is done to help children learn self-control and appropriate expression of feelings. One on one negotiating with a child on a constant basis may be all that is needed to help a child regain control. Teaching self-control, responsibility for actions and making acceptable choices is an important goal in our program. We want to teach children to respect themselves and others.
Staff will respect and promote the unique identity of each child and family and refrain from stereotyping on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion or disability. Staff understands no child shall be left alone or unsupervised while in our care. Positive methods of child guidance will be used. We do not engage in corporal punishment, emotional or physical abuse, humiliation, isolation, denial of basic needs or the use of food as punishment or reward.
Along with the techniques described in our first paragraph, we may use “time out.” This may be used on occasion to help a child see it is helpful for him/her to get away from the stress. The child may just need time to gain control before entering the group.
“Time out” is not used as a punishment. It is done in a firm voice, not angry. It is meant as a positive strategy to show children how to ‘cool down.’
“Time out” is not to be extended for long periods of time (in or out of the classroom). Never more than 1 minute for each year of the child’s age. The child should be told he/she is welcome back to the group whenever he/she has control and the class is happy to have him/her return.
Verbal interaction is important before the child re-enters the group. The adult who started the process will return the child or review what it was that caused the time out. The adult will talk about a plan to avoid difficulty in the future. This is all done in a tone of voice from the adult that shows the child respect, dignity and encouragement.
Behavior Guidance—CHEERS Program
The program’s schedule is planned with the basic needs of school-age children in mind. Children have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, either structured or of their own choosing. It is felt the well-rounded, consistent program will minimize the need for discipline.
Any behavior issues will be handled firmly and with kindness and understanding. Where possible, a positive approach to discipline will be used for example: telling the children what they can do rather than what they cannot. By giving the children much more time and attention when they are behaving appropriately than inappropriately, it is hoped they will find it more rewarding to act accordingly. Children will be encouraged and guided to develop self-control and assume responsibility for their own actions.
Certain limits must be set in order to maintain a healthy, safe environment. These limits are:
· Children may not hurt themselves, others or the equipment. No gun play or fighting is allowed.
· Children are expected to respect the needs of others and encouraged to communicate their needs with words rather than physical aggression.
· When children do feel anger or frustration, their emotions will be accepted and the teachers will do their best to help the children find an appropriate way to express themselves.
· If a child behaves in an inappropriate way, he or she will be redirected or given a short “time out.” The situation will be addressed with the child and alternative ways for problem solving will be discussed.
· If a child’s behavior becomes so disruptive that it interferes with activities and/or endangers the safety of others, the parents will be notified and a conference will be scheduled to discuss the situation.