"It is the basic philosophy of Tiny Tot Pre-School that discipline is a way of life and must be positive in every way. Children will usually live up to and perform according to expectations. It is with this thought in mind that we have developed our philosophy of discipline.
Discipline is most effective when it follows logical consequences. The consequences for behavior have to make sense to the child. If a child is throwing sand outdoors, it is logical to tell the child that the sand stays in the sandbox and that if it gets thrown again the child will have to find somewhere else to play. But let's not leave it at that. Involve the child in a discussion about what would happen if all the sand was thrown out of the sand box. A little bit of nonsense and humor doesn't hurt either. If this child was simply told to leave the sandbox after having thrown sand, what would he/she have learned by this experience?
In life there are also many natural consequences. Unfortunately, these are hard to teach because a child will often get hurt waiting to find these out. Telling a child to stay away from a hot oven because they might get burned, or to walk on the sidewalk because they might fall and get hurt if they run are examples of natural consequences. Children need to be warned of these, but an adult needs to take precautions to make sure that they do not happen.
Since the purpose of discipline is to teach, more verbal children should be encouraged to talk to their peers when conflict arises. (i.e. A child who was struck by a peer should be encouraged to tell that peer that they do not like to be hit and that it hurts.) this helps children to empathize with one another's feelings and really see the results of their actions.
It is our ultimate goal to work closely with our parents. Helping children to become self-disciplined is a slow, bit by bit, time consuming task. It is an investment in our future. We must be fair and consistent, cooperating in our large common goal. We can share what we have learned from working with large numbers of children, but only you, the parent, know all the factors which come together to make your child a unique personality. We must trust and respect each other and our children will be the winners.
Limiting a child's choices of activities due to inappropriate behavior is an effective means by which to teach children to respect property and one another. (i.e. A child who is stepping on plastic blocks should be warned that he/she will be asked to find a different toy if they do it again because stepping on toys can break them.)
Separation of children may become necessary in the case of two or more children having extreme difficulty playing together without conflict. The teacher then needs to assign appropriate play areas for the children, with the message that they may try playing together again later on if they do well on their own. The use of a time-out shall be very limited. A time-out is an opportunity for a child who is out of control and at risk of harming himself or others, to calm down and gain control once again. A time out shall never be demeaning. Again, it is an opportunity to gain control over oneself, so that the child and adult can discuss the situation and a more appropriate action can be taken.
When talking to children about their behavior, give them input on what they feel is an appropriate consequence for their action. This works especially as children get older. You may be surprised at how a child may respond to this. If their suggestions are inappropriate, then you make the decision yourself. The child stands to gain the most if he/she make retribution in his/her own terms.
Inappropriate behavior shall be viewed as exactly that. Children shall never be referred to as naughtily or bad. We address the behavior as the problem, not the child. Whenever possible, give a child a choice. Let them own their actions by choosing what they will do. Adults are expected to give unconditional acceptance of the child as a good person trying their best to learn about life."
Excerpted from the preschool's website