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Philosophy Toward Discipline

It is vital to the well-being and successful development of young children that they have clear, consistent, and appropriate limits on behavior. Because of our commitment to developing a positive sense of self-esteem, and independent responsible and caring behavior on the part of the children, we approach setting limits or discipline in a predictable manner.

The limits we set arise from two areas of importance: not hurting oneself or others, and respecting everything in the physical environment. We also set up the environment to minimize the necessity of limits, and share control with the children in the decision making process.

In disciplining a child, our primary goal is to support the child in developing awareness in these two areas and then establishing effective inner discipline or self control. This reduces their dependence on adult-imposed control. Since developing inner discipline is our primary objective, setting limits is treated as a learning process. If a child's behavior is inappropriate or unsafe, an educative consequence appropriate to the behavior, age, and individual child, is applied.

Our first course of action is positive redirection (for instance a child may simply be directed to another activity) and facilitation of win-win problem solving. Generally these two approaches are successful. If they are not, other strategies are utilized, which may include removing a child from an area or limiting access to materials for a brief time until the child is more in control and able to respond to or follow safety guidelines.

Toddlers and two-year old children receive many messages and reminders from the teachers regarding what is appropriate and safe. Children who are four and five years old may receive time away, or calming down time, sometimes known as time-out. Time-out is not a punishment and is not intended to be humiliating. It is used as a mechanism to assist the child in calming down, reassessing the situation, and re-establishing some inner control. It also provides the teacher and child an opportunity to talk about feelings. Ideally, the child determines the length of time-out by letting the teacher know she/ he feels ready to participate in an appropriate manner.

At no time will a child ever be struck, roughly handled, verbally abused, or demeaned as a disciplinary measure. We are happy to discuss our philosophy of developing internal discipline with you individually.

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