Adult-child and child-child interactions
Children appear to learn best when they are given reasonable limits and freedom to choose. Discipline is planned to assist the child to become self-disciplined through the use of choices and logical consequences. Children are disciplined in a positive manner at a level that is appropriate to their action and their ages. The goal at Cozy Time is to help the children in our care to remain individuals and have freedom while still encouraging them to allow others around them the same right, through empathy and respect.
We believe that it is best to set limits to help the children learn self-discipline. Setting limits gives the children the security of knowing that their emotions will not lead them to do things they will regret. Knowing an adult will take responsibility for stopping unacceptable behaviour until they can do it themselves. We explain rules to them in a manner that they can understand and accept. We try to avoid repetition; we say what we have to say once, after being sure that the children are paying attention. We always try to remain consistent, firm and fair. All rules are enforced in a positive, impersonal manner. Teachers will always understand the reason for a child behaving in a disruptive manner, whether it is from boredom, fear, fatigue, anger, curiosity, insecurity, hunger, jealousy, confusion, sleepiness, shyness, illness, loneliness, hyperactivity, need for toileting, over stimulation, or embarrassment. Negative behaviour may be evident because they feel the need to try and fight control, this is normal at certain stages of development. Teachers will always consider the situation from the child’s point of view, reassess if the limits are necessary, if they are working, or are they usable? The teacher will respect the child’s wishes if he/she feels the need to be alone with his/her thoughts. The child will be spoken to briefly by the staff to reassure them that they are available, when the child is ready to talk to them. It is a fact that children can be aggressive at times.
At Cozy Time we encourage the children to verbalize their aggression, rather than resort to physical action. However, it is inevitable that some children will resort to physical aggression/violence. If this situation occurs, the child is spoken to about his/her actions, to help them gain an understanding of the problem. If it involves more than one child, all children are taken aside and spoken to, and encouraged to discuss their feelings and the problem. If a child is too upset over the situation and cannot talk, the teacher will respect their right to be alone in a safe place to calm down. When that child is ready the discussion will take place. We provide a learning environment that help children learn honesty and respect for individual differences. They learn to be honest with themselves, to accept failure and its consequences are taught to be learning experiences, most importantly to take responsibility for their actions. We feel it is best for the teachers at Cozy Time to give attention for appropriate behaviour, while de-emphasizing the negative behaviour.
We never discourage a child from expressing his/her feelings. Our goal is to teach them to express them in a constructive manner. We want to help the children understand and accept their own feelings, so that they are able to understand the feelings of others.
All staff, upon hiring is required to sign off that they understand and will follow this policy. Staff are required to read and sign the policy on an annual basis.
The staff, child and parent shall be:
- Use acceptable language.
- Conduct themselves in a manner that enables one to feel safe from any types of abuse.
- Respect the building, classroom and equipment, as well as the personal property of all people.
No child is ever allowed to hit a staff member. If a child makes an attempt to hit a teacher, he/she will be told in a firm voice one of the following:
- “I do not like to be hit”
- “That hurts me”
- “I will not let you hit me”
- “We do not hit when we are angry”
The following expectations are designed to maintain an atmosphere of comfort, and promote a safe learning environment. Failure to meet any of the above expectations will result in any of the following:
- 1. A meeting will take place with parents to discuss a plan of action concerning the behaviour problem and how to establish a plan of cooperative action between the home and Cozy Time.
- 2. If the problem continues a consulting session will be arranged between the parent, the child and a qualified staff member.
- 3. If the problem still persists, the parent and Supervisor will meet to discuss future appropriate action.
- 4. If all efforts to end disruptive behaviour prove to be ineffective, then removal from the Centre will be considered.
Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of all the children. Our services are conditional on both the parents and the child’s adherence to the policy and any activity that is considered harmful or dangerous will not be tolerated and could result in immediate withdrawal.
At Cozy Time we expect the children not exhibit these behaviours:
- Persistent opposition to authority.
- Wilful destruction of property.
- Use of profane or improper language.
- Conduct which is injurious to the moral of the Centre or the physical or mental well being of others in the Centre.
- Behaviour that manifests itself into a potential safety hazard to other children and staff.
If a child exhibits behaviour that is considered to be inappropriate the parents will be notified of the situation. If the behaviour becomes more serious, then a meeting will be held with the parents to discuss and set a timeframe for the situation to be resolved. If the behaviour is still consistent and there has been no successful resolution, Cozy Time will recommend to the parents to speak to a Special Needs Consultant in order to help identify the problem and to reach a solution. If the behaviour still persists and all avenues have been exhausted then at this point Cozy Time reserves the right to dismiss the child from its Centre.
If any parent threatens any staff or students at Cozy Time, this is considered to be grounds for immediate dismissal.
Prior to commencing employment and at least annually thereafter, the Program Implementation Policy will be reviewed with all staff, students and volunteers. Staff, students and volunteers will sign a record confirming that they understand and agree to abide by the Policy, this record will be dated and signed by the Supervisor as well as the staff and kept for at least 2 years.
Disciplining Techniques within the Classroom
- 1. Boredom
All interest centres will be well enriched with a variety of materials and offer something interesting to do.
- 2. Too Much Waiting
Children find it very difficult to be idle and wait. Teachers will set up projects in small groups during Free Play time rather than with the whole group at once. Project materials will prepared ahead of time. Children will not be called to the lunch or snack table until the food has arrived.
- 3. Lining Up
When children line up, transitional activities will take place to ensure group organization (Simon Says, Follow The Leader).
- 4. Poor Room Arrangement
Inadequate space in an interest centre or having it in the middle of the traffic pattern wears tempers thin.
- 1. Positive Redirection
Find an alternate way to release the extra energy Send an uncooperative child to a different activity. Remove the child and offer him/her another choice. Redirect his/her unacceptable activity into the closest parallel acceptable activity i.e. “Blocks aren’t for throwing. Here are some yarn balls you may throw”. If positive redirection is not successful the teacher will need to follow up other actions that will deter the child from the unacceptable activity such as take the child for a walk or read a book with the child.
- 2. Positive Reinforcement
Reinforce positive behaviour; try to ignore the negative behaviour. Comment or notice when children are doing things right. Many times misbehaviour is designed to get your attention. If children get attention for doing things right, they will be quick to imitate good behaviour. Also notice when children are enjoying themselves and comment on it.
- 3. Criticize the deed not the person.
Help other children/staff understand the actions of the child. Sit with the child and explain the consequences to those actions.
- 4. Try to identify any feelings and reflect them back to the child by offering suggestions.
Children will be encouraged to talk about their feelings regarding the situation. Much unacceptable behaviour, especially tantrums is meant to communicate. You can teach them more effective ways. “I can tell you’re really upset. When you calm down you can use words to tell me why you are mad and I will try to help you”.
- 5. Give choices and control to the child whenever possible.
Guidelines to Disciplining
Throughout the day it is necessary for the teachers to provide directions to the children, whether it is to do an activity, or to be reminded of a certain routine. We follow the following when giving directions:
- make sure you have the child’s attention
- give a choice of two options whenever possible
- give POSITIVE unambiguous directions
- give the child responsibilities appropriate to his/her age and maturity
- warn ahead of time before changing activities
- never plead, threaten or strike a child
- be positive in responses and requests
- invite participation, never force it
- direct a child to a new activity when the current activity is completed
- suggest a substitute activity for the activity being restricted
- use a quiet voice as much as possible; speak at the child’s eye level
- encourage a quiet submissive child to express his/her feelings verbally
- give suggestions for words a child may use to describe how they are feeling
- explain any rules in a clear, concise and respectful manner
- reinforce in a positive, impersonal manner
- be consistent, firm and fair at all times
- give desirable behaviour pleasant consequences and undesirable behaviour unpleasant consequences.
- keep the child directly involved and interested.
- be supportive.
- praise genuinely, but not overly frequent.
- give good examples as adults.
- wait until the child has control of himself/herself before trying to reason with him/her.
Guidelines When Disciplining
- Discipline impersonally i.e. “Everyone has to follow these rules“.
- Let the disciplinary action follow the offence immediately.
- Make the discipline brief.
- Discipline the child in private.
- Vary the disciplinary action.
- Let the child know you disapprove of the deed and not the child.
- Respect the child`s feelings, but stop the undesirable behaviour.
- No punishing or reprimanding a child in any way for failing to use the toilet.
- No punishing in any way for staying awake at rest time.
- Try to use Positive Redirection and Positive Reinforcement.
- Do not put off discipline. Handle the situation immediately, move on and do not allow the situation to carry on all day.
- Do not send the child to the Supervisor. All this teaches is that you are not able to handle the situation yourself.
- Don’t force the child to apologize. They are not sorry they hurt someone. They are sorry they got caught. You are only teaching them to be hypocritical. They may think that saying “I’m sorry” makes everything O.K.
- No yelling. As soon as you start yelling your message is lost.