I operate a non-smacking or physical punishment policy as recommended by the SCMA. No child in my care will suffer any pain or humiliation, as I believe in positive discipline as a more effective way of managing behaviour.
Positive discipline means:
- Rewarding good behaviour. Because rewards are constructive, they encourage further effort. Punishment is destructive – it humiliates children and makes them feel powerless.
- Encouraging self-discipline and respect for others. Because children need to grow into people who behave well even when there’s no one to tell them what to do.
- Setting realistic limits according to age and stage of development. Because as children grow and develop our expectations of their behaviour changes.
- I am aware that children will test the limits and boundaries set by adults. If a child is not responding to the limits set and their behaviour is hurting or upsetting anyone else they will be asked to have a “time out”. The period of time they are asked to take will be 1 minute for each year (aged 3 would be 3 minutes).
- Setting a good example. Because young children take more notice than we might think of how we behave and what we say.
- Encouragement, not orders and instructions. Because “Do as you’re told” teaches nothing for next time. Positive discipline involves explaining why.
- Being consistent – saying no and meaning no. Because children need to know where they stand and it helps if they know that we mean what we say.
- Praise, appreciation and attention. Because when children are used to getting attention with good behaviour, they won’t seek it by misbehaving.
- Building children’s self-esteem. Shaming, scolding, hurting and humiliating children can lead to even worse behaviour. Attention, approval and praise can build self-esteem and a child who feels valued is more likely to behave well.
I encourage appropriate behaviour by:
- Setting a good example, I aim to be a positive role model as children copy what they see. Children learn values and behaviour from adults.
- I readily praise, approve and reward wanted behaviour, such as sharing, to encourage it to be repeated. Using praise helps to show that I value the child and it helps to build their self-esteem.
- I praise children to their parents and other people when they have behaved as expected.
- I try to be consistent when saying “no” and explain reasons why it is not appropriate and considered unwanted behaviour.
- My expectations are flexible and realistic and are adjusted to the age, level of understanding, maturity and stage of development of the child.
- I try to involve children in setting and agreeing house rules.