Open Discussion Forum

  • 1.  Discipline Policies

    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous
    Posted 10-29-2021 07:31 AM
    This post was removed

  • 2.  RE: Discipline Policies

    Posted 10-30-2021 01:30 AM
    I am very curious as well. We serve children 2.5-5.5 yrs old and we have been seeing a lot of various challenging behaviors from pushing, scratching, to head butting across all the ages.  I am eager to hear what others are doing as we have yet to find a consistent system.  It is more case by case basis taking the child's development and age, and frequency of behaviors into considerations.

    Kasie Crown
    Martinez CA

  • 3.  RE: Discipline Policies

    Posted 10-30-2021 08:36 AM
    Hi Yojairy and Kasie,
    There was a detailed discussion thread about exclusion and approaches to supporting children to replace exclusion a few weeks ago that you might find helpful! The title of the thread was "Challenging Behavior in a 3 Year Old". It might also be helpful to revisit the Addressing Challenging Behaviors section of the NAEYC Early Learning Program Accreditation Standards on pp. 15-16.​ And one more NAEYC reference - Dr. Rosemarie Allen was the keynote at the NAEYC Annual Conference a few years ago and I like the way she explains suspensions in ECE in this video:
    In 17 years of teaching (mostly preschool age children) and administration (my own home-based program and a campus-based program) I definitely got stressed out by challenging behavior, but I never sent a child home for it. With practice I no longer got stressed out by challenging behavior, I came to see it as an opportunity to learn how to be the best teacher I could for each student. I have collaboratively designed a tool that teachers have found helpful in figuring out how to address challenging behaviors, it's like a "Choose your own Adventure" because there are four sub-tools:  The first sub-tool starts by asking the teaching team how they actively teach social and communication skills as well as emotion regulation skills. I think this is always the place to start when teachers are concerned about behavior. The last sub-tool I have never had to use because the other tools invite parents to the table early on and in a collaborative way.
    Related to exclusion, there were a couple of extreme circumstances in my experience when a child did not yet have the capacity to manage the demands of being immersed in a group setting for 8 hours and they were physically hurting other children consistently. We had tested different scaffolding strategies for weeks at a time with no reduction in the amount of shadowing needed. We also consulted with specialists and tried additional strategies. Then we determined that a shorter day was needed temporarily in order to reduce the expectation that the child manage in the group context for 8 hours per day (we would never make a child study math for 8 hours if this subject was really challenging for them). This gives the child a chance to experience success instead of exhaustion and as a result build some new neural pathways. Intensive scaffolding is provided by one teacher who is capable of providing consistent co-regulation support and gradually the length of day is increased. In one case results from a neuropsych eval also gave the child access to additional support that we were not qualified to provide as teachers.
    All that to say, if I had to write a policy about exclusion today it would be something like, "We don't exclude children from school for behavior. We actively teach social and communication skills by...Challenging behavior is children's attempt to communicate. From this perspective we respond to challenging behavior (biting, hitting, spitting, etc.) in this way... When we have a concern about development that impacts a child's behavior we will proactively communicate with the child's family to collaboratively determine individualized strategies to support the child...and so on..."
    I hope that's helpful!

    Lauren Stauble
    Boston, MA

  • 4.  RE: Discipline Policies

    Posted 10-31-2021 07:12 AM
    Depending on how upset the child is, we utilize the calm down spot or quiet corner. The child is aaked or gioded over to this location away from the group and so that together we can work on coming back to a relaxed state where meaningful communication can happen. If the child is very upset and the behavior continue or they cannot engage in meaningful communication about the events, we allow them a few minutes alone on that area to calm down so that they can express themselves with words or their way of communicating. While they are alone in this spot they have a variety of sensory items they can utilize, even while they are in this spot calming down by themselves staff ate still checking in with them so it is not a time out where theu at placed in a apot and not addressed or engaged only to return to playing. Staff engage the child and try to best communicate why the behaviors where unacceptable and how it could've been handled differently. Also checking in with why the child thought what they did was okay to do and offering different options for next time.

    Diane Wood
    Carbondale PA

  • 5.  RE: Discipline Policies

    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous
    Posted 10-31-2021 09:39 AM
    This post was removed

  • 6.  RE: Discipline Policies

    Posted 11-01-2021 10:09 AM
    There is a lot written about requiring children to apologize for misbehavior and most of it discuses how it does not work. The child is not sorry and forcing them to say they are sorry, does not lead to growth and understanding of the results of their actions. There are more recommendations for children to do restitution for their misbehaviors - hurt another child, then you go over to help that child recover, etc. 

    I cannot imagine a child who does not have underlying issues spitting on or hitting a teacher without some provocation or the child feeling that their needs are not being met or that they are not being heard. I would agree that written documentation from observing the child must be collected over time to see if there is a pattern to the child's behavior and what assistance is needed. I would also suggest observing the environment and the schedule for the classroom to see if these elements are contributing to the "discipline" problems. In the meantime, family members should be contacted and a dialogue between all parties should take place to try to understand what is driving the behavior of the child and whether the child's behavior is difficult at home as well. If need be, professional help for the child and the family should be discussed. In order for this to work, I have found that the school must have a strong relationship with the families of the children in the school so that difficult conversations can be broached. If you sit down with a family to discuss their child's "misbehavior" and you do not have a relationship already built up, you may be met with hostility with the family may not be ready to work with you on solutions.

    When I was a director of a coop school, all parties involved in the school - teachers, family members, etc. - had to read and sign off on the center's discipline policy. Parents should be aware of how behavior issues will be dealt with in the center. Teachers also need to agree to them.

    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ

  • 7.  RE: Discipline Policies

    Posted 10-30-2021 11:27 AM

    Hi Yojairy,

    We don't send children home for behaviors. We talk to parents, document everything and offer suggestions to parents/ co workers. We've shadowed children, suggested weighted blankets/softies, and removed them from the classroom. I've been kicked, bitten and spit at, but never did I think the child should be sent home. He was removed from the classroom, and was told that I needed to keep the classroom safe for all children… My director has stepped in and we've had lots of parent conversations. 

    I'm curious about the reasoning for sending children home- it would seem like a positive thing for the child wouldn't it?  I understand during these frightening times with COVID that having someone spit at you is so scary, but I'm wondering how sending the child home will solve this behavior.

    is it written in your parent manual that a child shall be sent home for behavioral issues?

    Sorry! I seem to be asking a lot of questions.

    My school enrolls 2-5 year olds. 

    Ann Lacey
    Lead Youngest Group teacher
    Agassiz Preschool
    Malden MA

  • 8.  RE: Discipline Policies

    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous
    Posted 10-30-2021 06:30 PM
    This post was removed

  • 9.  RE: Discipline Policies

    Posted 10-31-2021 10:54 AM
    I think we can all agree that a happy child has the best behaviors. Their mistakes are quickly rectified. I would like to point out that there are four interactive primary factors of happiness: control, worthwhileness, belonging, and meaning. Strengthen one and you strengthen the others. Control is developed by modeling and reinforcement of improved behaviors, not by lecture or punishment. Worthwhileness is learned by success with behaviors and experiencing being respected and loved. Meaning is learned by having one's life going well. Life makes sense when you sense good control and worthwhileness. Belonging is the core of early childhood education. We usually name it relationship. Without relationship with an educator children easily feel punished when they are instructed. I don't know of good studies of the punishment of children, but the ones studying adults who have experienced corporal punishment are frightening. However, I think it is easy to see that any form of punishment, including being sent to quiet spaces and experiencing an exasperated teacher, is detrimental to happiness.

    Jack Wright
    Child Development Consultant
    Success With Children
    St Ignatius MT