HELPING CHILDREN MANAGE THEIR BEHAVIOR
Annsworth far exceeds the minimum standards as set forth by the Department of Children and Families. We train staff in appropriate discipline techniques and expect every staff member, substitute, and volunteer to read the DCF regulation (DCF Facility Handbook, 2.8 Child Discipline) in its entirety and comply with the DCF, NAEYC, and Annsworth Academy Child Discipline policies.
Positive Guidance Techniques
Preschool children are just beginning to develop the skills to manage their social behavior. As children are introduced into a group play situation, we find that they often need guidance interacting with their peers. A young child is usually concerned only with getting his own needs met with little concern for those around him. Our teachers are trained to assist children develop a sense of trust, security, and cooperation in his new environment.
The teachers will help each child learn appropriate social behavior through love and respect using positive reinforcement and consistent expectations. As the child begins to grow in his ability to interact with others, he will begin to develop feelings of empathy, begin to make appropriate choices, and understand the consequences of those choices and his actions.
Inappropriate behavior is often due to new situations, misunderstanding of expectations, or the lack of language skills. Viewed as a learning opportunity, the teacher begins by helping the child understand the expectations, modeling behaviors for them, and giving them the language needed to solve the problem. Learning to use words to communicate is a powerful tool for the child and enables him to handle problems independently.
As a child matures, he is expected to begin to use his logical thinking and problem solving skills in his everyday encounters. If a child emotionally and/or physically loses control, the teacher may redirect the child to allow him to calm down. As he regains his self-control, the teacher will talk with him and help him in practicing problem solving techniques.
Involving the children in helping to make the rules for their group will often assure their cooperation and participation in maintaining a harmonious classroom and playground environment. Clear, consistent expectations, positive guidance, and logical consequences help children develop lifelong pro-social skills.
We encourage Parent-Teacher conferences as a way to keep communication open. Teachers and parents work as a team and share information, progress, and expectations which will facilitate the child’s positive social development. Annsworth has a variety of discipline resources available for parent and staff use.
Annsworth Academy prohibits any form of physical or corporal punishment, psychological abuse, or coercion when disciplining a child. Appropriate use of restraint for safety reasons to protect the child or others from harm is permissible. Examples of physical punishment include, shaking, hitting, spanking, pinching, excessive tickling, or requiring a child to remain inactive for long periods of time. Examples of psychological abuse include shaming, name-calling, humiliation, sarcasm, cursing at, making threats or withholding affection. Examples of coercion include rough handling, forcing a child to sit down, eat or clean up. Additionally, children will not be exposed to excessive physical exercise or rest, or strenuous or bizarre postures. Children will not be isolated in any area where they cannot be seen or supervised. Children’s movement will not be restricted and food and beverages will not be withheld as a punishment. Toilet training methods will not be demeaning, punishing, or humiliating. Children will not be exposed to derogatory remarks about the child or the child’s family. Active play, both indoor and outdoor will not be completely withheld from children who misbehave.
In the rare instance when a child’s inappropriate behavior is not remedied through intervention with our behavior management techniques, when we have exhausted our positive intervention techniques, when a child’s actions put other children and/or staff member’s health or safety at risk, or when parents do not actively participate in taking remedial actions, we will discuss and consider expulsion from Annsworth. In this case, we will help the parent explore other placement alternatives.