Child Discipline and Behavioral Expectations

Child Discipline and Behavioral Expectations

Caregivers should never use physical punishment such as shaking or hitting and should not engage in psychological abuse or coercion. Caregivers should also never use threats or derogatory remarks and neither withhold nor threaten to withhold food as a form of discipline.

Here are some guidelines for behavioral expectations and disciplinary methods for each age group:

Infants

Behavioral Expectations:

May cry because they are under stress or trying to communicate
May cry or scream when dropped off because of separation anxiety
Put everything in their mouths because they explore through taste
Feel and touch everything because they learn and explore by using their five senses.

Disciplinary Methods Used:

Infants must me attended to when crying because they are under distress. You can pick them up, sing to them, or address them in a calm voice, always using their names.
Never use timeout, because they don’t understand it.
Redirect their attention to an appropriate activity

Toddlers

Behavioral Expectations:

Put everything in their mouths because they explore through taste
Feel and touch everything because they learn and explore by using their five senses
May cry, hit, or bite in order to get their way or to communicate with others
Give hugs, smiles, hit or bite to express their emotions, because they do not have verbal skills
May show signs of anxiety, especially during change. Signs include withdrawing, crying, clinging, and desire to be held.

Disciplinary Methods Used:

Redirect their attention to an appropriate activity. Do this with a calm voice, while expressing your disapproval of the bad choice.
Never use timeout, because they don’t understand it.
If misbehavior continues, evaluate the environment, checking for overstimulation and possible need of more toys of the same kind
Use positive phrasing of expectations (“Please sit down”, rather than “Don’t stand up.”)
Use positive reinforcement

2-year-olds:

Behavioral Expectations:

Like to assert independence. Often say, “No” or “Mine” because, although they want to play with others,they don’t know how
Have difficulty sharing
Exhibit mood swings because they want to express themselves but don’t know how

Disciplinary Methods Used:

Teach them good behavior by modeling it. For example, when you want to play with a toy, ask them if you can. Don’t be afraid to get on the floor and play with them
Redirect their attention to a appropriate activity. Do this with a calm voice, while expressing your disapproval of the bad choice.
Use timeout on a very limited basis, because they might not understand it
Use redirection at least two times. If this doesn’t work, gently sit them on your lap and talk calmly to them. Be expressive with your tone and facial expressions
Use positive phrasing of expectations (“Please sit down”, rather than “Don’t stand up”)
Use positive reinforcement
If an item is part of the problem, consider removing it from the room temporarily

3-5 year-olds:

Behavioral Expectations:

Have a great desire to please adults
May still have difficulty sharing, taking turns, and playing with others
May have outbursts of emotions
Like to be independent and to be given choices, so they can prove to themselves and others they they can be successful
Often tattle to prove that they know the rules
Like to play in small groups but may need some guidance

Disciplinary Methods Used:

Often remind children of the classroom rules, individually or as a group
Redirect their attention to an appropriate activity. Do this with a calm voice, while expressing your disapproval of the bad choice
If a child continues to misbehave, sit them on a chair in the classroom for about two minutes. When they are calm, talk to them about the importance of following classroom rules.
Use positive phrasing of expectations (“Please sit down”, rather than “Don’t stand up”)
Use positive reinforcement, even with the small things they are doing right

School-age children:

Behavioral Expectations:

Generally have the desire to cooperate
Like to play with others but want to be recognized as individuals
Do well when part of the classroom decisions, because they are generally decision makers
Often stretch the truth to meet their social need

Disciplinary Methods Used:

Allow them to be part of establishing classroom rules and consequences
Remain consistent with each child when enforcing rules
Do not speak down to them. If they misbehave, sit them down and let them know what they did wrong. If the behavior persists, have them sit in a quiet area of the classroom until they are ready to discuss the behavior with you
It may be helpful for some children to write or draw pictures of what they did wrong and how they are going to correct it.

2017-11-29T19:02:03+00:00