Positive Guidance Strategies for Children
At times, it seems that as adults, we are unsure of how to deal with behaviors that our children present. Sometimes we may think our parents’ secret wish came true: that we are now raising a child just like we were as children, and we think, “how did our parents do it?”
There is good news! The positive discipline of children, if applied correctly, will enrich the relationship between you and your child, and build what your child needs: healthy self-esteem, self-regulation, cooperation with others, and social skills.
At Kiddi Kollege, we believe that positive guidance strategies start with adult behavior. It is up to the teacher to set developmentally appropriate limits depending on the age that they teach.
Second, teachers need to express those limits verbally in a manner that is respectful to children and give appropriate cues to correct the behavior.
Next, the teacher must give choices and support the children in these choices, all the while, using validating verbal encouragement. However, most of all, it is the teacher’s main responsibility to be the model of the correct behavior that they wish to see in the children.
However, there are times when even these strategies will be put to the test. Therefore, it is our responsibility to step back and reevaluate what other strategies can be used, and we do so with parents’ help.
At-Home Strategies for Positive Discipline
What is done in the home can be done in the classroom. There are a few suggested activities from the book, Promoting Positive Behavior: Guidance Strategies for Early Childhood Settings, that can be used in the home effectively.
- State limits (rules) in a positive way. (i.e. “please walk” instead of “don’t run!”)
- Model the behavior you want your child to display.
- Reinforce new positive behavior with the internal or external reward system*
- Offer realistic choices when possible.
- Be the facilitator in problem-solving.
*Examples of reward systems could be:
- Internal: effective encouragement or specific praise
- External: sticker chart or treasure chest reward
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When school and home come together, it sends a consistent message to children regarding acceptable behavior. We are truly partnering in the care and education of your child!
*Article written & submitted Elizabeth Spiwak, Lead Toddler Teacher