Phelps Playschool has adopted the following children's bill of rights (adapted from the book It's OK not to Share, by Heather Shumaker.)
Each child has;
- A right to unstructured free play, as we know this is how children learn about the world around them.
- A right to choose his/her own playmates.
- A right to feel (and be) safe.
- A right not to have things taken from him/her (no forced sharing.)
- A right to move, be active, and use their body throughout the day (children aren't meant to sit still!)
- A right to be outside (as often, and for as long as possible, in all safe weather conditions)
- A right to experience and express the full range of his/her emotions (feeling are valid)
- A right to guidance in how to mange his/her feelings and emotions
- A right to ask questions. (Why? is a GREAT question!)
- A right to stand up for themselves by setting limits on peer behavior
- A right to be listened to, respected, and have these rights supported
- A right to grow at his/her own unique pace.
Children's Guidance (Discipline) Policy
Children's behavior is influenced by their overall development, their environment, and their caregivers. Each child differs in terms of his/her activity level, distractibility, and sensitivity. Children must learn to develop socially acceptable and appropriate beavior as they grow to maturity.
Purpose of this Policy
This policy is the guideline that we will follow to assist children in developing self-control, self-confidence, and sensitivity in their interactions with others. Guidance is required to prevent injury, and ensure a child's activities are not infringing on the rights of others.
It is important that the caregiver 'sets the stage' for a positive atmosphere and maximum opportunities for desirable behavior.
This will be done by;
- Explaining to the children what behavior will be acceptable and explaining the reason for the limits, doing so in a positive way.
- Focusing on the child's behavior, rather than on the child. (Red/Green choices- we do not use the word 'naughty' or shame)
- Allowing the children time to respond to the expectations.
- Reinforcing appropriate behavior.
- Being willing to listen and respond in a fair and supportive manner, and
- Observing children in order to anticipate potential difficulties.
One or more of the following strategies will be used to create a positive climate and minimize potential problems in a supportive/teaching, rather than punitive way.
- By establishing eye contact and calling the child's name in a calm, quiet, voice.
- By remaining near a child when he/she may be losing self control
- Reminding children of limits
- For younger children, or children with limited verbal abilities, we will attempt to change the behavior with distraction or diverting
- Verbal and/or physical assistance will be shown by modeling problem solving if the child is discouraged or frustrated
- Children will be offered choices in a non-punitive way to assist them in meeting expectations or to reinforce limits.
- The inevitable outcome of the child's behavior will be explained
- If a child is unable to resolve a problem or take responsibility for their actions, they will be redirected to another activity, or in special circumstances, be limited in the use of equipment.
- If all else fails, the child will be removed from the situation in a way that ensures that 'taking a break' is a positive, learning experience
- Prior to the use of the calm down corner, the child will be given an explanation of what it means and what it involves. The child will be allowed to determine when he/she can return to the activity. Calm down strategies and support will be given to this child, as appropriate, during this time. On the rare occasion where a child loses self control and could possibly injure him/herself or others, we may be required to hold the child to soothe them until they have regained self control.
- When a child is ready, they will be provided an opportunity to make amends, as applicable, and rejoin their peers.