Disciplinediscipline

Discipline is not about punishment. The first definition for discipline in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language is: "Training that is expected to produce a specified character or pattern or behavior, especially that which is expected to produce moral or mental improvement." Not until the fifth meaning is there even a mention of punishment.

Only positive methods of discipline are used in my childcare home. I do not punish children for behaving as children. I personally don't believe hitting is ever a proper response when disciplining. In my home, any physical punishment is prohibited, even if the parent requests spanking as discipline. I discipline my childcare children by teaching them character, self-control, moral behavior - in short, by teaching them how to grow up. I always teach children safety rules to keep them from getting hurt. Then, according to their age, I help them to be kind, take turns, share, and help others.

As a last resort, "renewal time" is used in my childcare home. It is a time to calm down, not to punish. When children's behavior is out of control, they are not feeling their best. When they make a mistake, forget a rule, or are behaving badly, punishing them will not teach them a better way to behave; however, giving them some time alone may help them calm down, get their feelings straightened out, and help them learn that they can be in control of how they act and how they feel. Some time alone can help them to renew themselves in order to rejoin the group in a more cooperative manner. To help the children know what to expect, I explain the concept of renewal time beforehand. I use a place in the room that is far enough away so as not to disturb the other children but close enough for me to continue to give my attention to the group and the child in renewal time. It is a short enough time period so that the child can return to an activity and use appropriate behavior, and I praise him/her the minute s/he does.