Disciplining children in daycare can be tricky. Parents may be concerned about the type of discipline your giving the child in your daycare, and if their child is being treated fairly or being treated too harshly. As a child care provider you also don’t want to be too lax and you must maintain control of the children in the daycare as far as appropriate behavior is concerned. If you’re struggling with daycare discipline, read on.
We talked with speaker, author and Parenting Coach Edie Raether. Raether is an international speaker, behavioral psychology expert, parenting coach and a bestselling author of several books including Stop Bullying Now and I Believe I Can Fly!, an empowering character building program for children ages 3-9.
OwnADaycare: How would you define the child care provider’s role in disciplining toddlers?
Edie Raether: Good character involves good discipline which must be taught at home and also by childcare providers. It prepares a child for life’s challenges. By definition, discipline is training that corrects, molds or perfect mental faculties and moral behavior. It is training to act in accordance with rules and provides a systematic instruction plan. Without correction, there is no learning. Without teaching compliance to rules there is chaos. It establishes a structure that allows children to feel safe and encourages healthy life choices that are duly rewarded. Thus, discipline is a primary building block to developing character which is a primary role for childcare providers.
OwnADaycare: What are some important tips for disciplining children in daycare?
1. The daycare provider must make all rules clear to the children and use age-appropriate language. Children should then be asked what they heard so that they can confirm they understood the rules. Questions from the children should be encouraged. Be concrete. Give examples.
2. When a child tests the limits, rather than punish a child which teaches nothing, ask the child questions about the consequences of his or her actions to increase awareness of the price they pay for undesirable behavior.
3. Make the child accountable. A child should learn to say, “I’m sorry.” Questions should then be asked as to better choices that could have been made and now those more appropriate choices might make a child feel. Ask the child how they would feel if someone hurt them to create empathy.
4. Pointing out what not to do teaches nothing about what to do. All disciplinary actions must teach a lesson. Reprimanding a child without giving guidance to better behaviors only creates increasing resentments and acting out and angry child learns nothing.
5. Follow through. Follow through. Follow through. Don’t say anything you won’t do or you become a liar and children will no longer trust you or respect you or your word. You will have lost all credibility.
Stay tuned for part 2 of the interview with Edie Raether.
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