At the Harvard Preschool we understand that children need guidance in order to develop the skills necessary to make inner decisions that are appropriate. Children need some limits, directions, and rules by which to abide. Disruptive behavior can be stopped by offering positive alternative activities. This is what we refer to as “redirection.” In order to achieve this, we must:
- Set understandable limits for individual and group contact.
- Use consistent and firm expectations, requests and explanation of rules.
- Positive reinforcement terms i.e. “walking feet” instead of “no running”. Positive reinforcement terms turn negative behavior into acceptable, positive behavior.
- Use “redirection” before “time-out”. This redirections can include being along for a little while, playing quietly in a different area, or sitting with the teacher for a few minutes. The purpose is to get children into a cooperative feeling rather than to punish them for their behavior.
- Encourage children to solve their own problems, whenever possible. Children will be encouraged to talk to their peers during confrontations. If this does not work, teachers can suggest that both students seek another activity for the time being.
Punishment which is humiliating or frightening to a child is prohibited, including corporal punishment, verbal abuse, and withholding snacks.