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discipline policy

(excerpted from the employee handbook)

Society has rules and limits everyone has to live by. Children need rules and boundaries to prepare them now to be better citizens tomorrow. They must learn self control. They need discipline. They also need independence but independence within limits set by adults.

Discipline and punishment are two completely different concepts. One of the most confusing concepts to an adult is the DIFFERENCE between discipline and punishment. Look at the chart to learn how COLOR US KIDS expects you to teach self control through discipline.

PURPOSE: To teach self control To penalize for misbehavior
EMPHASIS: Future behaviors Past and present behavior
ADULT’S EMOTION: Patience and calm
Concern and love
Self knowledge
Fear and guilt

You can see that there is truly a BIG difference between discipline and punishment. Discipline is geared to teach self control. Teaching means that the child learns new correct behaviors that are appropriate so that the child won’t need to use the old misbehaviors any longer.

The purpose of punishment is to penalize, to punish for misbehaviors. Our children deserve more. They deserve to be taught rather than be punished as a consequence for their actions.

The emphasis of each is so very different. Discipline is concerned with the future. The goal is to teach our children how to behave not just for today, but for always. Discipline builds correct and appropriate behaviors for life so that the child can live now and always in appropriate ways.

Punishment is only concerned with the behavior that just happened. There’s no thought about tomorrow. Because there is no concern with the future, the behavior will reoccur and reoccur.


It’s important to understand why a child is misbehaving. This can help you handle the situation. The following are a few reasons a child may misbehave:

  1. Boredom
  2. Needs not being met
  3. Food allergies
  4. Illness
  5. Inability to entertain themselves
  6. Testing out new behaviors
  7. Release of frustration and/or tension
  8. Lack of sleep
  9. Reinforcing misbehavior
  10. Inconsistency

Occasionally, positive guidance may not be effective by itself. If a child continues to behave in such a manner that is disruptive or dangerous to him or to others, it may become necessary to remove him from the group. Whether inside the classroom or on the playground, in such situations, the following procedures are to be followed:

  1. Tell the child ahead of time that if he/she continues the misbehavior, the child will have to sit in the “Time-Out” chair. (One minute for each year of age.) Older children will use a chair in an out-of-the-way place in the classroom, facing the activity going on in the room. Younger children may simply sit on the floor away from the activity but facing the activity going on in the room.
  2. Emphasize that it’s the child’s decision as to whether to stop the behavior or sit in the chair. This helps the child to feel more powerful while still being disciplined.
  3. If the child stops the misbehavior, thank the child.
  4. If the child continues the misbehavior, very calmly take the child to the chair.
  5. Tell the child that he/she will have to sit there until the child is calm. (Remember only one minute for each year.) Tell the child to breathe deeply, blowing up an imaginary balloon in the belly. Have the child watch the other children while breathing deeply. This will help the child not to feel isolated and possibly become angered or resentful and encourages the child to make the positive decision to rejoin the group.
  6. Make sure to redirect the child to another more constructive activity when the child gets up from the chair.
  7. Give the child a hug and say something like, “I’m glad you are calm and ready to play.”
  8. Each incident that occurs must be written up as an incident on an Incident Form. Three (3) incidents and the child may be dismissed. These incidents must be written up by the Director or Assistant Director.
  9. If a child exposes himself, the incident must be written up immediately. The parents must be notified that if it happens again the child will be dismissed. State policy will penalize us for having the child at the center.

Under other extreme situations it may become necessary to remove the child from the classroom altogether. The Director may need to speak with the child or the child may simply benefit from some supervised quiet time outside the classroom. This is considered an opportunity to allow the child to redirect his own behavior. If this is not successful… it may become necessary to communicate the behavior problem with the child’s parents. This will be preceded by a written behavior report completed by the child’s teacher and presented by the Director to the parent. The teacher/caregiver must NEVER discuss the child’s behavior in front of the child or any other child or without the Director’s presence or permission. Along with the parents, the Director and the teacher/caregiver shall create a plan to redirect the child’s behavior. This may involve reward incentives at the center as well as at home. It must be a cooperative plan. If this is not successful, it may finally become necessary to have the child removed from the center permanently. This shall be done in writing by the Director only after every alternative has been exhausted and it has been determined that such action would be in the interest of all the children as well as the specific child involved.

  1. You may have the school aged children write sentences that describe the desired behavior, i.e.: “I will walk instead of run inside the building”. This practice must be limited to an appropriate number of sentences, not to exceed a maximum of twenty-five (25) sentences at one time.
  2. Occasionally, it may be necessary to withhold a privilege from a child if his/her behavior becomes a serious problem during a particular activity; i.e. roller skating or gymnastics. The child may be kept from participating during the next scheduled activity. This should allow the child to make the choices to participate without the misbehaving. This decision should be acknowledged and rewarded with affection and positive praise.
  3. Under NO circumstances shall a child be PUNISHED by humiliation or embarrassment or by hitting, spanking, shaking, or otherwise handled roughly by anyone in the center. Such action by any staff member may result in IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL!
  4. Set limits in your classroom and keep them clearly defined. Inconsistency has been proven to be one of the greatest ways to strengthen misbehavior. Children misbehave when they don’t know what to expect or are not aware of their boundaries.
  5. There are some things you should NEVER say to children or adults. These are statements, ways of communicating that make others feel terrible inside and lowers their self esteem.

The lower the self esteem goes, the more guaranteed it is that there will be behavior problems. Avoid any statements such as the following that build on a child’s weakness:

“You are a bad girl/boy!” “When will you ever learn?” “You are the most obnoxious child I have ever seen.” “How could you do that?”

Remember to ALWAYS use statements that will enhance the self esteem of others. Keep in mind that our goal of effective discipline is to create appropriate behavior by encouraging the children to make the right choices.

For more information, please contact the nearest Color Us Kids location.

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