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Guidelines for Positive Discipline
Positive discipline is a process of teaching children how to behave appropriately. Positive discipline respects the rights of the individual child, the group, and the adult.
Positive discipline is different from punishment. Punishment tells children what they should not do; positive discipline tells children what they should do. Punishment teaches fear; positive discipline teaches self-esteem.
You can use positive discipline by planning ahead:
- Anticipate and eliminate potential problems.
- Have a few consistent, clear rules that are explained to the children and understood by adults.
- Have a well-planned daily schedule.
- Plan for ample elements of fun and humor.
- Include some group decision-making.
- Provide time and space for each child to be alone.
- Make it possible for each child to feel that he/she has had some positive impact on the group.
- Provide the structure and support children need to resolve their differences.
- Share ownership and responsibility with the children. Talk about our room, our toys, etc.
You can use positive discipline by intervening when necessary:
- Re-direct to a new activity to change the focus of a child’s behavior.
- Provide individualized attention to help the child deal with a particular situation.
- Use “time-out” by removing a child for a few minutes from the area or activity so that he/she may gain self-control. (One minute for each year of the child’s age is a good rule of thumb.)
- Divert the child and remove him/her from the area of conflict.
Under no circumstances will a child be hit, yanked, shaken or otherwise physically abused. Harsh, abrasive or humiliating language will not be used, nor will food be withheld.
Procedure for Reporting Child Abuse
Incidents of suspected child abuse or neglect involving Child Care Center staff with children under their care and/or supervision must be reported immediately to The Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) Institutional Abuse Unit at (800) 331-3937 . The DYFS Child Abuse toll-free hotline number: (800) 792-8610 , 24 hours a day, evenings, weekends, and holidays. Child Care Staff, having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected in the child’s own home, shall promptly report the incident(s) to the local DYFS district office at (908) 412-7900 , Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; orThe DYFS toll-free hotline number: (800) 792-8610 after 5 p.m. and on weekends and holidays.
When making a report, the reporting person shall provide, whenever possible, the following information:
- The name and approximate age of the child
- The name and address of the parent or guardian of the child
- The name and location of the Child Care Center
- A description of the child’s present condition and the nature and extent of the abuse or neglect to which he/she has been subjected, including an indication of the seriousness of the situation and whether the child appears to be in immediate or imminent danger
- The name of the alleged perpetrator and any other information known concerning the circumstances of the suspected abuse or neglect.