Sunshine staff use positive methods of discipline, which encourage self-control, self-direction, self-esteem and cooperation. Teachers make every effort to model appropriate use of language to express feelings and to help children move from physical expressions of anger and frustration to using words. Emphasis is placed on using words to express feelings and emotions and helping children articulate feelings of hurt, anger or frustration.
To promote positive discipline, the following guidelines are observed:
- Staff will use positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior such as complimenting children for actions and demonstrating approval for appropriate behavior through words and body language.
- Staff will provide children with the rationale of given rules and directives. Explanations are brief and consistent.
- Staff will describe to children specific behavior that is inappropriate. Name-calling or labeling of a child is prohibited.
- Staff will help children find alternatives to inappropriate behavior. The method used will depend on the developmental level of the child, but will include recognition of the problem, description of the children's feelings, possible solutions and anticipated consequences and child awareness of the benefits or drawbacks of the final action taken.
- Staff will be encouraged to speak calmly and be within close proximity of a child who is acting inappropriately. Directives or choices will be given to the child in a spirit of helpfulness.
- Parents of a child with frequent behavior problems will be consulted by the child's teacher and the program director. Communication about behavior problems will occur only between the parent and their child's head teacher. Staff will make every attempt to work with the parents to find the cause of the problem and to seek a method of working with the child that will lead to some measure of consistency in expectations. Abnormally agressive or disruptive children may need therapy from related professionals. Parents of such children will be encouraged to seek evaluation or other help to meet their child's special needs.
- A child's misbehavior will have mutually corresponding consequences, barring those that could be physically harmful to the child or another person.