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Exploring Classroom Discipline: Using Alternate Words

Classroom discipline, is something that is often needed to establish order within a classroom; however, sometimes there are certain methods that might seem harsh. Such as time-outs (which tends to make children feel ostracized from their peers), and even constant barrages of 'No!' 'Stop!' or 'Don't'. This is especially difficult to navigate if the children are having trouble listening altogether (and this does happen). 

  • Treat the child with respect

As adults, and educators, we often carry with us a 'know what's best' attitude. Even though we do know what is best, we often inhibit the child, and make them feel less-than if we constantly tell them 'No' without giving a reason. For example, if a child is hanging on a swing on her belly, we can say: "Sally, swinging on your belly isn't safe. Could you please swing on your bottom?"

  • In essence by not saying "No" or "Stop" or "Don't" we are treating the child with respect that they will understand that something is not safe. Of course, this would only apply to certain age groups primarily older children
  • Give the children a choice

I cannot stress this next bullet point enough. For example, if a child is stacking blocks too high, instead of telling them: "Jason, stop!" You can kindly come up to the child and say: "Please play with your blocks properly, or you're going to have to put them away." Oftentimes, the child will fix the blocks, or sometimes they will get frustrated and knock them over, at which point it is prudent to ask the child to put the blocks away because they are not playing with them nicely, and when they come back, ask them to find a friend to play with, or choose another toy.

Kids are much more intelligent than we give them credit for, and implementing choices and explanations in regard to discipline can help nurture a child as opposed to hindering them. What are your opinions on discipline? Do you think giving children choices and explanations is better than outright punishment?

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photo credit: Kindergarten, 3 - (license)
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