Teaching Children About Appropriate Behavior
As a mom or teacher of young children, you have witnessed how misbehavior can escalate rather quickly. You know what your parents have taught you or what the school district has mandated as proper behavior management techniques, but how do you make sure your children are ‘getting it’? How can you be certain that you’re doing your best to exploit these teachable moments? Finding the delicate balance between appropriate discipline and negative reinforcement is a struggle for most parents and teachers. Amanda Morgan, Not Just Cute creator, has written a great article about positive guidance and alternative disciplinary procedures that can be used at home or school to create greater benefit and learning. As Morgan explains, the traditional method of sending children to ‘time-out’ has three distinct flaws; it is overused, many times it is not age appropriate, and most often, it is employed as a break for parents/teachers or punishment rather than an opportunity for learning. Morgan suggests reserving these ‘breaks from the action’ for times when a child has fully lost control and needs to be removed from classroom activity in order to regain it. A parent or teacher should be waiting to ensure that the child understands why their behavior was inappropriate, reinforce that they are not a bad person, and strategize how the situation could be handled better next time.
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