Philosophy of Discipline

Positive Guidance consists of direct and indirect actions used by the adults to help children develop socially acceptable behavior. Effective, positive guidance maintains the child’s self-esteem and produces growth and desired changes in the child’s behavior. The long term goal of guidance is inner self control. Teachers provide a respectful, supportive climate in which children are helped to make decisions, observe the consequences of their actions and take responsibility for their own behavior.

Indirect guidance techniques may include:
  • We give previous warnings:  “You have five more minutes to play before it’s time to clean up.”
  • We give choices:  “You may paint with the other children or you may quietly read a book.”
  • We set limits: Children are given basic, clear, and concise rules to guide their behavior. Boundaries and expectations expand as children mature.
  • We have regular routines: “We always wash our hands before snack and lunch.  After lunch is story time.”
  • We avoid nagging:  We tell the children what we expect just once, follow it by asking the child if he/she remembers what we asked, and then offer to help the child to do what was asked.
  • We’re consistent:  We do things the same way each day so the children know what to expect and learn to trust and feel safe in their environment.
  • We model behavior:   Adults clearly demonstrate compassionate, caring behaviors that set examples for children to follow.

We also use direct guidance techniques:
  • We use affirmative words:  “We use walking feet indoors” or “Please walk” rather than “Don’t run!” or “Use your words to tell us you’re angry” rather than “Don’t hit!”
  • We get the child’s attention by crouching down to his/her level, making eye contact, speaking quietly, and asking the child to repeat the directions.
  • We use passive intervention: Teachers give children time to work through their own problems, but are there to help if things escalate to destructive or aggressive behavior. Passive intervention, such as re-direction, gentle touch, or positioning between youngsters is often sufficient to quell a small storm.
  • We use directive intervention: Children are physically separated if they begin to hurt each other. Follow-up through clarifying questions and problem-solving helps to diffuse tension and validate youngsters’ feelings.
  • We try very hard to be fair.  We examine our expectations to make sure they are age appropriate, and we don’t make rules just because an activity is too noisy or messy.
  • There are natural consequences: Teachers point out and reinforce natural consequences as they occur. Children see the results of their own behavior and begin to modify it accordingly. "You threw sand after we asked you not to. Now you need to leave the sandbox and find a different area to play in."
  • We avoid arguments by following through with solutions that address the problem, but also offer the child a way to exit gracefully from the problem:  “You can choose a quiet place to calm down or I can choose one for you.”
  • Single adult delivery: Teachers do not interrupt or intervene in another adult’s interaction with the child(ren) about a behavioral matter. Children are quick to discern when adults do not agree with one another, which can cause confusion. This contradicts the goals of consistency and modeling described above. Any disagreement that adults have about child guidance is discussed after class time and amicably resolved.

We as staff, pray for the children and families in our program.  We use prayer with the children, asking God for His guidance in all of our daily activities.  One-on-one prayer is used with children during difficult times, asking God to open our hearts to His will. If a child is unable to demonstrate self-controlling behavior, a brief “time away” may result for the child to regain control.  This only occurs when other measures fail, and is used as an opportunity for the child to re-group, not as a punishment. Time away removes a child from an area and allows them to decide when they are ready to come back and make good choices.  

At Calvary Murrieta Christian Preschool, discipline has as its goal, educating and redirecting children.  It emphasizes cooperation.  In contrast, punishment has as its goal, hurting, shaming, or scaring children.  Punishment is an inappropriate form of discipline and has no place in our preschool. Some negative behavior is best ignored since its goal is often to get attention. This technique is effective for some of the disruptive things children do and it minimizes mimicking activity by other children.

Occasionally, the situation cannot be handled within the classroom setting, and the Director is asked to assist.  This only happens when the child’s behavior jeopardizes the safety of the class or the quality of the program.  The parent will be informed of the situation and the action taken.  If the situation reoccurs, the teacher, Director, and the parent will then meet to develop an appropriate plan for positive behavioral change, and frequent updates will be given.  

If an inordinate amount of the teacher’s time is needed to attend to a particular child’s special situation, to the extent that it is depriving the other children in the classroom the level of care and concern to which they are entitled, they may be asked to withdraw from our program. In addition, if a child’s or parent’s behavior threatens the safety of, or becomes abusive toward, other children or teachers in the preschool, they may be asked to remove their child from our program immediately.

Classroom Rules

  • We are kind to one another
  • We listen to our teachers (We are "1st time listeners."
  • We use gentleness
  • We use our words when we need help

Playground Rules

  • Children must be accompanied by staff at all times.
  • Child should learn to take turns.
  • Children should walk around swings when used by others.
  • Children must sit down on swings.
  • Children may not jump off moving swings.
  • Children should go down the slide on their bottom with feet first.
  • Children may not throw sand, dirt, or wood chips.
  • Pushing, shoving, and wrestling are not allowed.
  • Children can climb on the play equipment; not on the fence
  • Children may run on the grass or wood chips; not on the blacktop.