Positive Guidance Definitions• Discipline- punishment inflicted by way of correction and training; to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control• Guidance- a type of framework in which children can learn acceptable social practices and ways to express their feelings• Problem Solving- a set of principles and concepts that equip an adult to help and support children as they solve their own problems
The Problem Solving Approach• The Problem Solving Approach adapted from Guiding Young Children embodies five major measures: active listening, negotiation, setting limits, modifying the environment, and affirmations (Reynolds, 2008).
Active Listening• The first step in most problem solving activities, active listening is the teacher’s tool for interpreting a child’s feelings. A child will be better able to face his feelings regarding the problem if he feels he is able to express them and “someone will understand and accept him” (Reynolds, 2008). Active listening is the process of listening for feelings, interpreting them, and reflecting them back to the child.
Negotiation• During negotiations it is the teachers job to help the children identify the problem, discuss ideas for a mutually acceptable solution, decide on the best solution, and supervise the implementation of the solution (Reynolds, 2008).
Setting Limits• Limits are flexible boundaries that can be negotiable, in contrast to rules which are absolute and rigid. Limits are set based on four major considerations. 1. “To ensure the safety of each child and adult.” 2. “To prohibit the destruction of nondisposable materials and equipment.” 3. “To ensure that children accept responsibility for their own actions.” 4. “To ensure equal and respectful treatment of all people” (Reynolds, 2008).
Modifying the Environment• Modifying the environment can be the simplest form of problem solving. Successful teachers adjust the learning environment to prevent problems. This includes simplifying, childproofing, and limiting childrens surrounding (Reynolds, 2008).
Affirmations• An affirmation is a way in which a teacher makes a child feel important. Every child needs to be acknowledged and affirmations are a positive way to do that. Actions (whether positive or negative ) that are acknowledged will be increased.
Other Positive Guidance Techniques• Redirecting- Redirecting a child’s attention to another toy or activity that is more acceptable.• Reasoning- Explain to the children the consequences of their actions on other people and the purpose for obeying rules.• Modeling- It is vital that adults model the type of behaviors they desire in children. This teaches children how to deal with conflicts, cooperate, etc.
• Offer Choices- Children like to have some control over what happens to them. Offer children good choices that are appropriate and then accept their decision.• Acceptable Outlets for Expressing Feelings- Children need to express strong feelings, but help them find safe ways to do this.• Avoid Overstimulation- Too many choices and options overwhelm children. Allow them an appropriate number of choices.• Avoid Unrealistic Expectations- It is important that the teacher understand the skills and abilities of children.
• Natural and Logical Consequences- Actions result in consequences whether negative or positive. If the consequences are not too sever, let natural consequences happen. If not, create a consequence that is logical and appropriate for the behavior.• Age Appropriate Activities- Activities and equipment that are relevant and safe for the age of the child promote growth and development (Crapo, 2003).
About the Code• The National Association for the Education of Young Children developed a code, that was revised in 2005, to help guide the thinking of professionals in the field of Early Childhood.• The Code of Ethical Conduct outlines both ideals and principles for professionals working with four primary service groups: children, families, colleagues, and the community (Morrison, 2009).• The body of the code is hemmed in by core values and a statement of commitment.
Section I: Responsibilities to Children• A professional in the field must value childhood as a unique stage in life in which children need healthy, responsive, nurturing care (Morrison, 2009).• The following are a few examples of ideas and principles in this section: ▫ I-1.3: To recognize and respect the unique qualities, abilities, and potential of each child. ▫ P-1.2: We shall care for and educate children in positive emotional and social environments that are cognitively stimulating and that support each child’s culture, language, ethnicity, and family structure.
Section II: Responsibilities to Families• Families have a large influence in a child’s development. Professionals must work closely with the family towards a mutual goal of providing good, quality childcare (Morrison, 2009).• The following are a few examples of ideas and principles in this section: ▫ I-2.2: To develop relationships of mutual trust and create partnerships with the families we serve. ▫ P-2.3: We shall inform families of and, when appropriate, involve them in policy decisions.
Section III: Responsibilities toColleagues• It is the goal of a Early Childhood professional to work cooperatively with colleagues to create a positive, productive environment in which children can develop (Morrison, 2009).• This section is comprised of ideals and principles between co-workers, to employers, and with employees.
Section III: Cont.• The following are a few examples of ideas and principles in this section: ▫ I-3A.1: To establish and maintain relationships of respect, trust, confidentiality, collaboration, and cooperation with co-workers. ▫ P-3A.1: We shall recognize the contributions of colleagues to our program and not participate in practices that diminish their reputations or impair their effectiveness in working with children and families. ▫ I-3B.1:To assist the program in providing the highest quality of service.
Section III: Cont. ▫ P-3B.1:We shall follow all program policies. When we do not agree with program policies, we shall attempt to effect change through constructive action within the organization. ▫ I-3C.4: To encourage and support continual development of employees in becoming more skilled and knowledgeable practitioners. ▫ P-3C.1: In decisions concerning children and programs, we shall draw upon the education, training, experience, and expertise of staff members.
Section IV: Responsibility toCommunity and Society• Programs operate within the context of a larger community. It is the professionals job to offer services that meet the needs of the community members (Morrison, 2009).• This section is divided in to individual and collective (group) ideals and principles.
Section IV: Cont.• The following are a few examples of ideas and principles in this section: ▫ I-4.: To provide the community with high-quality early childhood care and education programs and services. ▫ P-4.1: We shall communicate openly and truthfully about the nature and extent of services that we provide.
The Finishing Touch• The core values outline the foundational beliefs of the code.• The code is concluded with a Statement of Commitment which reads as a oath to be taken by professionals in the field.• NAEYC includes a glossary of terms that are used throughout the document for clarification.• The NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct can be found at the following website: http://faculty.weber.edu/tlday/2610/code05.pdf
BibliographyCrapo, Wendy. (2003, June 27). Positive Guidance. Retrieved from http://www.uen.org/Lessonplan/preview.cgi?L Pid=4948Morrison, George. (2009). Early Childhood Education Today. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.Reynolds, Eleanor. (2008). Guiding Young Children. New York, New York: McGraw Hill.