Sunday, July 3, 2011

Don't Forget the WHY!

Enlightened Discipline really began with one thought. Time Outs don’t work. That was the thought. And all of the actions, practices and descriptions became natural as soon as I refused to use Time Outs as an option.

The hardest thing to do is to teach early childhood teachers to stop the behavior of Time Outs as any option, ever. Once teachers stop putting kids on Time Out, then they really begin to teach. Sometimes adults need to be taught and re-taught until they can feel the difference.

It’s our job, as those who support each other to key in on staff members who need us to “take the torch” in a specific situation. You know the times. You’re all heated and upset and just cannot wrap your head around the best response to a child that has brought you to the end of your rope. We’ve all been there. So, for those nearby….lend a hand to that teacher. Take the torch and let the struggling teacher take a break, or at least a backseat.

If you know you’re losing control, finesse or your emotions, also know that you must call for someone else to intervene for you. We are responsible for asking for help when we need it.

But let me sum up the truth about Time Outs - Peace Time, Quiet Time, Think About it Time or any of the passive punishments that adults use: If YOU are controlling the child’s
1) space or 2) time….. No matter what you call it, it’s a Time Out.

Once teachers and parents have released the option of a Time Out, then and only then can you truly embrace Enlightened Discipline. If you hang on to Time Outs as a last resort, you are giving yourself a crack to crawl through and the teaching will stop.

Enlightened Discipline is teaching the WHY in all behavioral situations. Why? There are only 3 possible answers: Safe, Kind or Clean. Why. It’s the underlying truth to how Enlightened Discipline is different. Don’t forget THE WHY.
  

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