Our philosophy of discipline is truly behavioral education. That is why it is different and so very successful.
We now call it “Enlightened Discipline” and Owner Julie Jenkins has published a book by the same name to share with ECE professionals and parents. At Caring Connection, we teach children to use their own mind to make decisions and to learn the laws of the planet. Natural laws such as gravity are recognized and applied to children’s behavior. Teachers of course have a huge role in teaching, reminding and helping children respond appropriately.
Natural and logical consequences are the anchor that we live by supported by our teaching “Safe, Kind and Clean”. These very core values teach children the basics in human skills. These values apply to all behavior from childhood through adulthood. Our teachers work with children to remind them to act in Safe, Kind and Clean ways throughout their day.
We do not use words like bad or naughty, mean or nice. We keep it to safe, kind and clean. When children act outside of these core values, our staff will remind them or assist them in correcting their behavior that has not been safe, kind or clean. Their correction is specifically related to what action they caused. If they spilled, they wipe it up. If they break something, they try to mend it or are aware and responsible to throw it away. If they hurt someone, they are taught how they can assist in that person’s care: hugs, Kleenex, an icepack on an injury are some common treatments of children by children.
One thing you will not see at Caring Connection is the use of “time outs” as a discipline technique.
Not only are time outs very difficult to enforce, they are just a form of passive punishment. A time out does the opposite of what Enlightened Discipline does. A time out removes children from the situation that they have caused or been involved with and the potential of learning so much more from their actions. When children are sent away, they miss out on the chance to improve their behavior.
Learning human social skills through Enlightened Discipline takes time on the part of teachers and children. We strive to equalize the power and do not foster bullies or victims. Victim behavior is coached so that the passive child learns to use his/her voice and claim, “Don’t hit me. It hurts.” Children who might otherwise be bullies and labeled all the while are learning to be helpful, kind and how much better being a hero feels.
Enlightened Discipline is amazing and relatively simple. It isn’t however so easy for adults to change from old patterns. That’s why Caring Connection has ongoing trainings for our own teachers and offers parent seminars from time to time.