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Helping Children Understand and Accept Limits

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Sarah Garcia

on 28 October 2012

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Transcript of Helping Children Understand and Accept Limits

Helping Children Understand and Accept Limits Piaget's 5 types of sanctions or consequences that are alternatives to punishment Combining Teaching and Consequences Watch your attitude Helping Children Make Connections When Consequences
become punishment Use Consequences
with caution Selecting Reasonable
Consequences Chapter 8 Guiding Topics How you handle immediate behavioral concerns

What types of consequences might best guide children toward moral autonomy

The difference between consequences and punishment

How adults select consequences Natural Consequences
Doing to the child what the child has done The child experiences the direct results of his or her own behavior

Example: A child who has a cold room due to breaking a window A child who hits another child is asked to find something else to do until he or she feels ready to behave appropriately The child may not have access to materials that have been abused or misused until the child feels ready to behave appropriately The child pays for, or replaces, that which has been damaged or lost; the child assists a person injured through that child's fault This does not mean an adult doing evil for evil, such as biting a chid who has bitten, but rather not doing a child a favor who has not done their chores Piaget identifies two types of sanctions to guide children:

Punishment - delivered with coercion and is designed to make the child suffer

Consequences - further social functioning because they are based on relationships. Piaget argues that consequences should help the child understand how the misdeed affects others.

The child learns that misbehavior has a negative affect on relationships. Natural Consequences are a matter of getting out of the way and allowing children to learn from their experiences

Social behavior and friendships are also molded a great deal by natural consequences. Avoiding Overprotection:

Don't confuse "learning responsibility" with "natural consequences"

Children still need guidance and reminders for important things, however behavior and social choices are the best teachers for natural outcomes Exclusion is not time-out. Exclusion permits the child to remain a member of a group, but removes him/her from the person the child offended.

The intent is to teach the child that his or her actions broke the relationship bond

A teacher or aide can stay with the excluded child to support the thinking process and encourage rejoining the offended person as soon as possible so that the relationship can be repaired. Telling a student he/she may not play in a certain center area until they decide to treat the materials with respect is different than placing the student in time-out

By asking the student to decide when they are ready to return gives them the message that you have faith in their ability to make the necessary behavior adjustments. Restitution is not likely to get mixed up with punishment.

Cleaning up a mess you make.
Helping a friend get a band-aid if you pushed them down.
Rebuilding a block tower you knocked over.

Restitution motivates children to build rules of conduct
for themselves. Every situation has a teachable moment, and it
is up to the teacher to appropriately incorporate this when negative behavior occurs.

Asking students questions to figure out who started a problem is not always the best choice. Interrogation puts the adult back in charge of the student's behavior rather than promoting emotional development. Consequences respond to a behavior problem in a way designed to solve the problem rather than to punish the child.

Many people began using "consequence" as a nicer term than punishment, and as a result the terms became confused. Natural Consequences
happen without an
imposed intervention.

Related Consequences
are imposed without
anger or intent to
harm. They are logical
and respectful.

Punishment is intended
to cause pain, either
physical or emotional
distress. Even an excellent related consequence can be turned into a punishment. It is important to not be angry, or your anger will be all that is heard.

Variations of "I told you so" are another way to ruin the educational value of related consequences. Often it is better to say nothing and let the consequences speak for themselves.
The bottom line is respecting children. If you take away a child's dignity you are damaging them. Sarcasm and humiliation have no role in teaching better behavior. The main difference between punishment and consequences is how they make children feel about themselves. Because an adult administers consequences, they demonstrate adult power over children. For this reason, less-intrusive methods of discipline should be tried before resorting to consequences or punishment:

conflict negotiation These are the two reasons to rely on consequences as discipline:

To teach understanding

To enforce necessary limits while you work on the cause of a behavior problem Plan Ahead: Related consequences take planning and forethought. They require a teacher to step away from adult needs and to look at the behavior from the perspective of the child. Evaluating
Expectations Related Consequences are supposed to help children judge the pros and cons of a certain behavior - consequences should be selected carefully

Telling a student to "hurry up or you'll be late"
may not matter to the student if being late
isn't important to the student. The Consequence also needs to be something that you can live with and are actually willing to follow through with. Related consequences in a curriculum should be planned as carefully as the academic aspects. If negative behaviors are indicators of an unmet need, these need to be addressed as well.

The key to successfully combining strategies is to evaluate the situation and all of the possible causes of children's behavior. Is the behavior a result of of the environmental arrangement?

Is it a result of curricular demands?

Is the behavior typical for the child's developmental level?

Have adults in the child's life modeled examples of good behavior?

Had the child been coached in effective communication skills? Preschoolers may be somewhat less adept at linking cause and effect, but they are able to learn from related consequences.

Adults can assist children in thinking about cause and effect as well as about how their actions affect others. The adult attitude towards the child is a key factor in the difference between punishment and consequences.

A helpful attitude is much different than an angry one and makes a child feel much differently. Of course, the way the child feels about the teacher in general also play a part.

Your relationship with each child is the foundation for any guidance or discipline approach.
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