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kids playing with teacher in classroom

To discipline means to teach!

What discipline is: 

Discipline is a strong, effective way to teach positive:

  • Behaviors
  • Ways to express feelings
  • Ways to play
  • Ways to respond to others
  • Family values
  • And safety

What discipline is not:

Discipline is not punishment, which may –

  • Make young children feel unloved
  • Make them feel they are bad
  • Make children act out of fear
  • Focus on what is wrong without teaching what is right

Remember, children can be:

  • Messy, clumsy, and noisy. Your child is not bad when doing these things – only being a child!
  • Always on the move. Sitting quietly – even for a short time – is hard for them.
  • Not perfect. None of us are! It’s okay for children to make mistakes.  It’s how we learn!

Things to Do

  • Notice and praise “good” behavior. Ignore “bad” behavior (like whining) when you can.
  • Be positive. Try telling a child what to do instead of what not to do. Example: Say, “Please walk inside the house.” Instead of, “Don’t run in the house.”
  • Save your “Don’ts” for big rules. Example: “Don’t cross any street without an adult.”
  • Give clear instructions. “Be good” or “Behave yourself” does not mean much to a young child. Be very specific in communicating your expectations.
  • Be a role model for your child. If you ask politely and share, your child will learn from you.
  • Give your child choices as often as you can. Example: “Which would you rather do first, put on your pajamas or brush your teeth?”