Our Positive Discipline Guidelines

Here are a few guidelines that we use at Cotati Co-op to maintain a positive discipline approach:

Speaking in the Positive

Children are constantly seeking information to help them make choices about how to behave. Negative language or “No” statements only tell the child what they can’t do. These statements do not offer any information about how to change the behavior.

Positive language or “Yes” statements offer useful information to enable the child to make appropriate choices. Sometimes “No” or “Stop” are very appropriate words to use, but more often than not there is a positive version of a negative statement. See the examples below:

Negative vs. Positive

Don’t run.
-Please walk. Running is for outside.

Don’t scream.
-Quiet voices inside. Screaming is for outside.

Don’t throw that.
-This toy is breakable. Please put it down carefully.

Stop hitting her.
-Hitting hurts; please be gentle.  Use words when you’re angry.

No throwing sticks.
-Sticks and rocks stay on the ground. Balls are for throwing.

▪ Keep in mind; children respond to positive encouragement just as much as they do to the attention they receive when they are misbehaving. A hug or gently rub on the back lets the child know you care.
▪ Provide consistent and firm limits of what behavior is acceptable and what is not. The child needs to know what is expected. Follow through with appropriate and  reasonable consequences. At the Co-op, hitting or bad language is not acceptable. Verbal conflict resolution is encouraged.
➢ Sometimes we say, “Some people don’t like to hear those words."
➢ Remain alert to the total situation. Attempt to foresee and forestall trouble. Redirect an uncooperative child to another activity. Redirect the entire activity into a more positive direction.

F.R.I.E.N.D. Method to Resolve Conflicts

Steps and Sample Phrases for Supporting Children in Resolving Conflicts:
F: Face-to-face: Place yourself between children and get on their eye level. Speak calmly and respond in a gentle manner.
R: Recognition: “You look very angry.”
I: Inquire: “I want each of you to tell me what happened.”
E: Echo: “John you are saying that Chris took the tricycle away from you.” “Chris you are saying that John doesn’t want to share the tricycle with you.”
N: Negotiate: “John wants to let you ride the tricycle for 10 minutes, and then he can ride it for 10 minutes.”
D: Down Time: “Great! You solved the problem.” Follow up to make sure the problem has been solved.