Discipline Policy

Discopline vs Punishment

Discipline and punishment are often considered to mean the same thing, but in fact they are completely different concepts. The word "Discipline" originally comes from a Latin word meaning "to teach". Thus, discipline means teaching children appropriate and acceptable behavior. This gives children the reasons why they are to behave a certain way. Once children understand the reasons behind behavior, discipline techniques give them the opportunity to gain self-control. This is the ultimate goal of discipline and our goal here at Twin Oaks.

Punishment, on the other hand, may be defined as inflicting negative consequences to control behavior through fear and intimidation. Punishment does not teach children acceptable behavior or self control and can result in poor self esteem for the child. In using punishment children learn how they are not to behave, but not what is an acceptable alternative.

We at Twin Oaks are committed to teaching children good behavior through positive discipline. Corporal punishment or threats of it are not allowed at Twin Oaks. Punishment will not be associated with food, naps or bathroom procedures.

Appropriate Discipline Techniques Used at Twin Oaks

Redirecting Behavior

When a child is acting inappropriately in one area, our teachers will place (direct) them to another area, i.e.: "Tearing the book pages are not allowed in the book center. You may go to the Legos and play there until story time." This technique is usually more effective with toddlers, but preschoolers do respond to it.

Separate the Child from the Behavior

Discipline means separating the child from the behavior, acceptable or not. It involves unconditional love for children. For acceptable behavior we will use comments such as "I like the way you cleaned up the puzzle area", not "You are a good boy for cleaning up puzzles". For unacceptable behavior our teachers understand that it is not the child that is unacceptable, but the behavior. Our staff uses comments such as, "Biting is not allowed, you should talk to your classmates instead", rather than "You are such a bad child".

Use of Positive Language

Children can easily tune out adults after hearing negative comments such as "no", "stop", and "don't ", etc. too often. Our teachers will use comments such as " Thank you for walking", instead of "Quit running".

We Give Children Acceptable Choices

Our staff will give children two acceptable choices that are agreeable to the teacher. Such as " Would you like to play in Legos or Puzzles?" Comments that have an unacceptable choice or an " or else!" are not used and are contrary to our discipline philosophy.

Learning by Natural or Logical Consequences

Children will learn if left to experience the logical consequences of their actions. Such as " Tearing the pages form the book means we can't read a story from it."

We Use Humor When Appropriate

Using humor when an accident occurs or in other appropriate situations relieves stress in the children and the staff.

We Will Not Argue on Non-negotiable Issues

Children must learn the limits of certain behaviors. Any argument or long discussions give the child an indication that these are open to discussion.

We Plan for New or Difficult Times

New activities and transition times can be difficult for adults and children. Our staff plans ahead to prepare the children for these times. Such as " We use our inside voices in the Library", or "Let's sing a song while we wait".

Time Out

When time out is used correctly, it is very effective in helping children learn about behavior and how to control their behavior. Toddlers and two year olds generally do not understand time out so we do not use it at this age.

When used; one minute per year is the guideline.

Time Out is meant to give the child a chance to calm down and reflect on what has happened. A special area is provided in each classroom for a time out area. It places children away from the group but within supervision. After the time out period, which is determined by how long it takes the child to calm down, not a certain number of minutes decided by the teacher, our teacher will then talk with the child and help them learn from the experience.

How We Will Communicate Discipline Matters with You

Twin Oaks strives to maintain a safe, fun and exciting learning atmosphere. In the event of a child whose behavior is continually disruptive to this atmosphere we will require a conference with the parent. We are associated with professionals who specialize in correcting this type of behavior and will be glad to refer the parent to one if necessary. Twin Oak's staff will work very hard to assist the parent and/or professional in correcting this behavior.

After the child's first four weeks of attendance, Twin Oaks will schedule an informal or formal meeting with the parent to discuss the child's acceptance of and suitability to the program at Twin Oaks. If the staff feels that the child has not acclimated to the center or is not suitable for our program, we will discuss this with the parent and seek ways to correct the situation. Twin Oaks reserves the right to dismiss any child that the staff feels we will be unable to assist. The parent will be given two weeks notice to find other care for the child.

We encourage parents to feel free to schedule a meeting with our staff and management at any time to discuss any matter concerning their child.

Our Staff Training on Discipline

  1. Discipline matters are discussed at every staff meeting
  2. We supply our staff with training videos and other written material
  3. Our staff attends seminars as they become available