Head Start is a program for preschool age children; children that participate in the educational program are expected to behave with respect, kindness and courtesy toward their peers and teachers. Because the children in Head Start are very young, the aspect of discipline in a Head Start program is often an important subject. Children of such a young age are impressionable and still learning to control their emotions. Every parent handles discipline differently, which could differ greatly from the disciplinary methods used in the Head Start program.
1.Set rules and guidelines for Head Start students from the very beginning of the school year. Informing children what is expected of them from the start is the best way to eliminate needless disciplinary actions in the future. Children that know what type of behavior is expected are less likely to break the rules.
2.Make the rules simple; these are young children with a short attention span. Once you start explaining the rules, their little minds drift off into thoughts of recess, playtime and other more fun activities. Make the rules basic and simple.
3.Practice patience when disciplining Head Start children. The first time a child breaks a rule, explain to him in a patient but firm tone that his behavior is unacceptable and that if he partakes in that type of behavior again there will be consequences. Explain the consequence so the child fully understands the importance of his wrongdoing — taking away recess or not letting him participate in a fun activity are a few suggestions.
4.Make parents aware of Head Start disciplinary rules at the beginning of the school year. Parents and teachers should be on the same page when it comes to setting rules and boundaries for young children; expressing your disciplinary guidelines to parents helps keep future conflict to a minimum. If a child misbehaves and is disciplined in class, the parent should be made aware of the incident and not taken by surprise that punishment was issued for breaking rules.
5.Inform parents of all disciplinary actions taken against their child. You should notify them in person, by writing or over the phone. For consistent misbehavior, set up a meeting with the parents to discuss a plan for handling the child’s persistent bad behavior.