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2-9-00 Question 6 

Dear Preschool Teacher,
    I teach 3yr. olds (they all turned 4 this past fall).  I am looking for positive ways to discipline them.  Time outs are not working that well!  I am interested in any type of rewards for good behavior type ideas.  Any and all suggestions would be helpful!
Tired of Timeouts!

Dear Tired of Timeouts,
   
I applauded you for looking into positive discipline. Far to often time out's are used wrong. Time out's should always be a last resort. The most important thing to do is reward, reward, reward. (Please remember never to use food as a reward.) What I have done in my classroom for years is sticker rewards. The children know that they can earn 3 stickers a day. One for cleanup time, another for be kind to other children, and the last for behaving and listening to the teacher. Each day my children strive to go home with all 3 stickers. Get the parents involved too. If the parents are excited to see that the children come home with the stickers it will also help motive the children. Another way is to have a sticker calendar. Have a calendar for each child and at the end of each day if they where good, give them a sticker to put on their calendar. 
   
Now, another thing I do in my classroom, is what I call Time away. It is not a time out, but a time away from the situation that was causing the problem. Another approach I have used is putting an object in time out. When the children inappropriately playing with a toy, rather then putting the children in time out or just taking the toy away, what I do is I will put the toy in time out. This is again to prevent the over using of the traditional time out. There is a wonderful book I could recommend called 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 by Thomas W. Phelan Ph.D. This can be purchased through Amazon. Please see the link below.
   
There are also a few WebPages and wonderful articles that you can look into to help you make the right choices for your classroom:

http://www.disciplinehelp.com/home.cfm
http://www.nncc.org/Guidance/guide.disc.page.html
http://www.allkids.org/Epstein/Articles/Discipline.html
http://www.disciplinehelp.com/behindex/default.htm
http://www.redirectingbehavior.com/
http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/archive/timeout.htm
http://www.nncc.org/Guidance/cc35_timeout.over.html
http://www.nncc.org/Guidance/sac13_word.timeout.html

Good Luck to you!
The Preschool Teacher

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