Positive Discipline

Positive discipline teaches skills to assist youth to become successful adults.

Our goal at KMS is ultimately to give children what they need to become successful adults. To do that they must learn certain life skills such as: responsibility, judgement, self-respect, cooperation, self-discipline and problem solving, the same qualities they need to become good students.

Whether discipline issues are handled with dignity and mutual respect or with blame and a punitive attitude can go a long way in supporting the development of these crucial life skills in a child. To that end, the KMS staff approaches discipline in a way that supports the child’s own ability to make choices for themselves and ultimately, to “self-regulate” and feel good about themselves. Teachers assist an upset child to regain their “center” so that they can decide how they want to act. By participating in setting standards or guidelines of behaviors, children have “buy-in” and “ownership” and are more willing to regulate themselves in order to attain or maintain the standards they themselves regard important.

Discipline issues can often be viewed as opportunities to learn – to recognize a mistake, say you are sorry, and work to find alternative ways of working with an issue. When there is a problem in a group, the students come together in a meeting and discuss solutions to the problem. By focusing on solutions rather than consequences children are shown that their input is important and that they can find choices that are respectful to all and still meet their needs.

Children often misbehave because they feel they can’t get the love, attention or sense of belonging that they desire. Often they believe that their behavior will help them achieve their goal. Dialogue between teacher and student can often help get to the root of an issue and find positive strategies that make sense to both the child and the situation.

When a child is not making improvement with regard to difficult behaviors, the parents are asked to have a meeting with the child and the teacher. These meetings are opportunities to compare strategies and develop a plan everyone agrees on to follow and keep in touch about.