The goal of discipline is to assist and guide children in the development of self-control. All behavior is viewed as the child’s attempt to communicate. Discipline is consistent and based on an understanding of the function of the behavior and on an understanding of the child’s developmental level. It is constructive in nature, including such methods as diversion, praise for appropriate behavior, encouragement for effort, and separating the child from the situation. Phrases such as “eyes looking”, “quiet mouth”, and “ calm body” are used throughout the day to help children internalize expected behaviors. Separating a child from the group is not considered punishment and may be used if a child’s behavior necessitates a “cool down” period. Children are taught what a calm body feels like and when they have settled, he/she rejoins the activity.
Students in P.A.W.S. classes play a role in helping to identify simple and understandable classroom rules. A list of rules is posted in the room and frequently discussed so that expectations and limitations are clearly understood. All classes employ visual supports designed to help children understand the expectations and the flow of their day. Expectations are clearly defined. Children are guided throughout their day by staff skilled in using positive behavior management and instructional strategies designed to keep everyone happy, successful, and safe throughout their day.