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Positive Strategies for Behaviour Management

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Positive Strategies for Behaviour Management

The following points outline how we nurture positive behaviour:

  • One to one adult support is offered to the child that has misbehaved to help the child to see what went wrong and work out possible solutions together.

  • Comfort and support is offered where another child has been hurt in an incident.

  • Clear explanations for unwanted behaviours and attitudes are made immediately to the child/children. Time out is never used instead staff will remove the child from the situation and stay with them whilst explaining the unwanted behaviour. Staff members should get down to the child’s level, listen to the child and discuss together. The child is encouraged to say sorry and is immediately encouraged to return to the play activity or whatever he/she chooses. The child is never isolated by being put in time out.

  • We always make clear to children that it is the behaviour and not the child that is unacceptable.

  • Staff use simple language, getting down to the child’s level and speaking calmly and quietly to the children when dealing with these situations. Staff demonstrate respect and empathy by listening and being interested.

  • Recurring problems are dealt with in an inclusive manner following observations and involving the child’s parents, and other appropriate adults.

  • Books and activities are available to help the children explore and name their feelings, where appropriate, with the aid of staff members.

  • We provide a wide range, variety and quantity of play equipment and toys both indoors and outdoors. This helps to prevent fighting and competition over toys.

  • We provide continual access to spacious outdoor play areas so that our children can run about and let off steam.
  • Desirable behaviour is encouraged by praising children for positive efforts such as attempting a task, being kind, a willingness to share, paying attention, doing as asked etc.

  • Developing social skills is an essential part of the daily routines. Children are encouraged to respect others, to take their turn, to share, to be kind and helpful, to recognise what hurts others, to respect differences, to cope with the behaviour of others, to forgive etc. This is supported by our weekly share day.

  • Children are taught how to recognise and name their feelings using methods appropriate to their age (e.g. simple language, pictures or gestures, pointing, nodding when adult says the correct guess) this will make it easier for them to say if they have a problem, or if they feel angry or frustrated. Children will be listened to patiently and given time to get across what they want to say and this will reinforce to them that they are important and valued.

  • Children will experience on a daily basis, how they and other children around them are treated. This will reinforce to them that every person big and small is valued, listened to, given time and support to express their wishes, that there are ground rules that are consistent, and that there are firm but fair consequences for unacceptable behaviours.

  • All of our staff members are trained and skilled in understanding children’s development and how to deal appropriately with the many minor behaviour incidents that are likely to arise. Staff members act as positive role models by being considerate to each other, especially in how they speak.

  • Ratios are strictly adhered to; this ensures that the children are appropriately supervised and supported at all times helping to avoid behaviour escalating.
  • We provide consistent staff members in each room to care for the children thus ensuring that children and staff create a bond and children are able ask staff to assist them if they are struggling to master a task or to communicate their wish or need.

  • Where necessary, we may seek additional advice or support from relevant professional services, e.g. Clare County Childcare Committee; the public health nurse in our district; or the lead professional from CEIS where a child has a diagnosed additional need.

We do not use negative methods of behaviour management in Bridge Kids. We try to avoid the words no and don’t and prefer to use words such as please, can you, etc.

For clarity of all the following negative methods of behaviour managed is never used

  • Corporal punishment (e.g. smacking, hitting, shaking)

  • Disrespectful or degrading (e.g. mocking or shaming, telling them that they are bad).

  • Refusing to respond when they ask a question, refusing to help when asked

  • Using a mocking nickname rather than the child’s name

  • Exploitation (e.g. use of older children to mind younger children in place of an adult)

  • Intimidating (e.g. shouting at, using threatening words or actions)

  • Harmful or neglectful (e.g. isolating, withholding food or drinks, restricting their movement, showing favouritism, repeatedly ignoring, being cold towards, failing to reassure, comfort or support).

  • Or any other harmful form of managing behaviour


The adults should anticipate the event where possible and intervene early to diffuse the situation. The teacher should explain why the child’s behaviour was not acceptable and suggest more appropriate behaviour. Eye contact is of great value in these circumstances. Positive behaviour is encouraged on an ongoing basis.

Discipline should establish structure, predictability, routine and reasonable developmentally appropriate expectations and boundaries. It is important to let the child know that you care for him/her- it is his/her behaviour that we don’t care for.

If a child persistently behaves in a disruptive fashion, the teacher should discuss the child’s behaviour with his/her parents and agree on a joint plan of action of action regarding the situation- a plan to suit each individual set of circumstances. Changes in the home life (new baby, new house, deceased grandparent etc.) can all affect behaviour, as can reactions to certain foods with additives etc. Sometimes, it is just the child asking, “Where do I stand?” – looking for boundaries to be set. A child must have confidence in the adults who are entrusted with their care.

A child must also understand what makes them feel safe and establishing behavioural boundaries helps them to respect the teachers, other children, and themselves.

Parents are asked to keep in mind that a slight brush when passing can be interpreted as a “major assault” by a 3 year old, just as someone knocking against the books can be seen as “wrecking the school”. So, if parents are worried about alarming stories that a child brings home, please check with the room leader

Parents should feel free to discuss any aspect of their child’s development with the room leader or manager

We, at Bridge Kids are firmly committed to identifying the underlying support needs and root causes, so often communicated in a coded way in children’s behaviour. Identifying the root causes of various behavioural challenges, be they acting in or acting out, allows us to more positively and accurately develop, in partnership with parents, a plan of action which will ultimately promote behaviour.

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