TRULY SCRUMPTIOUS NURSERY BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT
We aim to present all children with a code of behaviour. We promote the development of a sense of right and wrong by teaching your child the appropriate way to act and discouraging unacceptable behaviour.
Sometimes it is necessary to help children understand their own boundaries in certain situations, explaining why we do not accept certain behaviours.
We believe that all children have a right to feel valued, respected, and safe. For this to happen in practice, we have a responsibility to behave in ways that enable all of us to feel free to explore and learn without fear of being hindered or hurt. This policy provides guidelines on how to support this vision; it recognises that learning self-regulation and socially appropriate behaviour is always a developmental process and that modelling positive behaviour, managing challenging behaviour appropriately and competently, we can provide for the needs of the individual as well as ensuring the safety and wellbeing of everyone at Truly scrumptious.
There are 5 characteristics that we are aiming to develop which underpin good behaviour.
Promoting Positive behaviour
For children to follow and co-operate with routines and “expected behaviour” we need to promote positive behaviour by:
- Being a good role model
- Being consistent
- Positive reinforcement
- Giving children a chance to change their behaviour
- Using positive body language- do not stand over children, come down to their level etc.
Young children usually misbehave because they have not yet learnt how to react to feelings and needs in acceptable ways. The most common needs and feelings that can trigger unacceptable behaviour are- attention, boredom, anxiety, fear, anger, curiosity, independence and anticipation.
- Respect and recognition- to value and celebrate our own and other contributions and uniqueness, and to show consideration for our own feelings and the feelings of others.
- Freedom and responsibility- to enable children and adults to explore and express themselves freely in an environment which supports decision making and opportunities to consider the consequences of our words and actions
- Inclusion- to provide access to learning for all, considering everyone’s needs, background and ability, working together to share the same vision and work together the same goal.
- Honesty- to empower everyone to communicate openly and honestly in their interactions with each other.
- Safety and trust- to help everyone to feel able to express their concerns and fears in an appropriate way and to thrive physically and emotionally in their learning.
At no time during disciplining your child would staff use physical punishment, e.g. smacking, shaking or slapping and it is our belief that using negative words like “no” and “naughty” are unhelpful and leave no room for movement. If a child presents us at any time with unacceptable behaviour, staff will approach the situation in the following way:
- Intervene at the time of conflict to establish the cause of upset.
- Talk to the children involved to gauge their feelings and reactions to the situation.
- Ask each child how they feel and how the other must be feeling so that both may realise that it is not just one person involved.
- In younger children who are not yet able to reason diversionary tactics, distraction would be used at this time.
- Where possible staff will anticipate and defuse difficult situations before disagreements arise that child might find hard to handle.
Achieving positive behaviour
Our setting believes that children flourish best when their personal, social, and emotional needs are met and where there are clear and developmentally appropriate expectations for their behaviour. Our designated Behaviour Management Officer is Patricia Trew & Darby Blake/ Brittany Vant.
Children need to learn to consider the views and feelings, needs and rights, of other and the impact that their behaviour has on people, places, and objects. This is a developmental task that requires support, encouragement, teaching and setting the correct example. The principles that underpin how we achieve positive and considerate behaviour exist within the programme for promoting personal, social, and emotional development.
If all the above have been tried consistently and there is still a need for modification of behaviour, the following methods will apply:
- Whilst reassuring the child that it is the behavior, which is unacceptable and not the child, firm guidance will be given should the unacceptable behaviors arise again.
- At all times praise is freely given to the child at the slightest sign of positive change in behavior.
- During this period the Manager will talk with the parent/career to inform them of the situation and to ask if they are experiencing similar difficulties.
- Advice will be given if it is needed regarding help from outside agencies. e.g. SENDco, Health Visitor or GP.
- A record will be kept of incidents which occur, and daily written observations made to learn what the trigger cause was.
- We will use ABC (Antecedent, Behaviour, Consequence) forms to ascertain if there is a pattern, trigger, frequency, what happens before and after.
Biting is fairly, common amongst young children and it is one of the things that concerns adults the most. Evidence suggests that up to a quarter of all very young children will bite others at some stage. We understand this is a difficult situation for parents whether it is your child that has bitten of your child that has been responsible for biting.
Biting is often very painful and frightening for the child who is bitten. It can also be frightening for the child who bites, because it upsets the child and makes adults angry. Biting can make the child who bites feel very powerful because of the strong reaction that it brings. This power can be frightening for the children because they need to feel secure that their feelings can be controlled. It happens for different reasons with different children and under different circumstances. The first step in learning to control it is to look at why it may be happening using the ABC chart.
Truly Scrumptious follow the HPA guidance for the management of human bites in childcare settings.
1 Why children bite
Children bite for many reasons and we aim to handle any biting incident with respect and sensitivity for all involved. It is the nurserys policy to deal with each biting incident on a case basis making sure that parents/carers involved are kept up to date with what is happening, but at the same time respecting the confidentiality of the children involved.
Whilst biting is more common at nursery or in other group situations than at home, a biting incident is not a negative reflection on the biter, the staff or the nursery. We have very clear behavioural expectations at the nursery and children are expected and encouraged to share, wait their turn, be respectful and play happily together.
Babies and toddlers learn by touching, smelling, hearing, and tasting. If you give a baby a toy, one of the first places it goes to is the mouth. “Tasting” or “mouthing” objects is something that all children do. Young children do not always understand the difference between gnawing on a toy and biting someone.
Children begin teething around the ages of four to seven months. Swelling gums can be tender and can cause a great deal of discomfort. Babies sometimes find relief from this discomfort by chewing on something. Sometimes the object they chew is a real person! Children this age do not truly understand the difference between chewing on a person or a toy.
Cause and effect:
Around the age of 12 months, babies become interested in finding out what happens when they do something. When they bang a spoon on the table, they discover that it makes a loud sound. When they drop a toy from their cot, they discover that it falls. They may also discover that when they bite someone, they get a reaction.
Older toddlers may sometimes bite to get attention. When children are in situations where they feel that they are not receiving enough attention they often find a way to make others sit up and take notice. Being ignored is not fun! Biting is a quick way to become the center of attention – even if it is negative attention.
Older toddlers love to imitate others. Watching others and trying to do what they do is a great way to learn things. Some children see others bite and decide to try it out themselves.
Toddlers are trying so hard to be independent – “mine” and “me do it’ are favourite words. Learning to do things independently, making choices, and needing control over a situation are part of growing up. Biting is a powerful way to control others. If you want a toy or want a playmate to leave you alone or move out of your way, it is a quick way to get what you want.
Young children experience a lot of frustration. Growing up is a struggle. Drinking from a cup is great yet nursing or sucking from a bottle is also wonderful. Sometimes it would be nice to remain a baby! Toddlers do not always have good control over their bodies. A loving pat sometimes turns into a push. Toddlers cannot always express themselves. They sometimes have trouble in asking for things or requesting help.
They have not yet learned how to interact with others. At times, when they are unable to find the words to express their feelings, they resort to hitting, pushing, or biting.
A child’s world can be stressful too. A lack of interesting things to do, or insufficient interaction with adults is stressful situations for children. Children also experience traumatic events in their lives, such as bereavement, moving to a new home, or even starting a new nursery. Biting is one way to express feelings and relieve tension. Young children are not always able to fully understand what they are feeling, they just act.
2 What we can do
Use the who, what, when and where method to pinpoint the problem:
- Who was involved?
- What happened before or after? How was the situation handled?
- When did the biting occur?
- Where did it happen?
If you determine that the biting occurs as the result of exploration or teething, you may want to provide the child with a teething ring.
If the child seems to bite when tired or hungry, you may want to look at your daily routine to be sure that s/he is getting enough sleep and nourishment.
Try to keep group play to short periods and small groups. Watch for situations where two children might want the same toy. For example, if the biting occurs when two children are fighting over a toy telephone, you may want to purchase a second one or perhaps try to distract them before a potential biting situation arises. It is not always possible to make very young children share. Toddlers do not necessarily have the skills to negotiate or understand another child’s perspective.
Children in this situation need close adult supervision, especially if they are known to bite. However even the best supervision, unless it is one-to-one, will not prevent some children from getting bitten.
If attention seems to be the main reason for biting, try to spend time with the child and praise them when they are doing more positive things. If the child is experiencing a stressful family or care giving situation, you will want to make everyday life as supportive and normal as possible. Predictable meals and bedtimes and extra time with a loving adult can help. Often, experiences like rolling, squishing, and pounding play dough or relaxing, splashing and playing in water are a great way to relieve tension.
Working in partnership with our parents/carers it integral to the success of this behaviour policy. For it to work in practice, their contribution is vital.
We will achieve this by:
- Sharing the expectation of behaviour through informal and formal discussions with individuals and group of parents/carers.
- Talking to individual parents/carers about all aspects of all their child’s behaviour daily, as well as at regular parent meetings
- Being fair, non-judgmental and consistent when discussing children’s behavior with parents/carers
- Providing extra support for parents/carers to help manage children’s challenging behavior e.g. through outside agencies
We hope parents/carers will feel able to:
- Inform us of any relevant changes to their circumstances which may affect their child’s behavior, e.g., new baby, moving to a new house, bereavement, divorce, separation, or hospitalization etc.
- Re-enforce expectations of positive behavior by talking to their child at home
- Actively support staff by implementing positive behaviour strategies.
Strategies with children who engage in inconsiderate behaviour
- We require all staff, volunteers and student to use positive strategies for handling any inconsiderate behaviour, by helping children find solutions in ways which are appropriate for the children’s ages and stages of development.
- Such solutions might include, for example, acknowledge of feelings, explanation as to what was not acceptable, and supporting children to gain control of their feelings so that they can learn a more appropriate response.
- We ensure that there are enough popular toys and resources and sufficient activities available so that children are meaningfully occupied without the need for unnecessary conflict over sharing and waiting for turns.
- We acknowledge considerate behaviour such as kindness and willingness to share.
- We support each child in developing self-esteem, confidence and feelings of competence
- We avoid creating situations in which children receive adult attention only in return for inappropriate behaviour
- When children behave in inappropriate ways, we help them to understand the outcomes of their action and support them in learning how to cope more appropriately
- We never send children out of the room by themselves, nor do we use a “naughty chair” or a “time out” strategy that excludes children from the group, we do however use “reflective time” and “calming time”
- We never use physical punishment, such as smacking or shaking. Children are never threatened with these, and we will not tolerate any parent or carer shouting, disciplining, or humiliating their child within the setting.
- We do use technical intended to single out and humiliate individual children
- We use physical restraint, such as holding, only to prevent physical injury to children or adults and or serious damage to property. Any physical restraint that may be used is recorded and parents are notified.
- Details of such an event (what happened, what action was taken and by whom, and the name of the witness) are brought to the attention of the managers and are recorded in the child’s personal file. The child’s parent’/s are informed on the same day
- In cases of serious misbehaviour, such as racial or other abuse, we make clear immediately the unacceptability of the behaviour and attitude by means of explanations rather than personal blame.
- We do not shout or raise our voices in a threatening way to respond to children inconsiderate behaviour
- Antecedent, behaviour and consequence (ABC) charts are extensively used to find the trigger and pattern to a child’s behaviour to prevent further occurrence.
Children under 3 years
- When children under three behave in inappropriate ways we recognise that strategies for supporting them will need to be developmentally appropriate and differ from those for older children.
- We recognise that babies and very young children are unable to regulate their own emotions, such as fear, anger or distress, and require sensitive adults to help them to do this.
- Common inappropriate or hurtful behaviours of young children include tantrums, biting or fighting. Staff are calm and patient, offering comfort to intense emotions, helping children to manage their feelings and talk about them to help resolve issues and promoting understanding
- If tantrums, biting or fighting are frequent, we try to find out the underlying causes- such as a change or upheaval at home, or frequent change of carers. Sometimes a child has not settled in well and their behaviour may be the result of “separation anxiety”
- We focus on ensuring a child’s attachment figure in the setting, their key person, is building a strong relationship to provide security to the child
Rough and tumble play and fantasy aggression
Young children often engage in play that has aggressive themes- such as superhero and weapon play; some children appear pre-occupied with these themes, but their behaviour is not necessarily a precursor to hurtful behaviour or bullying, although it may be inconsiderate at times and may need addressing using the strategies above.
- We recognise that teasing and rough and tumble play are normal for young children and acceptable within limits. We regard to these kinds of play as pro-social and not as problematic or aggressive
- We will develop strategies to contain play that are agreed with the children, and understood by them, with acceptable behavioural boundaries to ensure children are not hurt
- We recognise that fantasy play also contains many violently dramatic strategies, blowing up, shooting, etc. And that these often refer to “goodies and baddies” and as such offer opportunities for us to explore concepts of right and wrong
- We can tune in to the content of the play, perhaps to suggest alternative strategies for heroes and heroines, making the most of the “teachable moments to encourage empathy and lateral thinking to explore alternative scenarios and strategies for conflict resolution.
THIS POLICY WAS REVIEWED BY Brittany V – Manager – 23/03/2023