Discipline is “helping children learn personal responsibility for their behavior and ability to judge between right and wrong for themselves” (Fields, Meritt, & Fields, 2018, p. 3). There are many ways that a child can be disciplined or guided. Some of those ways can be great for the child’s characteristics in the future. They can also have a negative impact on the child’s characteristics especially if the child is disciplined in the “wrong way”. I believe that children should gain positive impacts or characteristics that discipline has to offer.
Those positive impacts can range from respect to self-regulation. Respect can be for others or themselves. The traits or characteristics that I want a child to have is empathy, honesty, and respect for others. These traits or characteristics should be learned through positive discipline or guidance. The traits or characteristics will help the student in the future. If the characteristics and traits are not learned by the student themselves, then how will the student truly understand what they all mean or how they work.
For example, if the teacher is embarrassing and making empty threats towards a child, then the only thing a child will learn is to lie and not be honest. If that keeps happening in the classroom, the child will never learn the value of honesty. The student will never learn the value of the traits when a teacher or a parent is telling the child what to do or say to another person. Every teacher wants a child to become a person who will be great in the future and can make a change in the world.
If the teacher is not helping the student to figure out the traits, then the student will never truly understand what those mean. There are many beliefs that of how a young child can be guided or disciplined.
My beliefs are that young children should always have choices in what their discipline or guidance is (Nelson 2013, p.114). This will allow them to be involved in their discipline. For example, if a student got in trouble then the student will have a choice on how they want to be disciplined. The two choices can be a positive time-out space or talk things out (Nelsen 2013, p. 138). The positive time-out space will let the child think and cool down from the situation that was happening. Talking things out will give the student a chance to explain why he/she was having behavior issues. I can use reflective listening to try to understand what the child is going through. There are many choices that a child can have when it comes to discipline or guidance. If they are not wanting to do either of those choices, they can spin from the wheel of choices (Nelsen 2013, p. 114). The second belief I have is for a child to have responsibility. This allows them to have good ethics. If the child has some responsibility, then the child will learn respect for others. They will have respect for others by seeing how hard other people work or be responsible. My third belief is for the child(ren) to always talk about what they are feeling at that moment or even a few minutes later.
This allows them to learn how to communicate with other people. This will help them express how they are feeling without yelling or being too upset about the situation. It allows the students to learn how to respect how the other person is feeling. My fourth belief is for the child(ren) to develop moral autonomy. This is where the child learns from their experiences that have been through (Fields, Meritt, & Fields, 2018, p. 8). Moral autonomy is important for a child to have to be able to grow and develop. All the beliefs above go along with different theories.
The theory that goes most along with my beliefs and goals is Constructivism. Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky are the theorists who came up with help create the Constructivism theory (Fields, Meritt, & Fields, 2018, p. 44). According to Constructive Guidance and Discipline: Birth to Age Eight, “Constructivist learning theory is not a “middle ground” between Behaviorism and Maturationism; rather it is a whole different view of learning and of guidance and discipline” (Fields, Meritt, & Fields, 2018, p. 8). This is explaining how that Constructivism is different from the other two theories. Constructivism is where the teacher helps the student learn from their experience. There are many ways a teacher can contribute to a classroom that is constructivist. The teacher’s contribution is to observe and develop big ideas that are connected to what the students are interested in and what they have already learned (“Learning Theory – Constructivist Approach,” 2019). The teacher will be able to understand more about the students and how they work together. This supports my goal of having the child learn from their experiences. Constructivism is about children learning through different experiences. Constructivism will help a child have my fourth belief of moral autonomy.
The second theorist that goes along with my beliefs is Alfred Adler’s 1917 theory or approach about emotional needs. This theory is all about the emotional needs of a child. The needs of that child are power, attention, and acceptance (Fields, Meritt, & Fields, 2018, p.35-37). The students need power to truly understand what choices they have. The students will have power by choosing their own actions. The reason attention is an emotional need is that it is “a major indicator of significance and social recognition” (Fields, Meritt, & Fields, 2018, p. 36). Acceptance is an important part of being human. No one wants to feel like they are alone or not like by other people. The theorist explains that all of these emotional needs will allow the student to truly understand other humans and themselves. There are many examples that will help achieve the goals and theories that will benefit the child’s development. This theorist will support my beliefs because children need emotional support. Also, my other belief in letting children show or talk about their emotions. Adler was all about emotions and how to help the child learn and show their emotions.
There are many ways that a child can accomplish or achieve the above goals. For example, if two students are fighting or naming calling, the teacher can give them an option to walk away and take a few minutes to cool down. Then they can come back together in a safe place in the classroom and let them talk it out with a little guidance from the teacher. This will allow them to have respect and empathy for the other student. This example refers to Adler’s theory because both the student’s emotional needs are being met (Fields, Meritt, & Fields, 2018, p. 36). The second example is reading a book about a situation about honesty. If a student is lying about something this gives them a chance to tell the truth without being asked. It can also let the student know how it is not right. This example reflects back to Constructivism and Adler’s theory. With the Constructivism, the student will be able to feel empathy for lying to another student or an adult. The example reflects back to Adler’s theory, with the student having the power, to be honest about the situation. The third example is reading a book to the whole class about what is right and wrong. This allows them to know the difference between right and wrong. This helps them with their moral autonomy. Which reflects back to the goals of having respect for another student. The third example reflects back to Constructivism Theory.
Every child is different when it comes to how they are disciplined. The disciplines should always be positive and help the child become a better version of themselves. The positive discipline will let the child learn more about how to treat people. The goals that a child should have is empathy, honesty, and respect for others. There are different theorists and beliefs that go along with the goals, and the child’s discipline.