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Discipline in Child Care Programs and Classrooms

May 22, 2010 10:04 by Barbara Shelby


 Updated October 2013...



Try to remember...We are here to meet the children's needs--not for them to meet ours!!!

Once we understand that discipline has nothing to do with 'punishment' and it's all about helping children learn appropriate behavior--and the various ways to do it--we're on our way!

The word discipline means 'to teach'; disciples learn.
With discipline, our goal should be to help children become responsible and take ownership of their actions and behavior. It's helpful to remember that it's a lot easier to be good when we feel good!

This page was written primarily for child care programs--but but can help all working or raising children...


1. State clear messages to  children if you want them to do something specifically. "Those toys belong there," is unclear--a clear message would be "Those toys belong on the bottom shelf, next to the blocks."

2. Give children choices, but only when you want them to make a choice. Many times we ask children a question even though they really have no choice. "Do you want to clean up now"? Is a good example of a statement that seems like the children have a choice-they have to clean up, because mom has arrived, or it's a transition time.

3. Don't add the word "O.K", or let your voice go up at the end of the statement. Again, this sounds like a question that gives the child choice. It also takes away the authority of your statement.
4. Make comments sound sincere. "You were really good today, is vague and may sound insincere. "I really liked the way you picked up the Legos and put them in the close, is specific and sounds sincere-it tells the child what you are thinking.



1. Only enforce legitimate rules--rules that deal with safety, property, and rights. Make sure there are valid reasons for the rules the children are expected to follow. If there is not a good reason for a rule-don’t have it. Refrain from saying "NO" unless there is a good reason to say "No".  Always give children the answer to their "why".


2. Use a peace wall--- where rules, steps of conflict resolution, and community and self-esteem building posters are placed. Make sure the children know the rules---review them as needed. Remember to acclimate all new children. When needed take the children to the rules that need to be addressed.

3. Have a consistent routine so the children will know what is expected of them. Consistency gives children a feeling of control. Let the children know what will happen, 'when, during, before, after, and when there will be a change to the schedule or routine'.

4. Use natural and logical consequences when possible. Do not put a consequence in place that does not make sense, or is not related to the behavior.

A NATURAL CONSEQUENCE  itself is sufficient.
• If anything beyond understanding is spoken, it is punishment.
• If children don't eat their snack, and later come to you saying they are hungry, just say, "It is uncomfortable being hungry-soon you’ll have dinner at home.
     If you say, "I KNEW you'd be hungry!" as well as, "How many times do I have to tell you to eat!?"-- It's no longer a natural consequence but a punishment. They know they didn't eat--and that it's uncomfortable--maybe next time they'll eat.

Logical consequences make sense, and in some way are related to the behavior. Examples:
• Children drop beads they are stringing; they pick them up.
• A child tears up someone's paper craft; the child repairs it or helps make a new one.
• Someone stays at the computer 15 minutes too long; they lose 15 minutes.
• Paper on the floor--it is cleaned up.
• Child behaves inappropriately at the craft table or in the gym; after a warning, he/she leaves the area until they remember to follow the rule.
• Children run down the hall; they turn around, go back and walk.
• Spills drink; wipes it up.
Again, only apply the logical consequence. If any words are spoken such as, "How many times have I told you to be careful?!"  It is no longer a logical consequence, but a punishment.



Children remember more of what we do, than what we say. Eighty per cent of children's behavior is learned through observation of adult behavior (Albert Bandur-Social Learning Theory)

1. Follow the children's rules-model appropriate behavior in speech.
The following examples have actually been overheard at afterschool sites-- Refrain from comments such as:

• I needed to get drunk to get my ears pierced.
I snuck into the movies, without paying.
I need a cigarette (or drink).
Say to a co-worker that a certain staff person (or parent) "drives me nuts".
Gossip about anyone! You'd be amazed at what the children hear when we think they're not listening...

2. Model appropriate behavior in action.

If the rule is "we use inside voices,"then use an inside voice.
If then rule is "we eat and drink seated at a table"-then be sure not to walk around with your coffee cup or drink.
With the rule being "we cover the table for messy projects", be sure you cover the table.

3. Be aware of your tone of voice and body language, when talking to children and staff. It is never appropriate to yell, use sarcasm, or belittle them. If you feel yourself getting angry, tell them you need a time out, and will talk to them when you have cooled down.
If you have lost your temper, tell the child you are sorry. You were angry, but it wasn't o.k. for you to talk to them like that. (For adults and children alike, it is o.k. to be angry, but handle it appropriately)

4. As a staff, be consistent to program/school philosophy and discipline methods. Be supportive of each other, otherwise the children do not have definite boundaries to work within. Lack of consistency often reflects arguing, tattle tales and name-calling.

5. Know child development!
Understand the general stages of the mixed ages, as well as being aware of each child's individuality.

According to Dr. Becky Bailey:

Children see things in black and white--not shades of gray. They are literal. Being "Fair" is all important!
Children do not incorporate the contraction "don't" into their cognitive development, until they are six or seven years old. When you say, "don't jump on the couch", they hear, "jump on the couch"! Tell the child what you want him to do-instead of what you don't want him to do. "We sit on the couch" is an example. Also, children hear the last words that are said. Don't sit on the couch---is heard as, "Sit on the couch.
Children do not think in words until they are six or seven. He will not be able to think what he has done--if this cognitive process has not been added to his development.
Understand what to expect of motor coordination in the mixed ages. Don't fault a child for not throwing/kicking within a designated area, if he does not have the gross motor ability.
It may take 2000 repetitions, for a child to hear something, before it is cognitively developed. Keep reminding the children of the rules. According to Dr. William Glass, adults only remember 20% of what they've heard. How can we expect a child to remember with one or two comments?





1. When possible, try to ignore attention-seeking behaviors of whining, tattling, and tantrums, as long as no one is getting hurt, and all is safe.
When possible, give attention to appropriate behavior, by noticing, commenting and spending some one-on-one time with the child. Some unwanted behaviors might dissipate if we can ignore them long enough.
Incidents with verbal/physical abuse should never be ignored.

2. At times you will have a passive child. If the child is not looking for attention and doesn’t know how to be assertive when others are being physically/ verbally abusive, give him the words and help him build assertiveness skills.

When Tommy is upset that someone took his toy, ask if he liked what happened. (If he answers with a strong "NO!"--brainstorm with him to solve the problem.
If he says, "no" in a very quiet, passive voice, rehearse with him in saying, "I feel angry when you take my toys. Stop." If you don't rehearse exact words-the child will become confused during the confrontation.
You then go with Tommy to the other child. Tommy tells the other child, "I feel angry when you take my toys. Stop"
Staff person says, "Tommy has told you he feels angry when you take his toys, and to stop." "I'm here to make sure it doesn't happen again'.

3. Give  children a warning before transition time is put in place. Let the children know before they will need to stop playing or at other transitions.
4. Do not assume the challenging child is always the instigator/culprit-and the good child is the innocent one! Investigate.
Find out what happened previous to what you saw-and before that. 
Keep judgmental comments to yourself.

5. If you see a child doing something, do not ask if it happened. (A child hitting another child). Many times if backed into a corner a child will lie. If you saw a child do something-tell him you saw what happened.
6. Don't ask children "WHY" they did something. Most of the time they don't know why.
• The child giving you a reason validates the behavior. He gave you a reason-so this makes it O.K.
• Asking "why" may tell the child you don't have a clue!
• Whatever the problem -- implement appropriate behavioral management. Use redirection, natural or logical consequences, conflict resolution, the peace wall, removal from the area, or talking about the behavior.

7. Don't ever MAKE children say they are sorry. At that point the child will most likely not be sorry.
Yes, we do want them to say, "I'm sorry" but on their own. 
It would not be a good trait to carry into adulthood, where all a person needs to do is say, "WelL, I SAID I was SORRY!" and everything is resolved.

We should model and use appropriate words by first telling the aggressed child "we are sorry".
What you do after investigating is to have the injured party tell the other child how he/she feels.
If the aggressor takes ownership, responsibility, and discusses alternative behavior, nothing more is needed. If you need to talk to the aggressive child-send the other child away. (Privacy)
If the aggressor does not take responsibility nor discuss it, then the parent should be involved and/ or a behavior notice step taken ---whichever is indicated.

8. If you are having problems of aggression with children, discuss how they will handle their behavior, prior to entering the problem play area. Do this until it is no longer needed.

9. Stay away from power struggles. Remember it takes two people to argue.
Stay calm and in control. We operate from the brain cortex when in control--when angry, this shifts to the limbic, where it is difficult to stay calm. Tell the children it is O.K. to be angry, and then help them find appropriate ways to cope with their frustrations.

10. It is not necessary to inform parents of every infraction. If the child has taken ownership/responsibility for minor problems--it has been resolved.
If you involve the parents after children have taken responsibility, you are telling the children you do not trust them.
If you need to talk with the parent for a more serious behavior challenge, explain to the child that you trust him/her and they are not in trouble with you. However, because it is serious, the two of you will talk to the parent together.

11. If you do need to talk to a parent, have the child present, and if possible have the child present the behavior issue.
If not present, children may think you are talking against them, behind their backs, or they may be concerned with parental anger issues.

12. When a child comes to you with a problem, do not automatically tell him what to do. It is our goal to empower the child and guide them towards self-discipline.

13. Learn Steps of Conflict Resolution.  An easy method to remember is ABCD.
Ask. Brainstorm. Choose. Do it!
When generating ideas---have three to choose from. If all involved are not happy with the choice-- continue.

You have not solved the problem until all parties are satisfied. Example:
First, make a warning statement to the child.
Next, repeat the rule and clearly state the consequence that will result if the rule continues to be broken. "Tommy, I'm concerned that you're throwing the ball too hard. Someone is going to get hurt. Either throw more gently, or you will have to leave, and find something else to do."
If difficulty continues, calmly tell the child to leave the area, and find something else to do; however, he is welcome back when he knows he can remember to ______! "Tommy, you're still throwing the ball too hard. It looks like you're having a hard time   remembering to be gentle. Go into the other room and find something else to do. When you know you can remember to throw it lighter, you’re welcome back to the gym."
If he continues to behave inappropriately when/if he returns, he will have to leave the area for the day.
If the child does not cooperate, the behavior must be discussed with the parent (with the child present). If this is an ongoing disruptive pattern, a written behavior notice is indicated.


 TIPS, IDEAS, Things to think about...


At the beginning of the school year introduce rules. For the first rule have...  'Enter the room with a smile!' Discuss how important it is to spread joy and it starts with them. Take pictures of  students smiling. Select different students weekly that are smiling and display them in an area of the hall. Do not tell them who will be selected as "Students of Joy!" for the week. Include classroom behavior for the month and smile before displaying their picture. You may also have other students take pictures if you have a digital camera." (Source:  Nell Clark, Computer Teacher  at )


Something to think about...BEHAVIOR LABELING
By Dixie Fletcher

If an adult is reinforced for behaving appropriately we call it recognition.
If a child is reinforced for behaving appropriately we call it bribery.

If an adult laughs we call it socializing.
If a child laughs we call it misbehaving.

If an adult writes in a book we call it doodling.
If a child writes in a book we call it destroying property.

If an adult sticks to something we call it perseverance.
Of a child sticks to something we call it stubbornness.

If an adult seeks help we call it consulting.
If a child seeks help we call it whining.

If an adult is not paying attention we call it preoccupation.
Of a child is not paying attention we call it distractibility.

If an adult forgets something we call it absent mindedness.
If a child forgets something we call it attention deficit.

If an adult tells his side of a story we call it clarification.
If a child tells his side of a story we call it talking back.

If an adult raise his voice in anger we call it maintaining control.
If a chiild raises his voice in anger we call it a temper tantrum.
If an adult hits a child we call it discipline.
If a child hits a child we call it fighting.

If an adult behaves in an unusual way we call him unique.
If a child behaves in an unusual way we call him in for a

For other poems, stories, quotes, click here...


 THE TALKING STONE or Stick (Use with Pre-K and up!)
Often during circle or group time, many children want to talk at once. One way to help children learn how to take turns is to use a visual clue. Teachers/caregivers might try using a "talking stick" or "talking stone". This is a tradition with some Native Americans. Hold your 'stick' or 'stone' while you speak and then pass it on when it's time for another person to talk.

You can use a colorful rock or decorate your stick in a special way. This technique helps young children learn to respect the speaker and to wait and listen. Continue with this idea and soon the children will be reminding each other.

This version is adapted from; however, I used this method for 20 years when having group meetings with youth. I also made a "Talking Mouth" out of a rolled up pair of white socks and in the past used a stone and feather. It works!!! Until recently, I didn't know that it has Native American origin. It was something that I just thought of... 30 plus years ago! (Barb)



The first few days of school and after-school care-- should be spent getting acclimated to each other, learning class/ program rules, routines, and centers.

Activities should not be too long or too complicated until behavior management has been established. This doesn't mean you should not plan activities. In fact, 'overplan' to make sure there is enough material and things to do.

Also, make sure everything is prepared so you don't waste valuable time and lose children's attention. The first few weeks of school tend to be the hardest for both students and teachers, but remember that with time and practice a routine will be established!


Do's and Don'ts in School-Age Care Programs

May 21, 2010 17:00 by Barbara Shelby


Help children to develop their own skills

Your role is to facilitate and not to direct. According to Kay M. Albrbrecht and Margaret C. Plantz in Principal One, of The Developmentally Appropriate Practice in School-Age Care Programs...
"Assistants are to:

• Prepare the environment with their Lead/Director and provide suggestions to the younger for possible activities.

• Help the older children with designing and implementing projects and assist early adolescents in taking control over their own planning and implementation of activities and experiences.

• Participate as equals, rather than superiors, with the older children."



1. Do interact and listen to the children as they arrive from school. This is when they have the greatest need to share their day with a special adult.

2. Do learn each child’s name and use it. Do smile!

3. Do get to know kids and to know YOUR kids.

4. Do avoid all but the briefest interactions with adults immediately after school. It should be a rule that adults--including parents, should talk to the caregivers before or after the arrival time of the children. At this time, center energy and attention on the children.

5. Whatever your staff position, do let other caregivers know if you need to leave the room for any reason; this is for safety reasons as well as for shifting personnel as needed.

6. Don’t yell at a child from across the room. Do go over and manage the problem. If necessary go to a private area to talk; this will help with any discomfort or embarrassment the child may experience.

7. Do always let your site supervisor know of any problems as soon as possible.

8. Don’t do the children’s work! Provide encouragement and support. Help break it into manageable parts and make sure they understand what you are doing so they will use that approach next time. If a child says they 'can't do something-ask them if they did know-how would they start?

9. Do allow the children to learn and grow with their own hands-on experience. When we take over a project or change it, we are telling the child it is not good enough.

10. Do not routinely sit with just one child coloring or playing a game; our caregiver ratio is not low enough to allow us to play with only one child. If a child can’t find someone to start a game, you may begin and then try to get others to join. Once a group gets going, stay only if the children need you for rules, etc. When the numbers are down, you may certainly play one on one.

11. Do be aware of the rest of the room when you are playing or working with a group; keep ahead of potential problems.

12. Do not ever let a child be verbally or physically aggressive towards another child.

13. Do learn to tell a child you were wrong or sorry, when or if you made a mistake; be sincere with your apology.

14. Do observe for the isolated or wandering child who struggles with personal interactions. We can give children words and help them start out in a game where others will join. Do discuss this child with your Lead caregiver.

15. Do allow children to daydream or do nothing. We all need time to daydream!

16. Do use common sense as to how many play areas are open at the same time. There should always be several options from which the children can choose; however, if you are offering a messy craft, it may NOT be a good time to also have the dramatic play area open.

17. Do remind the children to clean up the “old”---before starting the “new”. Do help them in learning to put away as they go along.

18. Do always have a tray or paper under all messy projects when using glue, glitter, etc. Model appropriate behavior and remember to do this yourself! It demonstrates courtesy and respect for property.

19. Do show an example of the finished craft activity when possible. This builds enthusiasm as well as giving a visual goal. ALWAYS let the children know that yours is just an idea; it is THEIR project and they can make it look any way they choose. There is a difference between an art and a craft. With a craft, there is a finished product to achieve. With art, it is the process that is stressed and NOT the finished product.

20. Do be aware if you are promoting gender-bias. Don’t have all-boy/all-girl line-ups or encourage stereotypical games and stories. Present sports, science, and math play, as well as music, dance and art to boys and girls alike.

21. Do embrace diversity in your program. This includes: gender, ability levels, ethnicity, culture, language, body shape, hair/eye color, ideas, family structure, religion, etc.

Appreciate the differences in everyone!

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By Barbara Shelby ~Training, Program Assessments and Consulting (From Training Series)


Tips, Articles and Advice on Bullying

September 6, 2009 19:51 by Barbara Shelby




Updated May, 2014

In the USA~October, 2014 marks the ninth  PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Month that unites communities nationwide to raise awareness of bullying prevention. This event include activities, education, and awareness building for the entire month.


According to the National Association of School Psychologists, bullying is the most common form of violence in our society. In a 2001 national survey of students in grades six through ten

   • 13% reported bullying others.. 
   • 11% reported being a victim of bullies 
   • Another 6% said that they both bullied others and were bullied themselves. 
   • These numbers mean that over five million children are affected by bullying. Source:

A Quick List to What is Bullying and Harassment? 

Bullying is the conscious desire to hurt, exclude, or put some one else down to make you feel better. Bullying can be in looks, actions or words. Bullying is not a joke. It is unacceptable. Each person/student has the right to feel safe, happy, and wanted.
   • Being ignored constantly. 
   • Being excluded from the group. 
   • Having rumors spread about you. 
   • Being made fun of.

 Providing an audience. 
  • Not supporting someone who is being bullied. 
  • Passing on harassing notes. 
  • Passing on rumors. 
  • Laughing at a bully's actions.



  • Be assertive. Explain to the bully how you feel. 
  • Discuss it with friends. Get help from them. 
  • Consider your behavior. 
  • Avoid situations which lead to bullying. 
  • Ignore it. Don't let the bully know that you are upset. 
  • Go to peer mediation. 
  • Go to the school Counselor. 
  • Talk to a trusted person. 
  • Tell your Co-ordinator/Counselor. 
  • Talk to your parents. 
  • Remember--It's OK to let someone know what's happening!!!

VISIT BULLYING CANADA WEBSITE -- The website has been created by youth for youth from across the Country (Canada)! They are all fully non - paid volunteers and donate many hours a week to the website.


WHY DON'T YOUNG PEOPLE TELL ADULTS? (About being bullied?) 


1. They are ashamed of being bullied
2. They are afraid of retaliation
3. They don't think anyone CAN help them
4. They don't think anyone WILL help them
5. They've bought into the lie that bullying is a necessary part of growing up
6. They might believe that adults are part of the lie--they bully too
7. They have learned that "ratting" on a peer is bad, not cool

  • Students typically feel that adult intervention is infrequent and ineffective and that telling adults will only bring more harassment from bullies. 
  • Students are also reluctant to tell teachers or school staff as many adults view bullying as a harmless rite of passage that is best ignored-- unless verbal and psychological intimidation crosses the line into physical assault or theft.


   • Provide a reporting method. 
   • Provide counseling. 
   • Give advice on how to handle the situation. 
   • Arrange peer mediation. 
   • Keep confidentiality if requested. 
   • Listen sympathetically and carefully and take your problem seriously. 
   • Support you. 
   • Investigate all incidents. 
   • Bring both the victim and the bully together for conflict resolution. 


The social context and supervision at school has been shown to play a MAJOR PART in the frequency and severity of bullying problems. While teachers and administrators do not have control over individual and family factors which produce children who are inclined to bully, bullying problems can be greatly reduced in severity by appropriate supervision, intervention and climate in a school. 

 • Supervision of children has been found to be of prime importance. Just as low levels of supervision in the home are associated with the development of bully problems in individual children, so are low levels of supervision at school, particularly on the PLAYGROUND, SCHOOLYARD, and in the HALLWAYS

• The social climate in the school needs to be one where there is WARMTH AND ACCEPTANCE OF ALL STUDENTS, and one where there are high standards for student and teacher behavior toward one another.

TEACHER ATTITUDES toward aggression, and skills with supervision and intervention, partly determine how teachers will react to bullying situations. Curricula, administrative policies, and support are also very important.




• OBSERVE: Quietly watch students as they interact during free time. 
• ASK: An anonymous survey can reveal when and where bullying occurs. 
• EDUCATE: Teach students what bullying is and the damage it can cause. 
• ENFORCE: Hold bullies accountable for their actions with fair consequences


 If your school has anti-bullying activities--join them and take part.
If they don't--start some of your own. Some schools and programs have taken the following measures to help youth:

    Unite with other communities  with PACER...It takes a community to prevent bullying of children. Annual National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week, each October, encourages communities nationwide to work together to increase awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children.

    Families, students, schools, organizations and other groups can unite with PACER to prevent bullying in several ways. Activities and materials such as contests, toolkits, and online bullying prevention training are available on to help reduce bullying in schools, recreational programs, and community organizations. PACER has designed free web sites, downloadable activities and helpful information for teachers, administrators, parents and community organization to engage and educate children about bullying prevention in grades K- 5.

    There are resources designed for teens, teachers, administrators, and parents and other professionals to engage, empower and educate students, schools and communities about bullying prevention for middle and high school students.

    older students volunteer to discuss things such as bullying, friendship, or drugs with groups of younger students.




    On Wednesday, October 22, 2014...

    Join the Facebook Event -- Make it ORANGE and make it end! Unite against bullying!
    Sponsored by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center since 2011

    What are your true colors when it comes to bullying? If you care about safe and supportive schools and communities make your color ORANGE on Unity Day. That’s the day everyone can come together—in schools, communities, and online—and send one large ORANGE message of support, hope, and unity. For many ideas visit the Pacer's page



Kids can put notes in the box if they are too worried to tell someone. If your school has boxes like these use them wisely. Advise the kids to always make sure that anything they write about is the truth.

Older students can sometimes volunteer to help new or younger students coming into the school or your program by getting to know them.

such as a "no-bullying day" can be a big help.

is a good way of talking to someone.
Can you have someone come in and talk about Kids who are being bullied, or who are bullying others?
Some schools have set up PEER COUNSELING where kids volunteer to learn how to help other kids.

Some schools and programs have introduced mediation where two people who disagree about something agree that a third person, either an adult of another student, HELPS to find a solution to a problem. This can be helpful in many situations, but not in all cases of bullying...
A bully may refuse to take part because they have no interest in ending the bullying. A victim may feel that a negotiated solution is not fair when it is the other person who is completely in the wrong.

can help people to understand what it feels like to be bullied and to think about what they can do to stop it. This is something that Classroom and After School programs can facilitate.

where older students volunteer to discuss things such as bullying, friendship, or drugs with groups of younger students.


  • Counseling. 
  • Confronting the Bully with the victim. 
  • Have the bully listen to the victim's hurt. 
  • Initiate peer mediation with the victim . 
  • Contact parents/guardians. 
  • Insist on and monitor a behavior contract. 
  • Take away privileges. 
  • Suspend Bully from school. 
  • Ask Bully to leave the school. 
  • Take legal action.
If you are bullied or harassed you CAN do something about it!


8. PRACTICE... Tip From Barb Shelby ( There are several good ideas in this category; many of them will give you information and activities to help derail Bullying. When you come right down to it (After you read and get ideas for what to do) rather than spending a lot of time discussing problems, have children actually PRACTICE WHAT TO DO to prevent or stop those problems.

THIS MEANS...teach children skills and give them the words and tools to handle conflicts, bullying and challenges. Have children practice. Practice with their voices and with their bodies and non-verbal communication. Coach them to experience success.

As far as challenges in your classroon or program? Don't allow it. Build a strong "Program Community" where the kids connect and feel good about themselves and their group. Some of the activities in the "Connecting & Feeling Good Category" may help with this.


9.  To initiate a discussion with chidren, USE MESSAGE BOOKS as learning tools! Stories are a great way for children to learn what other children are doing in similar situations.

There are "Bully Theme and  Message Book suggestions" for children on KidActivities. There is also a list for adults with Anti-Bully and Conflict Resolution Themes.


10. In sharing  bullying prevention strategies in School Age Notes, Nancy Mullin proposed providing activities that promote self-confidence, build self-control and resilience, and foster community connections among children...

• Bullied children benefit from participating in a wide range of activities that help them develop common interests with peers, hone friendship-making skills, and build relationships.


Children who tend to be easily left out because they lack social graces or have difficulty reading social signals need guidance to practice pleasant ways of entering play, making conversation, and "understanding" the nuances of give-and-take relationships.

• Form friendship circles to provide isolated youth with social supports. Children who tend to bully others benefit from opportunities to practice self-control, perspective taking, prosocial behavior, and positive ways to engage their peers. Offering cooperative alternatives to competitive games can also help reduce aggression."



STOP BULLYING NOW Education World offers  lessons designed to teach students to respect diversity and resolve ideological differences peacefully. It includes activities for teaching kids about empathy, anger management, and effective conflict resolution.  For the following activities Visit Here...


Students anonymously complete a survey about their experiences with bullying, evaluate the results, and discuss solutions to the problem.

Students discuss conflict resolution techniques and color posters about those techniques.

Students determine the traits they have in common with other students in the class and create a visual profile of the "average" boy and girl in the class.

Students work together to create a Bill of Rights for a colony they are founding on a distant planet.

students learn about the different ways people respond to conflict and then explore some sample scenarios to learn about their own conflict styles.

Students learn a song to help them deal with anger.

Students play a variation of Simon Says that highlights their similarities and differences.

Students learn about needs and feelings, then write an ending to a story showing how a child deals with his or her needs and feelings.



Here's an idea used by Jennifer Nance of Oakland County Schools in Michigan

If any of my fourth graders are caught entering The Drama Zone and causing distress to any of their classmates via gossip, negativity or bullying, then they must grab a Post-It, and write 3 POSITIVE things about that person as penance. Worked like a charm today.



Children and adults alike trace and then decorate and sign their hands as they pledge, "Hands are for Helping, not for Hurting." The hands are then displayed. This has been a project around the world...





Happy School Board and photo is courtesy of Classroom Display Blog


"I'm particularly fond of Happy School as the idea for this hall display came from a child with some special needs who knew exactly the kind of school he needed, one where bullying just wasn't tolerated." LindaH-Classroom Displays





Creator of the Love One Another display is unknown...Please contact us if you know the artists!



 BULLY OR BUDDY Suggested Grade Level: 3-5
Multi-colored construction paper and left over art scraps(fur, feathers, etc.)

This is a wonderful idea for any class, school or after-school program!

Bully or Buddy board is from PE Central--made by Pam Johnson at Prince Edward Elementary School, Farmville, VA.  "Each year our students sign an Anti-Bullying oath and in all classes we discuss the characteristics of a "Buddy" and the contrasting "Bully". This board called "Bully or Buddy?" shows several creatures that either the students or the teacher can make. (Big noses, wild hair and large feet make them more appealing). A buddy or bully characteristic is printed on the front of the creature. The students, after reading the trait, will decide which one it is describing.

  Some traits to use are: takes turns; helps people and says encouraging words; likes to push people and hit them; can't follow  class/program/school rules; likes to tease people and call them names; kind and considerate; cares about other peoples' feelings; has a lot of friends, etc." Pam Johnson



This could just as well say "LET'S HARVEST KINDNESS!"  This idea works well with an Autumn Harvest Theme-but also addresses Aniti-Bully Week and World Kindness Week in November. It can stay up all Fall!!!

Each time a deed of 'Good Character' (Kindness) is noted-it is recorded on a small card and placed on a pumpkin and through-out the garden! Great for September through November... 

 This board was created by Barbara Huttle for University Christian School. Thank you Barbara for letting KIdActivities display your wonderful idea!









180 Ways to Be Kind is courtesy of Classroom Display Blog




Lyn Mikel Brown is concerned that "bully prevention" programs gaining prominence in public schools are 'more of a problem than  panacea'. Writing in Education Week (March 5, 2008) she proposes "10 Ways to Move Beyond Bully Prevention." The first suggestion she offers is to "STOP LABELING KIDS"...

Bully-prevention programs typically put kids into three categories: bullies, victims, bystanders. Labeling children in these ways denies what we know to be true: We are all complex beings with capacity to do harm and to do good, sometimes within the same hour. It also makes the child the problem, which downplays the important role of parents, teachers, the school system, a provocative and powerful media culture, and societal injusti ces children experience every day.

Labeling kids bullies, for that matter, contributes to the negative climate and name-calling we're trying to address.
From Exchange-everyday-3/26/08


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