Withholding Treats As Punishment

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by JPreK789, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. JPreK789

    JPreK789 Guest

    Sep 26, 2017

    I am hoping for more then just opinions on this and some real hard facts. I have searched through Bright From The Start and other sources to try to find some answers, but I can't seem to find anything.

    Myself and the teacher in the classroom next door are three yard old teachers. I've notice quite often she takes away treats as a punishment. On occasion we will both bring special treats in for the children, like having a pizza party on the day we do letter P in the alphabet. Or we have parents bring snacks for birthday parties. I have on many occasions seen her put children at different tables and give them the regular snack while everyone else gets a treat. She does this as a way of punishing them for not doing what she wants. She feels that since they are getting their regular snack (a handful of goldfish) it doesn't matter. However, I know that for some of those children the only food they get is what we feed them. Is pizza really good for them? No, but at least they have full tummies. On the flip side of that, if a child plays up at the table she will tell them they can't leave the table/go outside until they finish all their food/milk. She will try to leave them there with the cook until they clean the plate/cup. It seems to go from one extreme to another.

    Where is the line drawn according to places like Bright From The Start and other regulations? Does anyone know of any kind of specific guidelines that speak to this kind of behavior or is it just more of a moral battle?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Sep 27, 2017

    3-year-olds are not in school to do what the teacher wants them to do. As with any age group, there should be a consistent policy of socially acceptable rules, and these should be expressed to the children in an age appropriate manner. An adult does not say to children, "I want you to do such and such." Later, as older children and adults, they will need to avoid predicaments of peer pressure or authoritative harassment. Teaching children to obey "because I said so!" is teaching children to obey for the wrong reasons. Children should be taught to appropriately obey prescribed standards for proper social behavior and not taught to obey just because a person is bigger than they are.

    Misbehavior can result in penalties. This is an expected part of social participation. In sports, for example, a game could not proceed without penalties, but if a player in a basketball game double dribbles, the referee doesn't come out and say, "OK, just for that, no pizza tonight!" No, there is a standard penalty. The same is true for driving a car. Yesterday morning, I saw a car driver who became impatient waiting for the light to turn green. S/he decided to go through the red light and had s/he not stopped, s/he would have hit the driver coming off of the freeway. Now, if the camera had recorded the driver running a red light, the driver would have to pay an established fine, rather than missing dessert at supper. In a classroom, if penalties are used, they should be standard and expected penalties per infractions of standard and expected rules and procedures.

    The other thing I'd recommend is to remember that these are 3-year-olds. They are still learning to adapt to social settings, still learning to respond to communicated directions, and they are at an age where they might experiment with responses to situations. Power struggles are common at this age. They can often be avoided by the way in which directions are stated, but they are not totally avoidable. When a 3-year-old throws a fit, it's not the same as an adult throwing a fit, (although it sounds like the world's coming to an end)! At this point, very little progress can be made in teaching a correct response. It helps to have a way of waiting for the child to calm down and then discussing proper procedures, and of course insisting on adherence to the appropriate procedures. This can even include rehearsing the correct procedure. But to wait until snack time and suddenly discriminate among the good kids and the bad kids, that is confusing to a 3-year-old. S/he doesn't have the ability to think abstractly and comprehend exactly what s/he did to (supposedly) deserve missing the extra treat. S/he is understanding this as a more powerful person who s/he is depending upon for security suddenly deciding that s/he gets the lesser treat while everyone else gets the major treat.

    For professional reading, I would recommend any of the books by Fred Rogers. His advice is highly researched.

    Also, (in alphabetical order)

    Kohn, Alfie. Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s Praise, and other Bribes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1993. (I think he might carry things a bit too far, as sometimes rewards can be fun to work toward and some standard age-appropriate penalties, to me, seem necessary, but overall I highly agree and recommend this book).

    Levine, Mel. A Mind at a Time. NY: Simon and Schuster, 2002
    This book does not specifically deal with pre-school, but often the supposed "misbehavior" of preschoolers is just their response according to their own current understanding and abilities, not direct disobedience to rules. Most of the time, a preschooler just needs to learn a new skill; they are not necessarily trying to be "bad".

    Siegel, Daniel J. and Tina Payne Bryson. No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind. New York: Bantam, 2014. E-book ISBN is 978-0-345-54805-4. Library nbr. is 649.1. (Absolutely the best book I've ever read on this subject!!! Highly recommended)!


    Tough, Paul. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012
     
  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Sep 27, 2017

    So it's basically daycare. Why do they call it school? Either way the kids should be following rules. I don't think things should be taken away from them but giving them every treat will reinforce the "bad" behavior. I guess it depends on how much they understand.
     
  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Sep 27, 2017

    I'm confused by your first two sentences... Why are questioning that it's called school?
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Sep 28, 2017

    Ok, so what's the difference between daycare and school? I guess I'm confused.
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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  8. IcyRock

    IcyRock Rookie

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    Oct 17, 2017

    First, I do not believe in giving food treats at all. Second, the issue of them having something to eat or else they might not have anything for the rest of the day is separate from treats vs no treats for behavior. For the "food insecure," that's an issue for the school counselor, if one is available. Third, aren't there other things that can be used as rewards- stickers, erasers, elastic wristbands, etc?
     
  9. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    Oct 20, 2017

    There's nothing wrong with what she did. She did not give them the special treat because that was obviously reserved for the kids who didn't do whatever it was that landed those kids at the "regular treat table." At that age, it can be explained (especially 3.5+) that they are not receiving the cupcake because they bit Billy today. Biting Billy isn't prosocial behavior and should not be rewarded with cupcakes or other special treats. She is not depriving them of any food even if they were food insecure because if the party or other special occasion hadn't happened, that child would have still received the regular snack anyway.
    As far as the making the kids finish, I'm inclined to say she's not right with that one because kids don't have to clean their plate. When I taught preschool, my request was to try everything on the plate.
     
  10. IcyRock

    IcyRock Rookie

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    Oct 20, 2017

    I re-read it and it said that even the kids with misbehaviors get the regular snacks, but not the special treats. But I still stand by not giving food treats, especially junk food. After asking parents if they have any allergies, my treats would be sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, raisins, etc. Kids get enough junk food as it is.
     
    Froreal3 likes this.
  11. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Oct 24, 2017

    What is the difference in daycare vs school? To me, it would be primarily be ages of children served. In my mind, "school" is going to be Kindergarten and up. I believe pre-school (The key word being PRE "school" as in, before regular school) is key. Daycares serve usually 6 weeks and up where "schools" serve (at least in our state) ages 5 (optional) and 6 (required) and up.
     

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