Guidance Philosophy

The Conscious Discipline Approach

Our goals in caring for children include directing their behavior with words and by example, so that they will learn the skills necessary to control their own behavior and cooperate with others. At Creative Paths Learning Center, it is our intention to try to prevent many behavior problems by providing direct supervision and guidance, age appropriate activities, love and interaction, a daily routine, and clear boundaries.

Created by Dr. Becky Bailey, an internationally renowned expert in child developmental psychology, Conscious Discipline® is built on the premise of developing discipline within children rather than applying discipline to them.

Conscious Discipline® , an evidence-based discipline approach, helps school staff, teachers, and students create an environment where everyone can develop in a way best for them. It is based on current brain research, child development information, and developmentally appropriate practices. We integrate classroom management with social-emotional learning, while using everyday events as part of the school’s curriculum, and address the adult as well as the child.

By creating a “School Family” throughout the school, our discipline philosophy provides essential ingredients for success:

  • Increasing the willingness to learn by creating a sense of belonging.
  • Boosting impulse control internally: a much more effective approach than an external system of punishment and rewards.
  • Helping children develop and apply sustained attention by reducing stress and encouraging contributions in a caring atmosphere.

Guidance/Discipline Policy

Creative Paths uses the Conscious Discipline® method (developed by Dr. Becky Bailey) when guiding children. Conscious Discipline® links social-emotional learning with behavior management for overall success. It is based on the principle that children learn best when they feel safe, loved and calm. It is based on current brain research, child development information, and developmentally appropriate practices. Conscious Discipline® has been specifically designed to empower adults to consciously respond to daily conflict, transforming it into an opportunity to teach critical life skills to children.

Through Conscious Discipline® principles, Creative Paths creates a School Family. Each member of the family—both adult and child—learns the skills needed to successfully manage life tasks such as learning, forming relationships, communicating effectively, being sensitive to others’ needs and getting along with others. Conscious Discipline® empowers teachers and other adults to be proactive instead of reactive during conflict times. Staff of Creative Paths learning center are educated and trained on all aspects of Conscious Discipline® including The Seven Skills of Discipline. The Seven Skills are the only skills an adult needs to constructively transform conflict into teaching moments.

Other Guidance/Discipline Techniques

Our goal is to use as little “Discipline” as possible, we much prefer the term “GUIDANCE”. However, the need for direction and reflection does arise. Teachers will follow the method most fitting to the circumstance:

  1. Redirecting the child’s behavior. By just talking with the child, explaining the rule or expectation, and showing them how to modify their behavior, many problems can be corrected.  With very young children, sometimes just distracting the child or providing them with an alternate toy or activity can be all it takes to turn tears and tantrums into smiles and giggles.
  2. Remove a privilege that is a logical response to an inappropriate behavior. For example, if the child continues to play with a toy in an unsafe manner after being aware and reminded of the safety rules, the teacher may help them choose a different learning center for a period of time.
  3. “STAR” (Stop, Take a breath, And Relax) may be used to remove the child from a situation in order to calm down and reflect. If the child’s behavior is out of control to the extent that he/she is unsafe, the teacher will assist the child in calming down. Breathing and relaxation techniques will be utilized. The teacher will discuss the situation with the child, and help them create a plan for future conflicts.
  4. If a teacher/administrator feels that the child has gotten out of control, or if there seems to be a consistent problem area that needs to be addressed, parent involvement may be required. Creative Paths believes that it is very important for staff and parents to work closely together in any child-rearing goals, especially with guidance and discipline issues. In addition, if a parent feels there is an issue to discuss regarding guidance/discipline, we would expect they would also voice their concerns.

Creative Paths Learning Center also feels it is important to let parents know what we will NOT do when guiding/disciplining children. Children are precious, and will never be treated in a demeaning way. Staff will never use corporal punishment or physically harm children in any way. Food, rest, or use of the bathroom will never be threatened/withdrawn. The State of Illinois Licensing Rules provides very exact guidelines regarding what is and is not allowed regarding discipline. Creative Paths whole-heartedly agrees with these rules, not only because it is law, but because it is right. It is there to protect our children.

* All information, charts and artwork listed here about Conscious Discipline have been taken from or the book “Conscious Discipline” by Dr. Becky Bailey. For more information please consult either source.