Dr Ken Resnick Blog – bullying and biting

On biting

There are several pre-primary schools that have come on board and are using the Smartchoiceparenting (SCPP) approach in their school with great success. Recently a teacher from one of these schools related a story of a child in who was constantly biting other children. The teachers had tried everything from putting him in the naughty corner to putting hot chillies in his mouth. Nothing worked until they implemented the SCPP approach. The next time that they had an incident of biting, they informed the boy that he had a choice, if he bit someone it meant that he wanted to spend the rest of the morning alone in a designated room, no one would be cross with him that it was his choice. This would also mean that he would not be allowed to participate with the other children for that morning. He wasn’t happy, had a little cry but was made aware that he wasn’t being punished; he had made the choice to sit on his own for the rest of the morning. That afternoon in child care there were no incidents of biting. Since implementing this system the school had only one other incident with the child, the same consequences were followed and since then there has not been a single incident. This was a child who was biting children on a daily basis.

On bullying

The principal of a pre-primary school who has fully introduced the Smartchoiceparenting approach into her school also called to tell me of an incident with one of the boys at the school that had a tendency to bully. Not all her teachers are on board with the system and in this particular case she found one of her teachers insisting that this little boy apologise to a child that he had just pushed. The boy refused and the teacher was at her wits end in trying to deal with the situation. The principal was then called and all she did was tell the boy that he had two choices:  either he could apologise to the child that he had pushed and carry on playing, or not say sorry and spend the rest of the day in a room designated for little children who chose to bully. In this room they just sit alone and twiddle their thumbs for the rest of the day. Again, nobody’s upset with them and they are made aware that they’ve made the choice. This little boy was well aware of the consequences of his choices and apologised to the child that he had just pushed.