Disciplining students/children with Emotional problems

Disciplining students/children with Emotional problems

A.  Be careful not to violate due process rights of students/children – children and parents must know the behaviors expected and the consequences of misbehavior.

Example: Communicate expectations clearly.

B. Be very careful with severe punishments that remove students from class for a long time.

Example: Prolonged periods of time-out.

C. For student with severe emotional problems must serve a clear educational purpose.

Example: Give rationale for punishment or correction that ties an action to student’s/children’s learning.

D. Sure the rule and the punishment are reasonable.


  1. Consider the student’s/child age and physical condition.
  2. Does the punishment match the offense and the way others children are treated?
  3. Do other teachers/parents handle similar situations in the same way?
  4. Try less intrusive punishments first.  Be patient.  Move to more severe actions only when less severe procedures fail.

E. Always use positive consequences in conjunction with negative one.


  1. Recognize genuine accomplishment and small steps – don’t say “Well it’s about time you….”
  2. Give students/children ways to regain rewards through positive behavior.

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