Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Sequoyah Memorial Office Building, 2400 N. Lincoln Blvd. • Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-3646 • Fax (405) 521-6684 • Internet: www.okdhs.org
340:110-3-26. Behavior and guidance

Revised 7-1-03

(a) Appropriate discipline. Discipline is required to be constructive and educational in nature and appropriate to the child's age and circumstances.

(b) Staff requirements. Staff members:

  • (1) recognize and encourage acceptable behavior;
  • (2) teach by example and use fair and consistent rules in a relaxed atmosphere with discipline that is relevant to the child's behavior;
  • (3) supervise with an attitude of understanding and firmness;
  • (4) give clear directions and provide guidance appropriate to the child's level of understanding;
  • (5) redirect children by stating alternatives when behavior is unacceptable;
  • (6) speak so that children understand that they and their feelings are acceptable but unacceptable action or behavior is not;
  • (7) encourage children to control their own behavior, cooperate with others and solve problems by talking things out;
  • (8) give guidance in activities in an orderly fashion including a choice of interesting planned activities;
  • (9) help children feel successful at a task and give options for other tasks if the one chosen proves too difficult;
  • (10) prepare children for the next activity a few minutes ahead and allow them to wind down from one activity before beginning another;
  • (11) use "time-out" periods only as necessary and not over five minutes for preschool-age children (one minute of time-out for each year of a child's age is recommended); and
  • (12) maintain perspective about school-agers' misbehavior, recognizing that every infraction does not warrant staff attention or intervention.

(c) Restrictions. Staff are prohibited from:

  • (1) subjecting children to punishment of a physical nature, e.g., shaking, striking, spanking, swatting, thumping, pinching, popping, shoving, spatting, biting, hair pulling, yanking, slamming, excessive exercise or any cruel treatment that may cause pain;
  • (2) putting anything in or on a child's mouth as punishment;
  • (3) restraining a child by any means other than holding and then for only as long as is necessary for the child to regain control;
  • (4) subjecting children to punishment of a psychological nature, e.g., humiliation by derogatory or sarcastic remarks about them or their families, race, gender, religion or cultural background;
  • (5) using harsh or profane language or actual or implied threats of physical punishment;
  • (6) punishing or threatening children in association with food, rest or toilet training;
  • (7) isolating a child without supervision or placing him or her in a dark area;
  • (8) permitting children to discipline other children;
  • (9) punishing an entire group due to the actions of a few children; or
  • (10) seeking or accepting parental permission to use any punishment or act prohibited by the requirements contained in this subsection.
Last Updated:  10/10/2012