Playing by the Rules

Teaching good disciplining requires love, patience and clarity of purpose. Nothing works better than a reasonable set of rules for your child that establishes boundaries beyond which the child may not stray without encountering parental intervention.

From the outset, both parents should agree on the standards they wish to lie down for their children and understand their reasons for applying them. In devising rules for your young children, however, parents must assess the child’s readiness to learn and follow behavioral guidelines. Along list of do’s and don’ts is too difficult for the average two-year-old to comprehend, let alone obey.

Setting priorities: The first rules you make, in the early years when a child is not mature enough to understand the potential consequences of her actions, should be designed to ensure her safety.  At this age she relies on her parents to set limits for her. As the child matures, rules can slowly grow in number and variety, but they should not be so numerous that they overwhelm and confuse your little one.

You, as a parent, will want to set priorities and to take into account your needs, along with your youngster’s while devising principles of behavior for her to follow.

Effective discipline also requires time, patience and above all a willingness to teach- rather than merely impose the rules you have laid down. You must be able to explain them as often as may be required to get them across as children understand better when they are explained.

The benefits of limits: By setting limits on your child’s behavior, being consistent in their application and spelling out their consequences that her actions can lead to, you are adding to her sense of security. She knows what to expect of you and of herself.

As she increasingly internalizes what you have taught her, she gains in self control, self-respect and independence. Slowly she will incorporate your values, as well as rules, and thus be able to make more and more effective decisions on her own concerning her behavior. You should try to keep the principles overleaf in mind.

geeta krishnan