Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Routines and Rules to Help Parents

Most parents realize that the most effective way to discipline children is to set rules and limits and then back them up with effective consequences. The key is to provide consistency in the rules and consequences.

Consistency is the hard part, right? We sometimes remove a child’s privilege for breaking a rule, such as “No television for three nights,” only to forget about it completely after the first night. We also know that a child tests our limits by trying to watch TV with the other parent or a sibling, hoping we won’t see him or we won’t remember the punishment.

Our ambivalence about sticking to the rules and consequences is that we think we’ll lose the love of our children when we don’t let them have their way.
With the demands of everyday life, parents today are concerned that they don’t have much time with their children, and they don’t want to spend the time they do have fighting over rules. It may seem easier to give in. However, that’s a short-term solution and will back-fire!

Children need consistency in order to learn to follow the rules of the household. If you want them to follow the rules of society when they’re adults, they need the structure of following the rules of the home.

One key is to make sure you are establishing reasonable rules and consequences. Stay firm and keep the “long-term” in mind. And go ahead – post that sticky note on the television for three days. All you have to do is point the note to help your child (and you) remember.

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