Teach how to do things

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From 3 to 5 years

Teach how to do things

Children are more likely to follow rules when you teach them how and when you help them understand the rules. You give a child a chance to behave properly and this will give him self- assurance and self-esteem.

Sometimes they don’t comply with the rules simply because they don’t understand them.

Learning

Young children need to understand a rule to be able to comply, thus it is important to have as little rules as possible. Choose only the most important ones.

When a child does not comply with a rule, it is often because he does not understand it. Take the time to explain the rule and the reasons why it is important.  It is ok to give him a few chances, but when necessary, you have to apply a consequence.

Teaching

When your child complies with a rule and behaves, congratulate him.  He needs to know his behavior is good.  By congratulating him, you show him what he is capable of. This will encourage him to continue.

How do you explain a proper behavior to a child?

  • Make sure that explanations are simple and clear: "You can use you bicycle in the yard".
  • Explain to your child why this rule is important."You can’t use your bicycle in the street because you might get hit by a car and get hurt".
  • Explain what will happen to him if he does not comply with the rule.  The consequence must be fair and logical. "If you go on the street with your bicycle, you won’t be allowed to use your bicycle for the rest of the day".

When your child gets angry because he is asked to comply with a rule, you can explain how he could express his frustration without hitting or screaming.

Tell him: "Take your time, I am listening to you".
Give him a sheet of paper and crayons and ask him to draw his frustration.
Give him a pillow and tell him he should punch the pillow. This way, when he is really angry, he will not hurt himself.

Practicing

It is important to teach the right way of doing things and not to punish your child if he did not follow a rule.

  • Bend down so you are at the same level as the child and look at him to get his full attention.
  • Explain the rule firmly but without anger.
  • Explain why the rule is important. 
  • Ask him if he understands and to explain what he understood.
  • Tell him there will be consequences if he does not comply.
  • Tell him you are giving him another chance of behaving properly.
  • Show him your respect his feelings.

Protecting