August is back to school month..
Good rules equal good parenting.
In our research, young people have said time and time again how much they needed family structure and clear guidelines.
Parental Guidance Should Start Young
The guidance you give your child should be age appropriate. A toddler must learn to put his toys away in the toy box before dinner or bedtime. Set boundaries early and “the terrible twos”— and indeed the rest of life—will be easier in a Family Rules home. The sooner we start letting children know, in a loving, caring way, just exactly what we expect of them and where their positions are in the hierarchy of the family, the happier, more successful, and more self-confident they will become.
So, when an eighteen-month-old child doesn’t want to put her toys away, or the two-year-old begins with the classic “No” of the terrible two’s, we must be clear. State the rules, such as “We take out only two toys at a time and put one back before we take out another,” and be prepared to repeat them for the toddler. You need not waste precious time negotiating with him or her. If the toys are on the floor, ask the toddler to put them in the toy box so you can get ready for dinner. If the answer is “No,” the simplest approach is to say firmly, “Toys go in the toy box. . . now.” If there is still no movement, say, “Mommy/Daddy will help,” and take their two little hands, wrap them around the toy to be put away, move with the child to the toy box and together drop the toy in the box. Often the child will then say, “I do it myself.” If not, keep going and then, when the toys are picked up, you praise the child and say, “What a good job you did! Tomorrow I know you will do it all by yourself.”
Rules and boundaries—what is a “yes” and what is a “no”— hold the child in a positive emotional embrace. Did you know that rules and such allegedly outmoded things as curfews give kids a sense of safety and security? Kids also like to test the rules. It’s natural to test. But it’s better to know what the rules are before you try to break them.