The Golden Rule to Well Behaved Little Ones
Ok, I do not know if this can really be considered the “Golden Rule” as I am no child psychologist, but it is the Golden Rule in the Rosario home. I have seen such improvement in Amelia’s behavior since I have applied these four simple techniques.
Aylah is still too young but Amelia has definitely posed a challenged at the young age of 4. Lately, Amelia has not wanted to pick up her toys. She would make such a mess of toys everywhere and would leave it all there as she moved on to play with something else. I found myself picking up the playroom numerous times a day. I would get tired of asking her to put them away that I would just do it myself. Finally, I got tired of being the playroom cleaner and decided that instead I will teach Amelia that she must clean up after herself.
Here are the four strategies I used to get Amelia to clean up after herself:
Like everything else, consistency is key. I made the expectations clear to Amelia. I explained that she could not move on to the next toy until she has cleaned up the ones she had just finished playing with. Once my expectations were clear, it was then time to enforce it. Each time Amelia had finish playing with something and I would notice her moving on to something else, I would take that toy away and ask that she pick up the toys she had previously been using. And I did this each and every time! To the point that she would catch herself before I needed to step in. Now she would tell me, “Mommy I have to pick up those toys”. I am one happy momma!
Set Firm Rules
Like anything else, my home has boundaries and it is important that everyone at home follow them. Following your own rules sets the example of what behavior is acceptable. We also made sure that consequences followed breaking the rules so that there was no confusing as to what behavior caused this consequent. My hubby struggled with this strategy because he is set in his messy ways. I had to constantly remind him to pick up after himself as well. Yes, guys! I have a messy husband. Because I wanted to lead by example, it was important to me that Ariel also followed the rules.
For every good behavior, Amelia got praise. I celebrated every single time she picked up her toys. I would pick her up, spin her around and bombard her with kisses. She would be all smiles. For every good behavior from a child, it is important to applaud. Children repeat behavior that gets them the most attention so good behavior, at my house, was time for a party.
I have noticed that Amelia likes to feel needed; she enjoys being a leader and being in charge. I took that and ran with it. I gave Amelia options as much as I possibly could. Whether it was dinner, her clothes, or a book to read, I gave her options. “Which outfit do you want to wear to school today, the blue skirt or the yellow dress?” Whichever she picked is what she wore for the day. I have read different books that state this strategy allows children to feel they have a purpose and therefore are required to behave a certain type of way.
I hope these quick and easy strategies helps you find creative ways to discipline your little ones in efforts to get them to behave the way you would like them to. As I always say, parenting is not easy but I am here to try to make things just a tad bit easier for some one.
Feel free to leave me a comment or write me an e-mail. I would love to hear from you.