In the past few days I have met parents struggling to establish appropriate behaviors with their children ranging in age from 6 years to 12 years old. It can be challenging to set rules and regulations, provide consistent discipline and to stick with the consequences for behaviors. Of course, children’s temperament and personality and the immediate environment also play a very big part in setting effective boundaries. Research and present knowledge suggest that parents need to know their child and also know themselves.
Here are some suggestions to help .
- Set rules and regulations at home early on . Know what rules you want to set in your household. Ideally we start when kids are young. Children should know that some behaviors are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. For example, biting, hitting others or hitting themselves, kicking and throwing things are all unacceptable behaviors.
- Make sure that rules are age appropriate. For example, a 3 year old will not be able to clean up her toys by herself, but she can definitely help. However, a 5 year old is capable of much more.
- Set time limits on electronics. Again, though it will differ with age, setting time limits on TV shows or video games is important so there is time for homework, and other family activities.
- For school age children, homework is important. Make it a priority early on. Ideally, homework to be completed before playing on the video/ computer etc.
- Don’t let the child rule the home. They might want to set their own bedtime, play time or dinner time. They may sound wise beyond their years sometimes, but children’s brains are still developing.
- When the kids push back, Stay CALM. Infact sometimes, children will wear the parents down with persistence if they have had success with that just once. As parents, take time to respond, not react. If you are feeling tired and overwhelmed and exhausted every day, it’s time for some SELF CARE. Exercise, eat well and Sleep well each day.
Remember: Kids flourish in an environment of love and also limits.
If you would like to make an appointment with Dr Datta please call the office at 845-369-7627 or 201-952-9905.