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How Teaching Family Golden Rules Can Be a Game Changer!

More often, young children lack the verbal or social skills to do many things or make their wishes known. As a result, frustrations or refusal of cooperation comes and mounts quickly. And this may be vented as aggression, anger, and other forms of antisocial behaviors-withdraw, hence violence. In learning and teaching the right way to respond and react to the different situation, favorable and unfavorable both adults and children need to consider consequences. Adults leading the way, let the children know the effects of their actions in a constructive manner, calm, and strategically for a win-win-results-e.g. Alex, your room must be clean and neat before I take you to play the games with your friends. Also, let the children know in advance what might happen from their actions. In doing so can help children sort out or think a bit about the effect of their actions on others or things. Always make sure that your discipline rules are in line with your child’s age and development stage. The teaching that works at one scene may not work at another or with every child.

Real education starts from toddlerhood to adulthood. And both parents and children need the discipline to attain the desired goal.

The teaching we commonly find appealing and working-the golden family rules if you may include:

· Always be genuine and honest with each other and with your children.

· Have an open and real/effective communication.

· Help one another to grow and learn-be supportive of one another.

· Always be content and thankful for life and thrive for best.

· Always be respectful, kind, and loving to each other-to both parents and children.

· Help and comfort one another.

· Always keep your promises especially with the young children for it create trustworthiness.

· Look after each other and console one another.

· Treat one another other like you treat yourself or friends.

· Forgive and forget, though hard, it’s a noble thing to do, and worth learning discipline.

· Love one another deeply from the heart.

As you teach your children, you engage yourselves in learning about not only what works but also what doesn’t work for both of you. Your engagement and or lack of involvement in imparting knowledge to your children may have a profound influence on whether your child turns out to be a delight or a terror. The way you respond and react to the young children's behavior shapes their future actions in unimaginable ways.

Now the question becomes, how do you teach good manners or strong morals to young children who are not yet rational, matured, and whose understanding of the concept such as manners, morals, and empathy is not part of their upbringing, or not in their horizon?

Responsible and prepared parents know that early intervention is pivotal, inevitable and is the best way to start teaching young children ways to relate and interact with one another healthfully. They also know that it needs a lot of patience and practice to follow some simple rules of discipline before your tyrannical preschooler becomes a pleasant tween; and before the discipline rules become a common practice and more adaptive way of living as your child grows to an adult.

Undeniably, young children need sets of disciplinary rules throughout their life. So, teach your children in a right way and train them onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not depart from it. Remember, "Moral excellence comes as a result of habits; we become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts." ~ Aristotle

Here is how to enforce the golden rules for young children to build in manners and maximize discipline:

· Actively Reinforce Good Behavior-always accentuate the positive. Don’t run short in acknowledging and praising good behaviors even when it is expected of them. It is familiar and comfortable to see and react to our children's misbehaviors, forever intervening and correcting whenever things go wrong, than we can acknowledge the things they do right. Gentle acknowledgment of any accomplishment and reminders can minimize or stop unwanted behaviors.

· Prevent Problems Before It Happens-creates a safe environment for your young child and is one way to prevent some unwanted behaviors; from how your home is set up, the company you keep, to the places you like to go for fun or interact with others. Avoiding situations that will cause trouble is a no-brainer: trying to please a child by giving in every time a child makes the demand is cultivating unwanted behavior which may lead to entitlement and more of undesirable behaviors such as defiance, unruly, or rebellious. Offering helpful reminders before things go high way is crucial and may prevent mistakes before they happen! For example, during meal time if you spill food, you must clean the mess; after finish eating, you must clean after the table; or after every bath, the rule is you wash the tab or make your bed soon as you wake up! These are simple things to do yet many children are leaving them to their parents do them for them! Let your child learn how to be responsible for their actions-clean after their messes and discover more ways to be helpful at home, in schools, and in the community at large.

· Set Limits-all young children need clear, consistent limits setting to define the boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. No matter how young the child may be placing and enforcing limits is necessary and should start from a very young year of age. If you don't like or approve your child's behavior now even if your child is two or too cute to discipline, you won't want it after a few dozen times either! They say,"Samaki mkunje angali mbichi, akishakauka hakunjiki," Swahili proverb.

Young children test our wisdom and reactions to try to figure out what he or she can get away with. It is the parent's job to tell your child what is okay and what is not okay.

The idea that your child is too young, he/she is just a kid, or he/she is incapable of understanding your teachings, is falling short in your parenting skills! Young children, even toddlers are smart than most parents may think they are. With parents help and patience, young children can learn the difference between right and wrong and think about their actions and the consequences.

· Be Firm-lack of firmness tend to backfire or send a message to a child that his or her demand must be accepted; "No should mean No." Your child may ask, request, nag, or whine about something, over and over! You know the "Please, Please, Please"! And you comply with your child even though you know you shouldn't. Your child will make the same demand every time and turn it around and cause a conflict between two of you because you give in once or all the times. The child will demand why not now?

· Certainly, leniency has its place in parenting, but over time a lack of firmness/toughness tends to be unproductive. If you fail to be firm and enforce stability and limit, you deprive your child the ability to learn and the understanding of how you expect your child to behave. Often when you are too lenient, your child will also tend to take advantage of you! Over time, as your child test your limit, soon will discover which button to push to get the response that he or she desires instead of vice versa, and you can be sure that your child will push the button again and again.

Always make it clear that you are in charge, and not your child. You can be as friendly with your child as it can be but remember you are a parent first.

· Be Clear, and Realistic-always keep your expectations about your child’s behavior clear and realistic. Otherwise, you set yourself up for the unfavorable outcome. The younger your child, the less patience and short spam of concentration or keep steady and follow through. Teach and discipline according to the level of your child’s age and developmental stage. Don’t get deterred that it is not working. Try all the tricks you know about including professional help! Some children may need extra help than you can offer them, it’s okay to seek that help.

· Be Consistency-Once you make the rules enforce them. Inconsistency confuses a learning child. Don’t say “yes” today to play in the rain and say “no” tomorrow when your child wants to play in the rain! If you give a signal that we will be leaving the playground after two more rounds of slides or swings, you must do so. Don’t wait for them to make three, four or more rounds; the next time you are ready to leave after “two more rounds” you may not be taken seriously.

You may not be 100% consistent in all things and all the time, but whenever there are variations in decisions offer clear explanations why you allow things done differently than usually done. Any changes and adjustment you made that is out of the norm or not the way your children used to, you owe them an explanation to avoid misunderstanding, confusion, or mixed message.

· Be Brief- often, most young children benefit most from short, precise, to-the-point messages. The younger your child, the better it is to use few words as possible-"we don't do that, "teasing hurts" "lying is wrong." Also, it may be the best way to get your message across to a young child using “I-Messages."! "I don't like it if I have to clean after your mess! I want you to collect your clothes, books off the floor and put them where they belong", " I see that you have not made your bed since yesterday.”

· Be Role Model- set a good example. Children are our carbon copy – they copy what adult say and do! If you say one thing and do the opposite, you are not setting a good example. If you teach young children hitting is terrible, you should not be the one to use spanking as a discipline measure.

· Divert and Distract-monitor moods and remember every child is a different-unique individual, and one size fits all does not apply to young children. There are so many ways to teach discipline and to react to young children behavior problems. These ways are implemented according to each child's age, developmental level, and relationships, they have forged with their parents or guardians.

Some young children respond well to signals, warnings, and reminders, yet others may need more restrain limits-if you give in once, they will take advantage of it later. Avoid power struggle when divert, distract or stopping unwanted behavior. As you discipline your young children, remember that you are not just helping them learn how to behave; you also teaching them what to expect from their world, and what it expects from them in return.

· Stay Calm-being extra patience in today’s fast-paced world may seem impossible or underestimating the reality, however with young children its must. Though easy to say than to do, when discipline your children, if you deliver and maintain the discipline message in calm, and rational manner chances, are you will earn your child’s cooperation. Control your temper and anger it’s all about being staying calm and being extra patience because if not it may send a negative response or impact on your child's learning and growth. It can be challenging but raising your voice firm is a natural reaction but yelling, screaming, shouting degrades a child may make you a poor role model.

Like adults, young children like to be respected and treated with dignity. On the other hand, sounding too mild or uncertain may dilute your message. To avoid sending a weak signal, for example, "Do you want to go to sleep now? Instead of, "It's time to go to bed now"! Or, "Do you want to brush your teeth now? Instead of " it's time to brush teeth now"!

The study shows that the more parents or adults of young children encourage and enforce appropriate behaviors through positive discipline and child guidance strategies, the less time and effort parents and or adults will spend correcting your children's unwanted behavior. In fact, it reduces the undesirable reactions, and the children are proven to be having more self-control, self-discipline, and self-reliance (independent) as they learn problem-solving and refrain from getting into trouble. They tend to follow the rules and directions better.

Contrary to this, if parents or adults of young children use physical force, punishments, threats, and or verbal abuse-repeatedly put-down your children each time he/she does something unpleasing to you or misbehaves, this can interfere with the child's healthy development and learning. For example, physical abuse of any sort, spanking, or corporal punishment, can have some adverse effects on children. Actions that insult or belittle children are not only harmful to children because it can inhibit learning and can teach them to be unkind and aggressive towards others; but also, are likely to cause children to view their parents or adults in their lives negatively, and hinder building a good relationship with their parents.

It is also true with the parents who withdraw from parenting their children either by carelessness and selfishness characteristics, intentionally cut-off communication and unwillingness to bond with your children. These can have a lasting adverse effect on your upbringing and relationships building because they may view you as uncaring parents and prevent having a good relationship with one another. Parent(s) who distance themselves from building a desirable relationship with their children are dodging their parental responsibility. By either distancing from communicating or from wanting to know their children where about. Such selfishness acts towards children will make them believe that such parent(s) doesn't care about them and they too have little or no feelings about these parent(s) because they hardly have a positive experience to say about them.

Nevertheless, there is no one perfect set of rules, formulas, or strategies that answer all questions about discipline or work all the times fruitfully. Just as it is true that all children are unique, and so as the families in which they come from. Thus, each child and family may respond differently towards any disciplinary strategies. One discipline strategy that might work with one child may not work with another even within the same family; still, disciplining ourselves is an endless process.

Moreover, to discipline young children is an inevitable process-it’s part of parenting your child in a right direction. Parents' who are vigilant in acknowledging their children's efforts and progress, no matter how slow or small, when following the rules and or exhibiting self-disciplines are likely to encourage discipline as a learning and healthy development process. And whether you are a mother or a father rules setting for guidance and disciplining your children is your moral and ethical responsibility.


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