Between the ages of 3 and 6, it is when parents tend to have more problems setting rules and enforcing them in children. Up to 2-3 years, children tend to be easier to "handle", but from the age of 3, evolutionary and developmental changes in children cause us to start encountering "stones in the road".
It is therefore, at this stage when we have to establish educational norms and limits to achieve obedience in children between 3 and 6 years. How? We help you with a series of useful tips.
The child's language has evolved at a dizzying rate, they begin to develop their own identity so they begin to confront adults more, tantrums appear, responses, "I don't want to, I don't like, why do I have to do this ", etc. But at the same time they are much more autonomous, they begin to understand little by little the world around them, they interact more with each other and with adults.
In this period, children are better understanding the rules that govern coexistence in the social world, so the rules will be directed towards those scenarios. If until then, before the age of 3, we focused on routines and habits at home that help them gain autonomy, now we can focus more on norms and limits in the social realm.
Therefore, in children between 3 and 6 years old it is important that we focus on establishing social norms, (it is not yelled at in the restaurant, I do not run for the doctor's office, we eat sitting down or wait until we are all at the table to eat for example) and the consequences of not complying with them and reinforcing when they comply.
In these years, they do not have very complex ideas about the norms and their rationality, but they know they cannot skip them because they will have a negative result, (a reprimand). Children understand that the rules are to be followed to the letter or if there are no negative consequences, (it is very wrong not to comply with a rule), but we have to take two things into account:
- The first that you have to teach them those rules.
- Secondly, you have to be coherent and congruent, (that is, the rule is always fulfilled and in the same circumstances) or they will not understand and internalize them.
On the other hand, you have to think that up to 6-7 years, the child normally focuses on one aspect of the situation or a point of view, (his own) he does not take into account different points of view is what is called, egocentricity childish, and is that he believes that everyone thinks like him.
We go to the house of some friends to have a snack, we take out a tray of cakes, and suddenly the child takes 3 and eats them. Has he misbehaved? We can think so, since we adults usually wait for someone to start, we take only one, we do not finish with the tray. But the child, who does not know how to act and also thinks about him and his needs. He will think ... "if there are cakes and I love them I take 3 and eat them".
He does not think about social norms. Therefore you have to teach them little by little, or at least guide them. "If you want something to eat, ask Mom and Dad before", or, "Until we tell you that you can start you can not eat cupcakes", or "You can have but only one because there are many of us and we all have to eat, yes later you can get another one. " In this way he guided their behavior and conduct. And so in all situations, (doctor, shops, restaurants ...).
As in the previous stage, we must bear in mind that children cannot last long doing the same thing or doing nothing, and that if they get bored they are more likely to "misbehave".
From the age of 3, the stage of tantrums begins for which we must be prepared and know how to act. The child thinks about him and his needs, and what he wants he wants now. We must bear in mind that before the child's tantrum, we must not give in to his wishes, we must explain the situation to him (we already got up from the park because it is late and we have to go to dinner), but be firm and not give in.
For the child to have a tantrum is normal, but in the face of that tantrum, if I sometimes act very firm and sometimes flexible, what we are going to provoke is that to get what he wants, he screams, cries and kicks until he finally gets it.
Therefore, to achieve obedience in children between 3 and 6 years old, it will be important to:
- Go introducing social norms.
- Remain firm and consistent, applying the reinforcements and the consequences derived from their behaviors.
- Understand what the child is like at this stage, taking advantage of its increasing autonomy, helping you understand how the environment in which you move and develop works.
- Set an example and teach with one's own behavior.
- Have patience, children are learning to be, but they still lack time and maturity.
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