The subject of setting limits and rules is perhaps one of the most important in raising a child. To achieve this successfully, it is essential to know the characteristics of the stage of development in which our child is and thus know what actions can have a real impact on him and what responses we can expect, since each stage of development implies new abilities and skills in the child. area of language, cognition, motor skills, socialization and independence. On this occasion, we focus on how to set limits for 3 year olds And, for this, we are going to see some things that must be done and others that we must avoid.
From the age of 3, children have a greater understanding of words and sentences and a greater development of expressive language, which is why they are much more receptive than at previous ages. Children of this age are capable, among other things, of:
- Pay attention for five minutes while reading a story to them.
- Make simple commands like: 'pick up his toys', 'wipe his mouth', etc.
- Answer simple questions: How are you? What happened?
- Relate immediate experiences and count two events in order.
- Express future actions.
- Know how common objects are used.
- Follow rules in a game led by an adult.
- Asking permission to use another child's toy.
- Say please and thank you'.
- Wait your turn.
- Obey an adult.
- Go to the bathroom alone.
- Shake hands to walk in the street.
- Brush your teeth.
- Eat alone.
- Dress alone or with little help.
- Going to sleep.
- Understand basic rules such as 'no hitting', 'no yelling', etc.
- Avoid dangers such as obstacles, glass, etc.
Once we define some of the most meaningful things three-year-olds are capable of doing, it is easier to establish some basic tips to get them to successfully follow rules and limits.
- Orders must establish clear actions affirmatively
For example, instead of saying 'Don't throw your toys away', say 'don't forget to put your toys in the box'.
[Read +: How to say NO to the child in a more positive way]
- Recognize him if he behaves appropriately and follows directions
Make him notice that we are glad that he has a good behavior and congratulate him with 'very good', 'you can', 'I love it', etc.
- Anticipate situations
It is important to anticipate our child to each place we go, explain what is going to happen and make clear the type of behavior that we expect from him.
- Use distraction
Undoubtedly one of the best techniques, when we see a tantrum approaching, is to distract your attention with something else and thus blur it from what is causing irritation.
- Eliminate temptations
If you know that there are certain things that she can't resist, try to keep them out of her sight. Whether it is a tablet, candy or toys if it is not the right time for you to have them.
- Let you keep track of small things
For example, to take care of something or to choose from a limited number of options when dressing, eating or buying something. This will make him feel important and know that there are things that he is already able to decide on.
- Give him a chance to calm down
There is no use trying to reason with him if he finds himself crying at the top of his lungs; Give him time to calm down and once he is calm, explain why what happened was not okay.
- Ignore bad behaviors
There are behaviors that children carry out to get attention. A good technique is to ignore them (with those behaviors that allow it) which often results in the extinction of the behavior.
- Be flexible
There are certain times, when he asks you for something reasonable, such as, for example, giving him a chance to watch the end of his favorite show or not finishing his plate of spinach, when you may be able to give in, get to a middle ground, and avoid an angry situation. and unnecessary drama.
And, on the other hand, these are some of the behaviors and some of the attitudes that parents should avoid when setting limits for 3-year-olds.
- Make reference to his person and not to the action in which he is failing
For example, 'You are rude' instead of 'You are a good boy and it is not okay for you to be rude'.
- Be changeable in our reactions depending on our moods
If any behavior is reprimanded or corrected, you should always have the same reaction and stand firm, otherwise we just confuse them and stay far from the goal.
- We must not yell or lose control
Do not forget that we are adults and the calmer we remain, the faster we can control the situation. It is well proven that children do not learn when we yell at them.
If you need some practical advice to help you stay calm and not yell at children, don't miss the study published in the Institute for Family Studies.
- Overload it
We must learn to know the limits of our son. For example, if you are tired and have had a difficult day, we cannot expect you to behave properly at a party in the evening.
- Grant what he wants just to avoid a tantrum
If we are convinced to deny him something, obviously that it is something significant, we should not give in just because he screams, cries or has a tantrum.
- Give eternal explanations
At first it is important to explain the reason for an order or a refusal; but once this is done, there is no point in explaining again and again.
- Don't let him do what he should
If he does not do what you ask him (and it is very likely that he will not do it the first time), we must avoid doing it for him. For example, picking up toys. This is a good way to get him into action and not get frustrated waiting for him to do it.
- Breaking your own rules
It goes without saying that you should be a model for everything you ask your child for.
- Dismissing your feelings and your emotions
Even though his reactions may seem overdone and out of place, try to think like him. Once he is calm, help him describe how he felt (you can do it through emojis or other games) and explain that getting angry and feeling like this is normal; but we must learn to control ourselves and learn that we cannot always do everything we want.
- Show resentment towards him
If your child had a major tantrum that made you mad, it's not a good idea to stop talking and ignore it. You will learn that this is the way to handle conflict. Wait until he is calm, explain how he made you feel and why he was wrong.
What do you usually do to put limits on your child? What usually works well with your little one?
You can read more articles similar to Dos and Don'ts to Set Limits for 3-Year-Olds, in the category Limits - Discipline on site.