Children's Behaviour and Discipline
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A key element to parenting is discipline. Getting this right can be a bit tricky, and sometimes takes a bit of trial and error.
4-6 years olds
During this time your child is learning is developing quite quickly and learning new things on a daily basis. You need to be consistent with praise as new skills such as eating, using the bathroom, and getting dressed are now being mastered. Children at this age are also curious creatures who want to know everything and ask a number of questions. They are learning many new rods and enjoy making up things and rhyming. By the end of this phase, children known their numbers, colours, letters, and may even be able to write a bit.
Children at this age also experience many changes as they are transitioning to all day long schooling. Some children have no problem with this change, while others may need a bit of an adjustment period. Be sure to be supportive and patient during this time.
Tips for managing various types of behaviours during this time:
- Expect your child to start to question you a bit more and maybe even talk back to you during this time. While this can be annoying and downright frustrating, be sure you set rules from an early age so that discipline is not a surprise.
- Praise at this age is very important and can have a powerful effect on behaviour. Children who get regular praise and positive enforcement are more likely to act in an appropriate manner. That being said, children who are praised often tend to continue to need this feedback even into adulthood.
- Four to five year old children love to brag and boast about anything and everything. This is nothing to worry about and is quite normal. While you should not necessarily encourage this type of behaviour, you can remain neutral and gently guide them in the right direction. Remind them that others have equally important views, opinions, and items that are just as good.
- Young children like the idea of being good, and the concept of ideal behaviour. This does not mean that they will always exemplify this behaviour, and they may have difficulty owning up to their actions. In fact, they may even try to blame their actions on someone else. This too is normal for this age, and you can lead them in the right direction with gentle guidance and coaching.
- Children between these ages also tend to become critical and very conscious of others who may not comply with what they perceive as normal. This is because children are very cut and dry and they do not understand why everyone does not act the same way. They are not able to process reasoning to explain that many people have different views and beliefs. You should not allow your child to think being different is wrong, but you should also not expect he or she will understand why people act differently and relate in various ways.
Children between the ages of four and six like to do things they know they do well, and tend to shy away from new tasks. Try to encourage your child often to tackle new things, and offer support when it does not work out. This age range is a lot of fun, and watching a child explore the world through questions and trials can be so rewarding. These children are learning who they are, but should still be under the careful watch of loving parents.
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