Creating Structure and Rules for Your Child

>>[Music] Structure is all the things we do in our homes to make our children feel safe and comfortable. Routines.

>>[Music] Structure is all
the things we do in our homes to make our children feel
safe and comfortable. Routines can help us add
structure to our homes.>>Structure definitely helps
kids feel safe and secure because it helps them
understand what’s coming next. It helps make their
lives more predictable.>>There are four steps
to creating a routine. Step one, identify a routine
that works for your family. Think of all the things that
should be part of the routine and in what order
they should occur. It may be helpful to create
routines around key times of the day such as getting
ready for bed or mealtimes. Keep in mind that the routine
should work for the whole family and not just your child.>>So it is important that
we take time as parents and make a plan or a schedule
or a structure or something that we agree on so that, again,
that moment it makes it easier to access those particular
strategies that you as parents want to use.>>Step two, explain
the routine. Make sure your child knows
what you want him to do and when you want him to do it. Simple charts with pictures can
help your child remember what to do. Young children may also need to
be told and reminded what to do. Step three, follow the routine. Your child may not always
want to follow the routine, especially when it means ending
playtime or going to bed. It may also be difficult
for you as a parent to always follow the routine. It may be harder when you
are tired or stressed. Whenever possible,
stick to the routine. This will help your
child know what you want and do what you ask.>>Kids will challenge and test
structure, and I think part of parenting is thinking
about what’s happening and why it’s happening. And sometimes kids will
challenge structure or refuse to do something to
kind of test a system.>>Step four, use consequences. If your child resists
following the routine, remind him there may
be a consequence. For instance, say
if you don’t come to the dinner table you will
not have playtime tonight. You can also try rewarding your
child for following the routine. Be consistent with the routine and let your child know you
expect it to be followed. A tip to keep in mind
when using structure, just because you have a routine
doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible and do other things
when something comes up. When the routine changes, let your child know
about the change. This will let your child
know what is happening and what you want them to do.>>There’s this balance
between creating structure and not creating a level of
rigidity that doesn’t allow kids to explore, that doesn’t allow
for unexpected things to happen, either to you or to your kid.>>Having structure helps your
child understand what you want him to do which can
lead to good behavior. [ Music ]

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