Being a mother or father represents a major change in one's life. A change not only for parents but also for the baby, the children. They both grow, they learn, they have to overcome problems and difficulties. For this reason, the baby's first year is a very special stage and very different from the second year, when the little one already begins to take its first steps, to move with more autonomy and to want to try everything. This is the time when parents should start setting limits and apply discipline to children.
When we talk about discipline, the first word that comes to mind is NO. The use of NO should also have limits, since the abuse of it, can transform its true meaning. The best thing, at first, is to use it only when there is a risk situation for the child.
In an interview to our site, María Luisa Ferrerós, child psychologist and author of the book 'Punished!', Gives us some guidelines for the parents of how and when they can discipline and give limits to children. The first limit is imposed in any situation that compromises the safety and health of children:
- Discipline of children and limits must enter the scene in the first year of the child's life, when the little one starts to walk and to explore everything in their environment, with more autonomy.
- Limits should be set for the child, saying NO: 'Don't touch, don't go up, don't go down ...'.
- Every NO that is said to the child must be accompanied by a serious and firm face. It can't be that they are telling you NO and at the same time you are breaking down laughing.
- For a one-year-old child, everything we say or do to him is a game. A NO can also be interpreted this way. It is enough that we say NO for the child to insist on what he was doing and continue provoking. The child has to learn to interpret NO as an order contrary to what he is doing.
- The child tries, he plays with his parents, but when he sees that they respond in the same way to the same thing or situation, with a 'no' and a serious face, the child will eventually stop doing what he was doing. Tantrums are an example of this.
- Children learn very quickly to respect limits. There are a number of important non-verbal cues that complement the “no”: the tone, the firmness and gravity of the voice, the fixed gaze, the serious face or a firmer attitude. They are key in the application of limits.
- Parental safety in transmitting limits and discipline is also one of the positive bases of its application. If the parents are convinced that the child should not do that or that, that is, they know why they prohibit it and what the objective is, it will be easier for the child to react positively.
- The only way for the child to get the message from their parents is when make it clear that they are the captain of the ship, those who set the rules for their good. Parents should feel like the helm and direction for their children. The change of roles can lead the ship to experience major storms.
- The child must know the difference of what you are and what you are not allowed to do. And parents must stand firm in their education. Respect for one another is the basis for everything to work.
- The lack of limits and discipline does not make children or their parents happy.
- So that 'no' is not the word most heard by children in their daily lives, it is best for parents to provide their children with a safe environment in which they can explore, investigate and circulate, without risk.
- When a one-year-old child does something that may pose risks for him, it is more advisable for parents to tell him 'don't touch' or '', than in addition to that explain why you shouldn't. At this age, children do not understand very long explanations. Parents may lose their child's attention on the fourth or fifth word.
- It's very important that parents be persistent when it comes to applying limits and disciplines the children. If the child should not climb in the chair, the 'do not climb' should be applied by the whole family.
You can read more articles similar to When to start disciplining children, in the category Limits - Discipline on site.