5-part 4

Topic Progress:

Where do boundaries begin? In your home. Teaching your child to take care of their belongings and of yours will go a long way. For example: 

  • Eat in a highchair or at the table- not in the living room where food can stain your carpets and furniture
  • Draw and color on the paper, not on toys or walls
  • Sitting in a stroller when out and about (not being allowed to run freely)
  • Sitting in a restaurant (this has to be taught slowly- by taking a fussy child outside instead of permitting them to run around in the restaurant- and when they are ready to come back inside and sit down you come back in to the restaurant. Make meals short the first 3 years and bring things to do like coloring, toys, drawing, books, etc.!)
  • Clean up your toys when you are done (singing a goofy clean up song always helps)
  • Making healthy decisions for snacks and meals is also a self-discipline boundary
  • Asking permission to have a snack (this curbs instant gratification and dangerous tactics such as moving chairs and climbing up)
  • Asking permission to paint/do crafts (this teaches messy activity boundaries)

Let’s look at two different scenarios: 

  1. The first child says to herself, “I’m hungry”.  She pulls a chair up to the closet, climbs up, grabs the cookies, runs into the living room and eats as many as she likes at the coffee table while she watches television.
    1. The need arose.
    2. She instantly went into motion.
    3. She got what she wanted and as much as she wanted.
    4. She gave no thought to what she was doing or the mess it created.
    5. She was instantly gratified.
    6. She did not have to show gratitude.
    7. Now, the second child.  She says to herself, “I’m hungry”.  She goes to a caregiver, pulls on her shirt and asks for some cookies.  Caregiver says, “Just a minute, I’m changing your brother’s diaper”.  Caregiver gets to the kitchen but drops the bomb; “You may have cookies for your special treat after dinner.  How about a cut- up apple or a cheese stick for snack?”  Caregiver may get a meltdown, and have to give a time- out (we will get there), but finally the child sits at the table or in her high chair and she is given a snack.
  1. The need arose.
  2. She had to ask.
  3. She had to wait until Caregiver could get her hands free.
  4. She was taught to make a healthy choice and actually didn’t get the snack she was hoping for even after the fit she threw.
  5. She had to sit and eat in the kitchen where you are supposed to eat if you don’t want ants or sticky goo on the couch.
  6. She was made to say thank you, which teaches gratitude.

Which scenario looks better to you?

Discretion will protect you

And understanding will guard you.

Proverbs 2:11