Family rules help to create structure, they need to be specific and clear about the behaviors you expect from your child. Rules can be specific to a situation, like dinner time rules. They also need be specific to behaviors that are never okay. Your child’s behavior and your relationship with them can be better with rules. Just remember rules work best when there is consistency and predictability.
Here are some do’s and don’ts experts believe that children must know by the the age of five:
1. Having empathy for others
When offending others, children should feel guilty. With empathy, children will first consider if their actions will disturb others. Once this habit is cultivated, children will naturally have empathy.
2. Putting oneself in another’s shoes
Let children know that responding to others is a basic etiquette, and that they should be grateful for an offer even if they turn it down. This helps children know the importance of respecting others at an early age.
3. Enhancing children’s communication skills
Children must associate with others so as to enhance their social skills. Parents should encourage children to interact with other kids to learn the skills of dealing with people.
4. Managing aggressive behavior
When failing to express themselves with language, some children tend to hit others. It’s necessary to teach children to manage their aggressive behavior before they are 5 years old.
5. Tidying up rooms
Children should cultivate their self-care ability to lay down a solid foundation for the future. After all, one who is unwilling to do small tasks cannot realize big successes.
6. Learning to share
Sharing is a virtue. Let children know how to take the initiative and to share toys and snacks with others, so as to cultivate the habit of sharing things with others.
7. Being friendly to others
Let children develop the habit of greeting others. Require children to take the initiative to greet acquaintances, befriend others, bear no grudge against others, and to behave themselves.
8. Respect for the elderly
Help children cultivate the virtue of respecting seniors and teach them the virtue of caring for the elderly.
9. Developing the virtue of apologizing
Offering an apology is representative of a child’s good upbringing. If they make a serious mistake or make the same mistake time and again, they should be subject to punishment. A child’s upbringing requires continual guidance.
Children need adults to teach, guide, and support them as they grow and learn. This does not mean having lots of dos and don’ts, as having too many rules or if they are too complicated, will often confuse them. Sometimes it’s helpful to involve them in setting up some basic rules, this helps them understand the value of having rules and will motivate them to cooperate.
Children need to know what you expect of them in order to behave appropriately. Always remember a positive and constructive approach is the best way to guide your child’s behaviour. This means giving your child attention when they behave well, rather than just applying consequences when they do something you don’t like.
Translated by Susan Lu and edited by Billy Shiyu