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Like any household with children your home may have a number of "rules" for the kids to follow. These are in place for either their safety or to teach them how to behave and act. Once these rules are made, and you should be clear about what is expected (See Setting Limits in this section), you must enforce it. Inconsistencies confuse a child. If you tell them that there will be no candy bars when you go through the checkout today and you cave in to the pleading and whining, how will they know that mean what you say? Next time you try to enforce a rule (and it may be more important than the "no candy bar") they will naturally try to get you to change your mind, after all you did before. They basically learn that rules can be broken. Following through on your limits and rules is important because you are teaching your children to be able to predict and understand the consequences of their actions.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|