Parenting is a very difficult task and there are different visions of what is the best way to educate a child: there are those who re-propose rules that had been imposed on them during their childhood, perhaps even with excessive rigidity, and those who totally boycott this mode educational because, first, he/she lived it as a limiting factor for his/her own growth.
In any case, apart from theory, it is necessary to recognize that coexistence with other people is possible only to the extent that accepted and shared norms exist, which regulate relations between individuals.
This concept is naturally clear to children too: in fact, around the age of three, individual play becomes a group game, and children themselves begin to feel the need for rules to follow first. If in the beginning they need an adult to explain them the rules of the games, with the growth of growth they will be able to create them by themselves with other children, discriminating what is right from what is wrong. To do so, however, they need the help of mom and dad.
Let’s see how to help children learn the rules …
First of all, parents need to be clear about the rules they want to convey: if they are not in agreement about this first, the child will immediately understand that there is the possibility of boycotting what is required of them and any attempt will be in vain. It is necessary for parents to impose shared rules that should never be challenged (even by grandparents!). It is necessary to distinguish right away which rules can be negotiable and which absolutely do not allow replication.
To do this, it is always useful to explain the reason of a certain rule: at the base of a prohibition or of an imposition there should always be a motivation and it is right that the child also knows it and can internalize it, in this way he/she themselves will wanting to respect the rule. To help him/her understand, you can simply lead him/her to think about the consequences that non-compliance with a given rule might have. For example, you might ask him/her: what could happen if you could decide for yourself when to go to bed at night and when to wake up in the morning?
Try also to share family rules with him/her. Explain to them that in order for each group to function it needs norms and decide together what can be useful for your family life, but also listening to the proposals it will make. Try to meet all of them, discussing the pros and cons of each proposal and, in the end, make a pact, perhaps even establishing small sanctions if a rule is not respected.
Children actually love the rules, because they represent certainties in a world they are still discovering and that they often do not understand. Also for this reason it is important that they understand the reasons behind a rule and that they are made involved when it is established.
Finally, there is an aspect that often takes a back seat when trying to pass on rules: children learn above all by watching their parents, they are the ones who provide a good example through their behavior and, in most cases, do not need not even an imposition, it will be the child themselves who will learn to behave by imitation, as is natural. The best advice to give to parents is precisely this: try to put what you ask first into practice, explaining why you do it, you will see that you will get excellent results.
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