Whether you are a free range parent or a helicopter parent, you are setting the stage for a lifetime from the very beginning. As mentioned in a previous post about sleep, babies may not communicate well verbally, but they and their bodies do understand consistency. Teaching these little ones to both have and respect boundaries starts there: consistency! Through starting young, you are setting up your child and your parenting for success, as they grow older, more inquisitive, more independent and begin to push those buttons.
Here are a few things to try out consistently:
- Redirect from an undesirable activity and explain
- “No touch. The oven is hot.” “That cabinet is not yours, but this is one you can play in.”
- Offer visual choices when old enough to reach/grab, point, communicate yes/no
- “Would you like blueberries or raspberries?” “Should we brush your teeth or hair first?”
- Stick to your routine as often as possible
- Even though your baby may not think they are done playing for the night, gently remind them it is bedtime, and they do need to lay in bed.
- Explain when you can. Even if they are not using words, you’d be surprised what an older infant/toddler understands!
“We are going to daycare now.” “It’s time to sit in your high chair for lunch.”