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.”