We have arrived with our son at the wonderful age of six. Each time he reaches new goals and matures in every way; he's definitely already a 'big boy'. And for this reason, we can share with him new activities, have more structured talks, get off to a good start with homework and school topics and countless other changes. But, how we set rules and limits for 6-year-olds?
This age definitely marks a new stage that allows our son to begin to be independent, which brings with it new challenges and the need to establish rules and limits in a different way than when they were younger. But, the first thing we must take into account is to know what we can expect from children who are 6 years old.
- Toilet training is complete: Normally at this age we can expect our children to control day and night without accidents.
- They have a greater ability to sustained attitude and understanding of what surrounds them: Which allows them to carry out activities and stay focused on a task for a longer time, as well as having a greater understanding of everything that happens around them.
- They have a lot of handling more complex language: At a receptive and expressive level, which allows us to establish better communication with them.
- They are much more autonomous at the gross and fine motor level: They are capable of performing almost any movement they wish to imitate, such as running, jumping, jumping, etc. and fine tasks like eating, writing, brushing teeth, combing hair, etc. This allows them to begin to have greater independence in everyday life.
- Social relationships become more important: they enjoy much more sharing, playing collaboratively, living with each other, etc. The social area becomes very relevant.
- At this age, it usually begins with primary education, which marks an important change with new tasks and duties; the school begins to demand more responsibility, control, organization, etc. from them.
Here are some guidelines for managing limits and rules with our children in this new phase.
1. Help them become more and more independent
Now that our children are able to do more activities on their own, we must encourage them to do the daily tasks that they are now capable of: bathing, brushing teeth, combing their hair, dressing, eating, fixing their backpack, etc.
2. Establish with them, schedules with drawings of the main activities of their day
The routine tables allow them to have certainty of the activities that they will have to carry out each day and to schedule themselves appropriately for them: bathroom, breakfast, school, lunch, homework, game, dinner, etc. Obviously the idea is to respect them and not skip any.
3. Help them to be consistent in their times to do homework and homework
Also, it's important to stay close while they're doing them. It is important to help them create the habit of doing their homework independently on a daily basis, but let them know that they can come to us if they need us.
4. Give them a responsibility
By giving them a commission, we will make them feel important and will help them to become more careful and attentive with what is in their charge. For example: feeding a pet, watering a plant, etc.
5. Be consistent and clear in those behaviors that are allowed and those that are not
It is very important that our children are clear about what behaviors are expected in each situation (anticipate before each new activity) and which ones are NOT acceptable; on the other hand, we must always react in the same way to the same failures and not change our reactions according to the situation or our state of mind.
6. Promote good communication
Always talk with them about how their day was, we can ask them what were the three things they liked the most and the three they liked the least and why ... This question, in addition to helping them to recount the day, helps them to reflect about their tastes, their emotions, their feelings and their reactions.
7. Model by example
At six years of age, children are very clear about what is happening around them, parents become models. In this way, we must take care of our behaviors at all times and our reactions, since they will be their first reference and they will definitely tend to imitate it.
On the other hand, there are certain things that we must be alert not to do, since they contribute to creating double messages and the limits being crossed by our children easily:
8. Not doing their homework or helping them too much
How we begin to interact with our children in their homework will depend on what they will demand of us in the future. Let's not help them too much or do things for them. We can be close and help, but always trying to get them to do their best.
9. Do not focus only on grades but on effort
Sometimes as parents we insist that our children get the best grades, but we put aside the importance of them being clear about the real message that is to strive to achieve a good result not only in school, but in whatever want to achieve. If we can make this clear to them, the message will be much more powerful.
10. Don't downplay homework for other activities
At certain times, parents can downplay schoolwork if there is an activity that we consider more relevant: a meeting, a vacation, an event with their brother, etc. In this case it is necessary that we make it clear to our son that he is an 'exception' and that we will see to it that they let him present his homework later, but never stop doing it. Otherwise, we can't hope that he doesn't want to put them off when he thinks there's something more important.
11. Do not establish consequences or punishments in an exaggerated way or little related to the offense
We must make it clear to our child what is the offense that we are punishing and seek at all times that the consequence is related and is not exaggerated. If we punish everything and remove all privileges, our child may fall into a demotivation that far from helping him contributes to bad behavior.
12. Don't underestimate your emotions
When our son reacts badly or very emotionally to frustration or to any difficult situation for him, we should never downplay his emotions; Rather, we should take the opportunity so that once he calms down, help him analyze the situation, how he felt and how he could better handle it the next time.
We must be aware that our child at this stage will depend less on us and will want to test new limits. If we are clear about it and remain emotionally close to them, but fostering their independence, we will certainly do well.
You can read more articles similar to 12 much-needed tips for setting limits for 6-year-olds, in the category Limits - Discipline on site.