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Establishing and Helping Children Learn Rules

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Establishing and Helping Children Learn Rules

12 Months

By the time children are 11 or 12 months, they understand some words and may even be able to say a few. But they can't think ahead about what might happen and they can only decide between very basic choices.

Here are a few suggestions to help children learn rules to manage behavior:

* First, be brief. Children understand short, simple phrases. Give brief reasons for your rules.

* Second, be clear. Children can understand the difference between bath time splashing and not splashing. Children don't know that "Splashing is ok if you don't get too much water on the floor."

* Third, be specific. Tell children what they can do and can't do. If babies throw blocks, tell them "blocks are not for throwing. Here stack the blocks like this." be ready to remove the blocks and redirect the activity.

* Fourth, be consistent. Don't forbid an activity–like jumping on the bed–one minute and allow it the next.

* Sometimes children do things that make parents angry. When you feel angry, admit it. Say in a firm voice, "I'm really mad that you did that." your child will know how you feel. When you admit your anger without yelling, calling names or hitting, you help your child deal with their own angry feelings.

Source: Nebraska Extension NuFacts

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