Thursday, June 27, 2013

Discipline as Easy as Drawing a Line



While detoxing one evening, I was watching a popular TLC show.  I discovered an idea that was perfect and had to share!

The mom was instructing the children to stay away from a particular object.  So, she assisted one child in drawing a circle with sidewalk chalk around the object to make a boundary.  By drawing the line, there was no ambiguity.  

In our home, we use lines in concrete or yellow cones but I loved the idea of sidewalk chalk.  Not sure why I haven't done this before! 

When establishing boundaries, try to set the boundaries at the beginning before play begins.  Always make sure that the children are very clear about where the boundaries are and the consequences that will occur when the rules are not followed.  Natural consequences are the best!  There is no reason to give warnings as the rules have already been clearly established. 

Here are some examples:

 - Bike riding - Set up boundaries before beginning to ride bikes.  As soon as the line is touched, consequences occur.  Losing biking privileges is a perfect natural consequence. 

 - At the park - Use trees, sidewalks, or other parts of the park to establish borders.
 
 - At a pool - While at swimming lessons, Peanut learned to stay behind the bricks that bordered the patio.  To start, he and I walked the brick line so he knew where his boundary was.  This kept him away from the pool and kept me from having to chase him the entire hour.  He knew where he could play and had consequences if he crossed the line.  And yes, he attempted to cross the line more than once!
 
 - When visiting friends - Because this is a new space, children won't know about the dangers that are around.  By setting boundaries, you are providing a safe atmosphere for the children to play. Always ask the hosting family what their boundaries are.

One more thing...our rule is "If you can't see mommy or daddy then you have gone too far."  It is not "stay so Mommy can see you."  This way you are placing the responsibility on the child!

Concrete (pun intended) boundaries make discipline so much easier.  So, grab a piece of chalk and start drawing those lines.  But remember, once they are drawn, you must follow through!


What do you use to mark boundaries?

1 comment :

  1. I've been using boundaries at lot lately. I've started backing my car out of the driveway and my mom's car to mark how far my boys can go when they play in the front yard. It makes a WORLD of difference.

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.