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Monday, March 26, 2007

playful handle for lapses

"Young children have the same problem with many other rules we try to inculcate, such as putting their toys away, picking up things they have dropped, not getting up from the table, and so on. If we appreciate that these lapses reflect intellectual immaturity rather than stubbornness, or rebellion, we can handle them in a playful way. When we do this the child is more likely to learn the rule than if we criticized the child for something he cannot help."
From The Power of Play by David Elkind

David goes on to mention a few alternatives to using this playful approach. As parents, we need to be mindful that they (as children) are intellectually immature and that the best approach is the playful one.

If you chose the punishment route, you are just starting on a path of more escalations which are doomed to failure because the child is intellectually immature. They don't comprehend the rules. They are looking to play.

If you play along with them and set the rules by playing, there will be successful development of the behavior you are looking for.

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