Experience Shapes Our Brains
We can promote healthy brain development and wanted behaviors by following six basic steps. Here is number 4 & 5:
4. Be Consistent
Children’s developing brains learn through repetition-by repeating experiences and routines. It is im-portant that you are consistent with discipline so that your child knows what to expect and what you expect from the. Being consistent does not mean being rigid. Adjust your discipline strategies as your child’s brain matures and different situations arise.
Setting up routines for activities that you do with your child such as getting up in the morning, going to the store, and getting ready for bed can help. Follow through with consequences that you have set ahead of time for unwanted behaviors. Remember to praise and reward good behaviors!
5. Talk About It
Talk with your child so next time they get it right! Talking with your child is a brain builder. Use words that you child can understand to teach your child why a behavior was not acceptable. When your child is 3 years or older, you can discuss what went wrong and ask for suggestions about how they could do it differently next time.
Children need practice making choices and experiencing the natural consequences of their choices. Create safe opportunities for your child to practice making choices such as which book he wants to read or is she wants to take her bath before or after reading a story.
Watch for more steps to come or read more in the Monthly Newsletter.
Linda Burgess Chamberlain, PHD, MPH