Scheduling Good BehaviorChildren will test limits. Your child will follow your lead. Routine and consistency are your tools.
The child with a bad attitude prefers to make his own decisions, rebels against schedules created by others and takes pride in demanding his own way.
Oddly enough, this same child, along with every other child and adult in the universe, craves routine and expectation. It is simply how we are made. Think of life naturally:
The sun always rises in the east and sets in the west.
The equator is always warmer than the poles.
We sleep better in the dark than we do in the light.
There’s not one person alive who can fast from eating or drinking for a day and function at their best.
The list could go on and on because all of creation operates under a natural set of rules, schedules and routines. It’s simply how it is. So to think that a child with plenty of bad attitudes isn’t really craving a world of routine and expectation is simply ungrounded.
He is rebelling against this because it is all he’s been taught to do. Think about how our modern world rebels against the natural. We work all night in factories and stores, our t.v.’s and computers are accessible 24 hours, our I phones are relentless, our work schedules are erratic and our alarm clocks are demanding. But a child, let alone an adult, needs something to depend on, something stable and permanent. They need to know what is expected of them so that they can create healthy habits and good attitudes. If there is no normalcy and routine in their life, how can we expect them to learn the virtues of dependability? How can they possibly set goals and attain them when the world is thrown at them this way and that.
You must set a schedule for your child which means you must be involved and know where he is at every minute. Yes, really. Don’t pass your child’s care onto someone else. And even if you must use other caregivers to help you, make sure they are on the same page and they too are creating routine in your child’s life.
This routine must not only be in the schedule of his activities, it must also be in the expectations that you have for him. He needs to know what behaviors you expect, what the consequences are for disobeying, and what type of character you want him to develop in his life.
Pay careful attention: the discipline you provide for your child must be consistent and routine. Children will test limits. If you insist on good talk one time but not another, your child will follow your lead. Again, consistency and routine are absolutely necessary for effective discipline.
Here is a book that we recommend for further reading: