5 Key Ways of Creating Structure for Your Child
Sometimes, when there are unplanned events and even planned events that occur in our children’s lives that it can be challenging to create a sense of structure and safety. However, when children do not have some type of structure, it creates a level of anxiety in children that if not monitored and addressed may lead to unidentified trauma that impacts their lives long term.
What is Structure?
According to Kathy Eubster, when parents provide structure, it means they are asserting and establishing their parental authority and control in a responsible manner in order to encourage healthy growth and development of their children.
Why Provide Structure?
For safety and security: Children need structure and limits to ensure their physical and emotional safety and security. Chaotic and unstructured environments are detrimental to children’s healthy development.
For learning about the world and the people in it: By learning rules and understanding limits on their behaviors, children are educated about the world and how to get along with the people in it.
For understanding about disappointment and frustration: In a structured environment, children learn how to handle feelings of frustration and disappointment. They also learn how to delay gratification. These are important skills for later in life.
For developing self-responsibility: Limits and demands provide children with an opportunity to learn self-control and to make responsible choices on their own.
According to the CDC, there are five key ways to creating structure for your child.
- Predictability, being consistency, and follow-through are essential for creating a sense of structure in the home and Click here to learn more.
- Make a conscious effort to respond to your child’s behavior the same way every time. When you are consistent, the behaviors you like will happen more often, and problem behaviors are less likely to happen. Click here to learn more.
- Routines and daily schedules help you and your child. You both know what to expect each day. Routines can also improve your child’s behavior and your relationship with your child. Click here to learn more.
- A family rule is a clear statement about behaviors that are never okay, such as hitting and running in the house. You can change your child’s behavior when there are clear consequences for breaking the rule. Click here to learn more.
- Keep things positive! Reward and praise your child for following routines and rules. This makes it more likely that your child will follow the routines and rules in the future. Click here to learn more
In closing, all parents/caregivers should make an effort to implement the above strategies regarding creating routines/structure for our children, as it may support our children during planned and unplanned events and traveling experiences.