Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rule Review

This is something that I picked up when I was teaching and I use it all the time with my kids.

Before doing something, review the rules.

For example, when we sat down to have songs and prayers this morning

I asked "What do your feet do during songs and prayers?"
They chorused "be still and not touch anyone"
"What do your hands do during songs and prayers?"
"Be still or do the actions"
"Do they touch anyone?"
"Do they fiddle with the rug or poke the furniture?"
"What does your mouth do during songs and prayers?"
"Sing, pray or smile quietly"
"Do we move around the floor when we are having songs and prayers?"
"What do your eyes do during songs and prayers?"
"Look at Mummy"
"Do we gaze around the room or stare at your brother or sister?"

This is done in happy, cheerful tones and goes some way toward preventing misbehaviour by congratulating them on their expertise in knowing the rules. It also meant that when Billy reached his foot out and kicked Erin and Erin started making frog faces at the window and forgetting to sing, it could be dealt with immediately. No "but I forgot" excuses.

We use this technique when sitting in the car before going anywhere to review the "road rules". We often use it before going into a shop or another area full of temptations for little fingers or before walking where there are likely to be cars etc. We don't do it every time and sometimes we just do an abbreviated version that touches on the areas of difficulty. At times they surprise me with their insight into what appropriate behaviour is and once or twice they have added to the 'rules' and caused me to have higher expectations of them!! They get wrapped up in showing off their knowledge of the rules and slip - hehe.

for more tips go and see Mama Hen at

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