Have you ever wondered why your child can watch the same Disney movie over and over and still look excited and intrigued every single time? Has your child asked you to, “Do it again!” while squealing and laughing even after the hundredth time? What about that bedtime story you are so tired of reading, but that your child seems to never tire of? There is a HUGE reason why children love repetition and parents need to know this.
When a child participates in a repetitive activity they feel:
6) at ease
In actuality, do we ALL not love repetition (most of the time)? Do you get excited when April arrives because you know what that month holds for you? Or, do you feel a sense of peace yet excitement when the leaves begin to turn orange, yellow and red in the fall? We look forward to these events, we feel happy when they arrive, and inside of us we feel an inner sense of calm and comfort knowing that each and every year the same things or traditions will occur.
It is this same feeling of comfort that children have when a parent disciplines them using the same technique over and over again. If we say something one day but then change the next, our children get a mixed message. When we try and talk sweetly to them one day but yell the next, confusion and anger is what sets in. When we enforce a consequence one day but let things slide the next day, the feeling of the child is one of uneasiness and insecurity. Getting the picture? We always mean well, but it’s out of our own frustration and confusion about the best way to handle situations that we use inconsistent discipline.
Consistency, in other words, repetition, is what children desire. It makes them feel as happy, comfortable, safe and secure as when we read them that story for the fiftieth time or chase them around pretending to be a lion for the hundredth time, or cooking that same meal for their birthday that they so love. Think about this. Could your child clearly state the steps you use to discipline – each and every time?
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