WHY IT WORKS
In recent years, scientists have found out a lot more about how the human brain develops. It turns out that it’s not until we’re in our mid-20s that our brains are fully mature. It takes that long for us to be able to make fully ‘adult’ choices about risk or to control our impulses. Children can’t control all their impulses, nor always pay attention. They can’t always remember what they’ve been told to do. It’s not until a child is around five to six years that these abilities even start to develop. So when children play up, they’re not usually setting out to be deliberately naughty, they just don’t have the brain capacity to remember all the things they’re not meant to do, or enough control to resist grabbing your phone/ throwing that toy/bouncing on that bed. Getting angry won’t help, but patiently encouraging ‘good’ behaviour will (slowly) start to sink in. So why not start today?
One of the most important words within the positive parenting approach is ‘respect’. This works both ways: it’s about parents having respect for their children, and children learning respect for others. “It’s also vital for children to have boundaries,” says Amy. “Families need to have rules and children need to be clear about what those rules are, from a very early age, because that gives them structure and routine. “Children, particularly infants, thrive on structure and routine because those things help them to understand life. They know what to expect, and that helps to make them feel secure. And when children feel secure they usually tend to behave well.” It’s best to have between three and five simple rules that you consistently apply.