Archive for October, 2009
Discipline and Limit-Setting: Birth to 12 Months
In order to follow rules and understand limits, children need to develop self-control. Self-control is the ability to cope with strong feelings and stop one’s self from doing something that is not allowed. Developing self-control begins at birth and continues throughout childhood. Young children learn self-control through interactions with peers, parents and other loving adults.
Babies and Self-Control
Babies are not born with self-control. However, they begin developing self-soothing skills-the beginning of self-control-in their first months. For example, many babies learn how to soothe themselves by sucking on a pacifier or finger. This helps them cope with waiting while a loved one gets ready to feed them. Babies are also learning that they can’t always have everything they want:
A 9-month-old grabs the television remote. He is happily pushing buttons when his caregiver gently removes it from his hand and puts it on a bookshelf. She says: “The remote control is not a toy, sweetie. But how about this instead?” She gives him a toy with buttons to push and doors to open. This baby is learning about self-control because he has to accept a substitute toy-although his caregiver made sure he could still explore with his hands.