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Successful Teaching and Parenting: The Role of Rules

Rules are like the white dotted lines on the highway that keeps everyone in their lane. Just like those dotted white lines, rules help things run a lot smoother and minimizes chaos. Rules help children to learn and know what to expect. They are a form of communication that establishes guidelines for children to follow. Children need to be reminded of the rules until they are second nature. You can accomplish children learning the rules by following these steps.

1. Only have a handful of them 5 or 6 are good.

2. Keep them very simple.

3. Focus on the outcome, instead of what you are wanting to avoid. An example of this is say “Keep your hands to yourself.” ” Or my hands on my body.” or something to that effect instead of “No hitting” . Another example is “Be quiet” instead of “No talking.” , or “When I talk you listen, when you talk I listen.”

4. Repetition is the mother of learning. So review them often as a group and when some one forgets them.

5. The rules should be easy for the children to understand and implement.

6. Children should also know what happens if the rules are not followed.

Here is an example of a set of rules shared with me by one of my students that was in first grade. Her teachers were Ms. Davis and Ms. McNeil of Thirteenth Avenue School in Newark, New Jersey. The student that gave me these rules is Kailani. She was able to tell me these rulesĀ  totally by memory. I have had this student since she was 2 and now she is almost 6. I know that teaching her dance for so long helped her memorization skills immensely. I also feel that her teachers did a great job teaching her and her classmates the rules. Their rules are a great example of rules for children. It is called “The Rules of School”

THE RULES OF SCHOOL

1. Follow directions quickly.

2. Raise your had for permission to speak.

3. Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat.

4. Make smart choices.

5. Be a scholar at all times.

Thank you Kailani, Ms. Davis and Ms. McNeil of Thirteenth Avenue School in Newark, New Jersey. Rules help things run smoother, communicates expectations easily and give children a track to follow. If you have some great rules please share them with us. Please leave a comment of the rules that work best for you.

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