Change Your Environment
Changing or modifying a child's play or living environment can be a useful tool in helping them develop self-control. It's especially effective on younger children.
What happens when you change a child's environment? It can prevent difficulties from arising as well as done in response to a problematic behavior.
Below is a list for building success into a child's environment. Think of some concrete examples or ideas for every category that you may use. Be creative in how you wish to modify the environment to help promote the child's self-control.
- ORGANIZING helps children learn how to sort, pick up, and find their own things. Organizing increases the child's ability to accomplish self-care tasks. When my daughters were young, I put their books on a lower shelf so they were all together, easy to find, and easy (hopefully for them) to pick up and reshelf.
- ENHANCING the environment involves those activities that make your child's world full of age-appropriate and interesting items. Think of most daycares or preschools where age-appropriate chairs, sand tables, posters, books, wall hangings, and toys are available to children and enrich their curiosity and learning. Is there a way you can rearrange your child's bedroom to help him learn how to spend time alone, occupy himself, develop hobbies, focus, and concentrate?
- SOOTHING is a technique used most often with babies. Simply remove sources of stimulation like the TV or bright lights or bright colors from the environment. When I taught preschool and the children would become over-active, loud, or aggitated, I'd simply lower the lights. By doing so, they'd quiet. Then I could give my instructions in a quieter voice (never add to the volume by screaming over their voices!). What stimulation can you remove today?
-- this is good discipline.
Remember children's "bad" behavior can be avoided or eased through modifying your (their) environment.
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