Thursday, May 20, 2010

Loss of Structure

It is important that your home have rules, boundaries, a basic schedule, and an authority figure for the children at all times. They should be clear about their responsibilities. They should know the rules and the consequences. Communicate with your child care provider and make sure he or she knows what your expectations are for your children.

A loss of structure at home can be devastating for a child. "Children need consistent routines they can count on," says Linda Jacobs. "When one parent leaves, schedules and routines change. Children feel more secure when they know what is going to happen next. Routines bring a sense of security and safety to the home. Each parent needs to develop a set of rules and routines. Children can then adapt to both homes."

"I had a lot of unsupervised time," says Loren, whose parents divorced. "Do not let your children be unsupervised, especially between the hours of three and six. I got in the most trouble in the afternoon when I got home from school, doing things I didn't have any business doing."

Dr. Bob Barnes says, "If there is no structure, if it's just up for grabs, then everybody is wondering, 'Who's in charge here? What's happening here?' The relationships will be strained; there will be anger, and the child who is prone toward withdrawal will really withdraw."

"Discipline your children while you still have the chance; indulging them destroys them" (Proverbs 19:18 Msg).

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