Children imitate our behavior. When we shout in anger, tenderly comfort a child, cringe at the sight of a spider, or put our dirty clothes in the hamper, our children are likely to follow our example. Children also live up to our expectations. If we expect 2-year-olds to be terrible, they will be. If we expect 6-year-olds to make good choices, they will.
Adults make a big difference in how children approach life. How do we help them learn self-control? Do they trust us? Do they feel competent? Or are they angry . . . jealous . . . fearful . . . restless . . . frustrated . . . lacking in self- esteem? These and other emotions and behaviors take a long time for children to develop-starting at birth. What discipline techniques encourage children to become responsible, self-controlled adults?
Excerpt from Alice S. Honig, Love and Learn: Positive Guidance for Young Children (Washington, DC: NAEYC, 2000), brochure. Copyright © 2003 by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. See Permissions and Reprints online.