In Positive Discipline, Jane Nelson reminds us to take time for training and planning to avoid power struggles, frustration, hassles and misunderstandings. Children often don't know what is expected of them. Time constraints often lead to a lack of training. When children don't know what is expected of them or how to accomplish a task, problems will arise.

Take time for training. As Jane says make sure children understand what "clean the kitchen" means to you. To them it may mean simply putting the dishes in the sink. Parents and teachers may ask, "What is your understanding of what is expected?".

Do training at neutral moments. I'd like to add to make it short and fun. Repeat the lesson until they get it. Acknowledge their efforts whether successful or not and leave the result without correction.

I've also found that it makes all the difference in the world when you prep your child for the day and upcoming events. Tell him the plan, how things will work and how we, as people, act under those circumstances. "When we go to the park, this is how we act..."

Jane goes onto tell us to avoid morning hassles by establishing routines the night before. Make lunches, lay out clothes. Get backpack’s ready with homework, books etc. Help children figure out how much time they need to get ready in the morning and set an alarm in their room. Let them experience the consequences if they don’t get up in time.

Nip bedtime avoidance by planning a night time routine. Involve the children in establishing the plan. Stick to it with firmness. After dinner, remind them of the plan you developed together, "Here's our plan... we will put on pajamas, brush teeth, read two books, share our happy and sad times of the day, then go to bed."

Per Maria Montessori, children from the approximate ages of one to three years enter the Sensitive Period for Order developmental phase. Children need routine and order in the home environment making it especially important to establish and communicate a plan.

Remember to make the training fun! Use role playing to act out the plan. Rotate the roles. Children love that!

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