When my son was just four years old he loved to investigate things around the house. He spent hours each day opening, spilling, touching, shuffling, dumping and tinkering. There was a lot he wanted to learn about and play with.
Sometimes he made choices which were not necessarily in line with my expectations. One time, while coloring, he broke a few magic markers open. He wanted to “catch the colors” hiding inside he explained.
Children need time to play, tinker and discover. This is vital to growing and developing well. Very often in this playful process young children create messes and make mistakes. Having a safe home in which to make mistakes is vital to growing well. It is also important to the child that as parents we offer them guidance, limits and clear boundaries.
Children don’t really need to be told how to play or supervision that mimics a hovering helicopter. Children do however need to know that they can count on us, without a doubt to provide them guidance and safety.
Gentle guidance or positive discipline is about honoring the needs of the child while providing safety, connection and confident leadership.