Goodbye Baby Gate and Hello to Freedom – II

It would be wise to keep the house child friendly with outlets covered, electronic gadgets mounted to the wall, knives and sharp objects stored at safe place and cleaning products or medicines out of reach of the kids. It is also good to have sensors on the outdoors that would been when doors open warning you. It will be good to link the sensors to the home security system or go in for advanced door or window sensors available at improvement stores. Frequency of use of these sensors depends on the activity of the kid with at times this getting used very sparingly with the kid visiting a neighbor to see if friend is home without asking the parents. Its good to lecture the kid about breaking the rule with the next time the rule breaking happening, make consequence also happen, like no playing with the friends that day, that may make an impact on the kid, forcing him to ask for a permission thereafter.

It would be encouraging to give kid a touch more freedom. One can try alarm clock trick, to teach kid to stay in the room as a rule. Freedom might be too tempting for the kid now, for the clock work without a lot of angst and adjustment time. But even allowing kid out of the room, you may be surprised to see how well he may respond to the privilege. Certain worries as the kid leaving the house or microwaving the forks, may be unfounded what-ifs that probably may not happen, particularly if kids are given other alternatives. It’s better to try one room at a time, eliminate or decimate the most obvious of dangers – not the complicated stuff such as “what if he puts the ottoman or a step stool on the couch to leap for the ceiling fan.” It’s also good to put something that the kid may want to play with in each room, or stuff that can be messed with safely. A drawer full of Tupperware and some cans of Play-Doh in the kitchen, easy access to paper and crayons in the room, some safe stuff so that he is not immediately confronted with a ton of locked doors and off-limit drawers that he might want to mess with.

Be clear in explaining dos and don’t dos in the morning and check on him for a few days, it will be good to use a baby monitor at first. If he understands, he can be caught and taken to task for doing something he is not supposed to do. Or just redirect him to a preferred activity and remove any temptation that may be there to go in for the unwanted stuff. Make him help you prepare meals enabling him having better respect for cutlery, stoves, microwaves and other kitchen articles. Designate a low drawer in the fridge as a “snack drawer” – filled with nuts, fruit, cheese, yogurt, cookies etc., that he can help himself from when hungry. During the day try to be in a different room from him and resist the urge to check on him time and again. If spotted for playing passionately and independently, praise him for the same. Same if he is caught solving a problem on his own, like cleaning a spill with a wiper cloth or getting his own drink from the can. Some accidents do happen, with few kids learning some lessons the hard way. It’s all about performing a delicate balancing act of protecting and anticipating without getting perturbed, in addition to teaching your kids to do stuff for themselves so that you don’t have to do that for him.

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