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Structure - Reimers

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When you think of structure, structure simply equates to stability and stability equates to a sense of security. So when parents are establishing good structure and good routines, when they have a good level of predictability in the home, it gives children a sense of security. And there's a lot of different ways that parents can instill structure and routine, whether it’s mealtime routines or bed times routines. Whether it's the way they respond to their child's behavior either on a positive level or a negative level. Those types of predictability and consistency just create a good structure. They give children the idea that somebody's in charge. It gives them sense of security.

Increased structure and increased predictability is always going to result in improved behavior and just an improved home environment. The example I often use with parents is to think of themselves as a stoplight. And if you think of a stop light, all of us - most of us anyway, are pretty good about paying attention to stop lights and we know that when a light goes from green to yellow that it's about to turn red and we hopefully choose to stop. A lot of parents for example if they don't have good structure or a good sense of predictability might get to yellow but they start flashing. So the child doesn't really know what's coming next and instead they’re kind of wondering and if they're not sure they use their own devices and they follow their own means to do, I guess what they like as opposed to knowing what the parent's going to respond in a fairly predictive way, giving them an opportunity to make a choice.

So when structure, routine and predictability aren't present, there's not as many opportunities for children to make good informed decisions. A lack of predictability allows children, or kind of causes children; to hold back on their own resources and when it comes to toddlers those resources aren't real deep or really extensive. It's not the kind of resources that parents are wanting their children to rely on.

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