You just entered their lives, they need to feel comfortable with you and the new family created by your arrival. It is up to the kids to decide when and whether to start calling you mum or dad.
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Making and following family rules can help your children respect the rules in other places too. Children as young as three can be part of talking about the rules.
As children get older, they can be more involved in deciding what the rules should be. When you involve children and teenagers in making the rules, it helps them understand and accept the rules and why your family needs them.
For older children and teenagers, being involved in making the rules can also give them the chance to take responsibility for their own behaviour. It can help to write down the rules and display them somewhere everyone can see them. For younger children you can make or draw pictures that show the rules.
This can also be a good way to remind everyone of the most important rules. And there will be times when your rules need to change , as your children get older or your family situation changes.
Preschoolers Most children aged years have the language skills to understand simple rules. But at this age, children are likely to forget or ignore rules.
School-age children All children are different, but children might be years old before you can start relying on them to follow rules without your help in most situations. For example, children of this age will probably remember rules about brushing teeth before bed or waiting for an adult before crossing the road. Teenagers Rules are just as important for teenagers as they are for younger children.
Clear rules give teenagers a sense of security at a time in their lives when a lot of other things are changing. Rules about safe behaviour are especially important. These might include rules about alcohol use, sex, dating and curfews. Some families negotiate and sign safety contracts. But you can expect some challenges to the rules at this age, as teenagers look for more autonomy and independence.