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Being flexible with rules is important, too, as it builds critical thinking in the child. Consider WHY a rule exists and explain it to them. Making sure consequences exist for bad behavior that make sense for that rule and don’t appear arbitrary. For instance, if a child breaks another child’s toy, they should help replace the toy or give up one of their toys in addition to apologizing and making up with the child. The punishment thus fits the crime. 

Kids who are taught to think about the reasons behind theirs and others actions think critically growing up, and make more thoughtful and considerate adults. The obvious drawback is it takes creativity on your part to make sure you act upon “teachable moments” when they come up, since there is no one-size-fits-all solution to every problem a kid comes across.


  1. Flexibility helps build critical thinking

  2. The children learn from you being considerate of each situation

  3. Kids who think about their actions develop more self control