For children to follow the rules, they really have to understand what they are. Keeping the rules simple and few, getting the children involved with making the rules, and talking about the expectations and rules regularly can help to make discipline more effective. Children should know what the rules are, why they are being made and what the consequences are for breaking them. Providing visual reminders, like a poster on the fridge, can help to reinforce expectations and house rules.
To have clarity in discipline language must not be vague. “We’re going into the store and I’ll need you to sit in the carriage and use your indoor voice” is much clearer than saying “I need you to be good in the store.” When lying out rules, expectations and consequences, it is essential that you specifically define what they are. When you do the subjectivity is removed and you leave no room for misinterpretation.
Having a set of simple house or core rules that everyone agrees on consistently enforcing, like “keep your hands to yourself” and “use kind words” can also help to clarify behavioral expectations.