How to Teach Kids About Mischief

This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Candlewick Press. All opinions are my own.

Mischief can be fun, but too much fun can lead to dangerous situations. Children need to make their own mistakes from time to time to learn and grow. As parents we want the best for our children, here are ways to teach children about mischief and how to manage it safely.

How to Teach Kids How to Manage Mischief

Make Clear Rules with Reasons to Follow

If I just tell my daughter that she can't do something, then she may wonder why. But if I tell her the why, then she doesn't wonder why she has to follow a rule and she just does. I was this way as a child. Sometimes it felt like rules were made up, but the reality is sometimes rules have to change for different reasons. I believe if my parents told me the reason why, then I wouldn't have tried to push their boundaries as much.

Give Tasks to Busy Hands

My son is one of those children that needs a task to work on so his mind doesn't wander. Screen time can be a useful tool, but too much can do more harm than good. So I give him options of indoor quiet tasks to choose from time to time. Quiet tasks can be reading picture books, puzzles, coloring books, or even kinetic sand depending on age. Having a chore system has really helped him as well so he knows what to expect for the day.

Let Them Push Boundaries Safely

Most children at one time or another will try to push boundaries. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. They can learn to get out of their comfort zones to make the changes that are needed to become leaders one day. But we want them to experiment and explore in a safe way. Learning to take chances is great, but how do we help our children learn to do this? Through a little regulated mischief from time to time, our children can learn to take chances and have fun.

Recently my family and I had the opportunity to read "Maybe..." by Chris Haughton. It's about a trio of misbehaving, mango-loving monkeys that have a close call and gives readers a taste of vicarious mischief. This book is a suspenseful cautionary tale about pushing boundaries and indulging in mischievous side when nobody is looking. "Maybe" shares a new yet classic tale of seeing a clear line, but daring to cross it. Chris Haughton illustrates a vibrant story with a hidden story line that will teach why sometimes a little mischief maybe, might almost be too much. This is a great story fun picture book for kids. This book gives parents a great opportunity to ask "what would you have done if you were the monkeys?", "what do you think the monkeys should do instead?", and "do you see something the monkeys don't see?". "Maybe..." is a fun story, but great for teaching about stretching or breaking rules.

Do you have a mischief maker on your hands?

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