"As children grow older, parents must give them greater freedom, including greater freedom to make mistakes. "

Making an Imprint


Our two girls (6-year old and 4-year old) share one room. Today my wife told them to clean the table before dinner (where they made a mess while playing) and the girls just ignored her request. My wife then told them that she would do it herself and cleaned the table. After the dinner we canceled going for a walk and sent the girls to their room and explained the reason for doing so. It was around 7 pm. We told them to stay in their beds quietly. The beds are located approximately 4 feet from each other. First the older girl was more obedient and stayed in her bed, while the younger kept getting off the bed. We checked on them from time to time and when we saw 4-year old girl out of the bed or in the bed but with toys, we corrected her (returned her back in the bed or took away the toys). Whenever the younger girl was out of bed, the older girl would tell us on her or would secretly try to play with her.
Around 9 pm I told the girls to sleep, but few minutes later I found out that the older girl got in the bed to the younger girl and they were playing together. I pinched both of them, separated them, tucked them in and wished them good night.
Around 10 pm they were not sleeping yet and my wife came in to check on them. They prayed together and my wife sang a song, which helped them to fall asleep.

So we have 2 questions.
Question 1: What should we do when one of them or both of them do not stick to the punishment plan like described above?
Question 2: How to deal with the older girl telling on her sister? (On the one hand we are informed that the younger girl breaks the rules, but on the other hand we don’t like this telling on stuff).

Thank you in advance!

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