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It is very easy to glibly talk about the various phases of childhood. However, as a parent, it is very important to keep in mind that childhood phases should not be treated as watertight boundaries. Your child is not going to get up one fine morning and announce that he or she is moving on to the next phase.
How to find whether your child has moved on or not? The best option is to keep track of the level of obedience of the child. If you find that your child is suddenly making a large number of mistakes and infractions, then perhaps it is time to change the rules because your child has grown up.
It is time to explain why going to bed is important if your child argues against bed time rule. You may have never bothered doing this in the past because scolding your child or yelling at him or her was enough to scare the child into submission.
When you find your old methods not working, you will quickly realize that the child has changed. Many persons are uncomfortable with this trial and error approach. However, don’t expect any book or resource to tell you when your child’s behavior is going to change. Some children may move from the obedient phase to the disobedience phase and then further to the understanding phase very quickly. So much so that you may never realize that a phase has been crossed in between.
The best way to change your behavior is to look for changes in the behavior of your child. As the child grows, these changes would become apparent and clear.