Simple, easy-to-remember rules work well with young children. One mom’s rule for her 3-year-old and 18-month-old is “Crying means stop”. Her kids have learned that if someone is crying then it’s time to stop whatever they are doing.
Both children know the rule and are often able to stop themselves from whatever they are doing when someone starts crying. However, mom does step in if the children are unable to stop themselves or the situation is escalating. By allowing her children to work out most of their problems on their own, she is giving them the opportunity to learn the important skill of self-control.