How early can children learn property rights and exercise enough self control to respect them?
Well, at 2 years old, Bug will stand outside Josh's (8y) wide open
doorway and cry to be let in. You can visibly see his internal struggle,
wanting to go into the room but never crossing the threshold, waiting
impatiently for Josh to grant permission to enter.
When he finally gets permission he'll burst across the threshold and leap for joy, crying out, "I in Joshy's room! I in Joshy's room!"
He learned this respect never from being spanked or hit, never from
being yelled at, never from being sent to time out. He learned from us
gently guiding him out of the room if he entered without permission and a
gentle reminder that "This is Josh's room. You need to ask permission
to go in." Nothing more was needed.