By setting boundaries for your children, you show your love and concern. In other words, you demonstrate, “I care about you, I want you to be a safe person.” In addition, limits also allow the child to act responsibly and learn a direction to obtain effective results in good interpersonal relationships.
Do you think that little? That is all! And know that there is the right age to be able to establish this discipline, because then you can’t do it anymore. Let’s go in stages!
What limits should I set?
Carefully select the limits you deem necessary and, as far as possible, consider the child’s point of view. The boundaries you set should protect you from physical and emotional risks, to yourself and others.
Therefore, such boundaries must show respect for the feelings and ideas of others. So try to help kids learn to put their anger into words, away from obscenities, and show them how to resolve conflict without cruel provocation.
Also, it is important to be careful when denying a child the right to experience emotions such as anger and fear, as these feelings are often natural and healthy responses to difficult situations.
So, before setting a limit, ask yourself: Is this rule really important? Am I willing to deal with the conflicts that will occur if my child breaks the rules?
Then review the boundaries you’ve set for your children and ask yourself this: Do they matter? Are they reasonable? Would they be clear enough for the child to understand? Do they tell your child what to do and what not to do? Do you apply them consistently? Do you encourage your children to set their own limits?
Relationship between limits and values
Your rules should reflect your deeply held convictions and values, that is, the ones you are committed to upholding. For example, do you really need to insist that a child eat all the food on his plate, wear certain clothes, or not bond with a particular person? Or is it more important to question when a child destroys a friend’s toy, swears at their parents, or takes money out of their wallet or purse?
Parents who set too many rules can overwhelm their children with too much and too many demands. You’re more likely to be effective when you focus on the rules you think are most important.
In this way, nothing can be one extreme or the other and everything must be dosed and well defined. That is, limits need to be established and respected, but not everything should be considered prohibited.
Be clear and positive
Consistent limits are reliable. They provide security and guidance to children. So if one day the child is told not to play with sharp scissors and the next day he is allowed but punished for it, he will never know what is expected.
A well-defined threshold tells the child exactly what is expected. A child’s respect for parents and authorities will diminish if parents keep changing the rules and are inconsistent in setting limits. Show your child the benefits he gains from imposed limits.
Thus, the best age to start introducing these concepts is between 2 and 5 years old, a stage in which emotional maturation and the introjection of essential values to protect oneself and others are established. Your child may not know exactly what is expected, so don’t blame them for not following the instructions initially if they aren’t clear at first.
Allow children to help set boundaries
As we have seen, the ultimate goal in setting limits is to help children develop self-control and self-direction. You can demonstrate confidence in your children’s abilities by talking to them about problems and encouraging them to suggest guidelines for their own behavior.
By involving your children in setting boundaries, you are more likely to get their cooperation in following the rule. Letting children help set their own boundaries also gives them experience and practice in making decisions.
The help of a good story
Telling stories to children sensitizes them and makes them highly involved with the context. In addition, it encourages effective learning, through the development of a new constructive mental model, so that she can reflect and reach conclusions on the importance of obtaining limits for self-direction in her life.
Check out the video below, which demonstrates the risks of the absence of limits and the benefits that the child obtains when conquering the balance of their emotions and wills. Music reinforces the positive mental model, helping the child to always remember the direction of limits.
From these tools you can be sure that you will be able to achieve great success and achievements with your child’s education. He will be very grateful for your dedication today and the adult who can enjoy full life in the future.