Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Open Discussion

Why are the limits on parenting necessary?

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


Our children repeatedly challenge the boundaries that parents establish. And many parents feel discouraged when it comes to setting limits because those who put in are not satisfied.

We must remember that establishing limits and agreements not only facilitate the upbringing of children but also are essential to living in harmony. Trying to raise a responsible and cooperative child without limits appropriate for their age is like trying to raise a fish out of water. Limits are needed for children to flourish.

Prepare children for the real world:

The boundaries provide a framework for your child to understand what is expected of him and the consequence he will have if he does not comply. Having family expectations, such as "do not hit" or "toys must be picked up before going to bed," and then apply the consequences if you violate the rules, will help you adapt better to new situations.

They teach children to socialize:

Some rules are just basic manners: say "please" after making a request, say "sorry" before interrupting. If you consider it a policy to use educated words in the home, not only will it be more pleasing to your child, but he will also learn appropriate ways to get what he wants.

They provide a sense of order:

Certain rules help the child predict what will come next, such as "wash your hands before eating" or "hold my hand when you cross the street." Even young children tend to cooperate better when they know what is required of them and that helps them gain a sense of belonging.

They allow children to feel competent:

Clear boundaries tend to reduce power struggles because children do not need to constantly examine them to find where the limits are. This does not mean that your children never give you a test; it only means that after the hundredth time they will realize that it will not take them anywhere. Your little one will understand what you want if you declare your rules positive.

They help keep children safe:

Children, and some adults, often complain as if the rules were made by a bunch of spoilers. The truth is that many household rules, like many laws, are designed to protect our children: "Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle or when your child is on Aosom kids bike trailer" "Use a child restraint if you're in the car." When we insist that our child complies with safety standards in the home, daycare, and school, we help prepare him to comply with the law.

Increase confidence:

If you gradually expand the limits imposed on your child, you will have more confidence in your emerging independence and your ability to handle responsibility. Young children take pride in accomplishing simple things like going to the house next door to play in a neighbor's yard or sleeping in a friend's house.

Do not be too strict

In an effort to be firm and avoid deterioration, parents sometimes set too many limits and unintentionally end up severely restricting our child's behavior. If you expect your child to eat all the food with a fork or spoon or never run in the house, you are likely to find more resistance than compliance. Worse still, your high expectations could make your child feel that he is unable to please you.

Be consistent:

When you allow a certain type of behavior one day and then react in an exaggerated way to the next, you will surely confuse your child. Create fewer rules that you can apply consistently, instead of applying them erratically. With young children, especially, it is easier to restrict the limits to those that involve health and safety.

Give your child a voice:

If you allow your child to have something to say about what house rules he should establish, as well as what the consequences of his breakup should be, this can motivate him to be more cooperative. You may be surprised to discover how reasonable it can be.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.