The Importance of Setting Boundaries
Limit Setting: The Importance of Setting Boundaries
One given about parenting is that at some point or another a child will be disciplined for negative behavior, no matter how good the child can be, everyone does something that requires a form of discipline. Each parent has a different technique for how they discipline their children. One parent may spank their child. Another parent may ground the youth when they did something wrong. Ultimately the decision of how to discipline the youth is up to the parenting team. Limit setting is an important way to teach healthy boundaries and can also be a form of discipline in and of itself.
Parenting and step parenting require the setting of boundaries and limits so that the adults in the family are not walked over. Setting limits simply means telling a child what they can and cannot do and is done on a daily basis. For example, a child is not allowed to watch television until their homework is done for that day. This sets a boundary that school work is a priority and television is something they get as a reward later.
When a child is young it is important as a parent to impose these limits on children. Children can be hyper and impulsive and if left their own devices will do things that are not appropriate. Sometimes it is good for a child to learn from their mistakes. Other times it is important for parents to assist their child in decision making and setting limits so that the child learns to make good decisions. Children that have limits set tend to be more secure and comfortable when dealing with life and its challenges.
Setting limits when the child is a toddler allows for the child to know what is acceptable and what is not. As a parent it is important to say no when the toddler does something that is considered unacceptable. When the child grows older there will be different limits to set.
When the child is between the years of three and five more limits can be imposed upon them. At this age praise good behavior and give a reward if deemed necessary. Another important limit is to allow children to make choices if they choose to act in a negative manner allow them to decide if they want a time out or to talk about what they did wrong.
Children between the ages of six to ten years of age need different limits set than a younger child. A parenting tip for children between these ages is to explain how things are done and why they are done that way. If a child breaks the rule that was explained there is a consequence of some sort as decided by the parents. When the child gets older the same limits that are used between the ages of six and ten will suffice. Remember to stay positive with limits and not to make a child feel horrible every time they make a mistake. Praise the good and provide consequences when the child is clearly aware of the mistake that was made.