Pushing boundaries is an important part of growing up. It leads to independence and enables your child to make good life choices.
Having firm boundaries and rules creates a positive and secure environment for your child and reduces drawn out arguments. One of the main reasons for setting boundaries is to keep you child safe.
Here are a few tips for setting boundaries:
- Routine is KEY!
- Be fair and consistent.
- Children love to play mom and dad up against each other. Make sure you stand firm and stand together.
- Be clear in your expectations and set out house and family rules from an early age – it’s never too early!
- Teach your child about cause and effect. “If you don’t finish your homework, you can’t watch TV”
- ALWAYS follow through with consequences. Don’t repeat yourself. If you say it, you must do it!
- Redirection is a great tool. If your little one is throwing sand in the sandpit, remove him and give him a ball to throw instead.
- Don’t draw attention to unwanted behavior (as long as your child is safe.) If two siblings are fighting, try not to interfere. Allowing them to resolve the situation will develop problem solving skills.
- Keep discussions regarding boundaries short. Usually three sentences will be enough to get your point across.
- Never react in temper. Keep calm and use a controlled voice.
Remember that children mimic our behavior, so keep your own behavior positive and appropriate and always praise good behavior.