5 Rules for Setting Healthy Limits for Your Child

Thursday - November 06, 2014

Setting limits is rarely fun for a child or a parent, but it has to be done, and these rules can make sure it's done successfully.

 

As a parent, you’ll be forced to set limits for your child in a number of situations, from setting a firm bedtime to outlining boundaries in the yard. Setting those limits can be tough and stressful, especially if your child wants to break those limits, but there are five rules that can help you set firm, healthy boundaries:

1.       Be consistent. Your limitations won’t stick or even make sense if you’re inconsistent with them. For example, if bedtime on school nights is 9 pm, it needs to be 9 pm every night—not 9 pm whenever you feel like enforcing the rules.

2.       Be respectful. Your child is a person too, and needs to be spoken to like an adult. Explain the reasoning behind your actions without resorting to “because I said so,” and without making the limits seem like a punishment.

3.       Be fair. Don’t be a tyrant with your limits. Include some extenuating circumstances—such as an extra late bedtime in exchange for exemplary behavior.

4.       Be positive. The limits shouldn’t be a negative, consequence-driven system. Instead, focus on the elements within the limits, and stay positive about the situation. Reward your child for following the limits rather than punishing them when they break them.

5.       Be clear. This goes along with rule one, but be clear and specific when it comes to your defined limits. It will help establish a better, more easily recognized boundary.

Stay tuned for the latest news and tips from Columbia Academy! Be sure you like Columbia Academy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! 

As a parent, you’ll be forced to set limits for your child in a number of situations, from setting a firm bedtime to outlining boundaries in the yard. Setting those limits can be tough and stressful, especially if your child wants to break those limits, but there are five rules that can help you set firm, healthy boundaries:

1.       Be consistent. Your limitations won’t stick or even make sense if you’re inconsistent with them. For example, if bedtime on school nights is 9 pm, it needs to be 9 pm every night—not 9 pm whenever you feel like enforcing the rules.

2.       Be respectful. Your child is a person too, and needs to be spoken to like an adult. Explain the reasoning behind your actions without resorting to “because I said so,” and without making the limits seem like a punishment.

3.       Be fair. Don’t be a tyrant with your limits. Include some extenuating circumstances—such as an extra late bedtime in exchange for exemplary behavior.

4.       Be positive. The limits shouldn’t be a negative, consequence-driven system. Instead, focus on the elements within the limits, and stay positive about the situation. Reward your child for following the limits rather than punishing them when they break them.

5.       Be clear. This goes along with rule one, but be clear and specific when it comes to your defined limits. It will help establish a better, more easily recognized boundary.

Stay tuned for the latest news and tips from Columbia Academy! Be sure you like Columbia Academy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

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