Setting boundaries for your children.
In this article we will look at what it means to set boundary for children
Mission of the parent in setting boundaries
The need to set boundaries
Effect of not setting boundaries
12 ways to set clear boundaries for children.
Setting boundaries is drawing a line for the children, taking control as the parent to help them get control of their life from little age.
Setting boundaries for your children is a very important way to show how much you love them.
It is very good and helpful to have a clear, defined limits for them. Children need guidelines for their lives that are reliably enforced and It is your responsibility as their parent to creates a safe and secure environment for them.
Setting boundaries is an important part of parenting. It doesn’t mean they won’t push your boundaries, they will, It is a part of their learning process, and they may even be upset when you uphold certain boundaries, but they will also feel safe and secure at the same time.
And they will thank you in the future for setting those boundaries.
Boundary pushing by kids
Parents know that it’s common for children to test their limits; it looks as if Its something all kids are born knowing how to do, naturally it comes simply on them like reaching for something that they shouldn’t, jumping around, turning the setting room up side dawn.
The truth to this noisy behavior is that pushing boundaries is an important part of child growth process and becoming more independent, and one day, thinking for themselves and making good choices.
Children need to exercise their boundary-pushing strength now and then, and most times question your authority and disagree with you so that they can manifest their characters as they grow.
Your mission as a parent
Therefore, your mission as a parent when it comes to setting boundaries is simple to teach your kids how to test their limits properly and respectfully, without being angry or violent and to know that you the parent is in control.
Why Children Need Boundaries
You are in charge of the house and your child has to know that you are in charge. Children feel insecure when they don’t have clear limits. Just as kids need a regular play time, bedtime, plenty of sleep, a healthy diet, and other normal activities to keep them healthy, they also need rules to live by for their safety, such as not crossing the street without an adult, not to play with harmful object or not to follow stranger after school, they also need boundaries to give them a sense of security.
When parents do not give clear boundaries, or allow their kids to do whatever they like in the home balance of power shifts toward the child, which is harmful to both parents and kids, mind you as they grow older they are forced to rebel. Often times it leads to hatred towards their parents for not setting boundaries.
For instance, if a child feels like he can always convince his parents to allow him to do what ever he wants, he will feel like he is the authority in the house and therefore more powerful than his parents, and whether he knows it or not, that uncertainty and sense of being able to dominate people who are supposed to be in charge will make him feel overly anxious and insecure in himself and this feeling is harmful to him.
Effects of not setting boundaries.
Not setting boundaries is giving a child a free hand, consequently spoiling the child. Lack of limits sows the seeds of entitlement and narcissism in the mind of the child, and encourages a child to believe that the people and things around him are things that exist to meet his needs and give him what he wants.
Children without limits or discipline will develop rude attitude and will eventually show it any time they don’t get what they want.
12 Ways to Establish clear Boundaries for Children
Some times these kids do things that are more than their age but hey! It does not take away the fact that they are kids.
So, here are 12 ways parents can gently guide their kids in the right direction :
1. Be their role model
Teach them to be polite in expressing their opinions and needs in a good and respectful way. You have to teach them by doing it the way you want it to be done, by modeling the behavior you want, let them learn from you.
Speak to the children in a kind and gentle tone, be firm and friendly at the same time when you correct them, and never shout at a child even when he did something wrong, correct him in a polite way.
2. Clear communication is key.
Miscommunication is not the way to communicate remember your dealing with children so, Effective communication is key. Let them repeat after you what they hear you say just like they do in school to verify it’s understood.
It very important to make sure everyone is on the same page.it makes everyone happy.
3. Be clear and precise.
It’s very important to be clear on issues that are not negotiable, rules that must be followed without excuses. Crossing the road alone, following a stranger and so on. Go over these rules with your child and let him know that it must be followed at all cost.
4.The smaller the merrier.
Don’t draw up a long list because you are dealing with kids and not grown-ups. The smaller the limit list the better. It is far better to have 5 rules the children can absorb and remember the next day than drawing up 30 rules and non of it will be remembered at all.
5. Involve the children all the way.
Give the kids a sense ownership, let them be part of the rule making. Involve the kids in boundary setting, call a family meeting let them contribute in setting the boundaries.
After setting the rules write a document and let everyone involved sign. Allow the children to claim ownership and the outcome will speak for itself.
When children take part in making the rules they’re more likely to remember the rules and will work head to keep them.
6. Post the rules
Make copies of the document and Post it where the kids can see them daily. post a copy in their room, in the kitchen and some other places in the house you think it necessary.
7. Consistency no matter the pressure.
Don’t bend the rule, be consistent. There will be pressure from the kids and even from yourself as a parent so, stand firm if the rule said 2 hours sleep after lunch and no TV right in the morning let it be so at all time because any day you decide to bend the rule you are making it clear to the children that the rules don’t mean much, it can easily be changed, and, it does’t need to be respected.
8. Deploy natural consequence
When raising teenagers, natural consequences is preferably better.
Whenever a rule is broken the best thing to do is to give him a consequence instead a punishment. For example if a room is not well cleaned as directed, missing a children show on the TV is a consequence.
These tactics are much more likely to bring result with both younger and older school-age kids.
Another example, when a child uses Inappropriate words? Instead of a hitting the child have him write 15 sentences with appropriate words.
9. Be trustworthy.
Backup your words with action, this is very important for you as a parent it helps’s keep your authority and respect intact. If you fail to back up your words with action, your words will lose weight and meaning to the children.
I mean your words will lose authority. Your kids need to know that they can count on you. Whenever you fail to back up your words with action your words loses value. Your discipline and limits setting will become empty.
10. Commend good behavior.
Commend a child when he is doing well, it will motivate him to keep doing well, don’t recognize only bad behavior. You have to understand that if a child want attention he either does what is right or wrong all he need is to attract your attention.
11 Don’t put tag on children
There is always this urge to label kids base on their behavior, “bad” and “good”, Avoid it because it has negative effects on the children. Labeling a child “bad” create negative image in him.
12 Both parents have to be involved.
Mum and Dad must have each other’s backs in setting boundaries and maintaining one person should not undermine the other.
Setting boundaries or limits removes unnecessary argument, and discussion. It doesn’t mean kids will not be kids in trying to get their way which is in their nature, but knowing what the limits areas are, and being reminded of them daily by the copies of the contract posted in the house, helps cut down the quantity of dust the child will raise as he tries to make you to give him what he wants.
Limits are like consequences—once you made it known that there are rules, and consequences for not obeying those rules, there will be less and less push back as children learn to build their behavior to what is required of them. Not setting boundaries for your children is giving them free hand to operate and control their life at very little age.
This is not good for their growth process they may end up not being able to control their life and make good decision when they are grown.
As a parent do you think it is necessary to set boundaries for your children?
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