How to apply limits to children


To effectively educate our children so we must make the rules at home in order to fulfill them. The secret is to do it consistently and firmly. One of the educational consequences of a lack of skill in setting the rules and mark the boundaries may be a lack of respect, which occurs when we talk too much exaggeration in the emotion, and in many cases, we are wrong in our how to clearly express what we want or what we do with too much authority.

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10 basic tips to implement educational limits

When we need to tell our children to do something and “now” (picking up toys, bedtime, etc.), keep in mind some basic tips:

  1. Objectivity: It is common to hear in ourselves and in other parents expressions as ‘Be good’, ‘be good’ or ‘do not do that’. Our children will understand us better if we set our standards a more concrete form. A well-specified limit short sentences and precise orders usually clear for a child. ‘Speak softly in a library’; ‘Grabs my hand to cross the street’ are some examples of ways that can substantially increase the relationship of complicity with your child.
  2. Options: In many cases, we can give our children a limited opportunity to decide how to do their bidding. The freedom of opportunity makes a child feel a sense of power and control, reducing resistance. For example: “It’s bath time. Do you want to shower or bathe you prefer?’. ‘It’s time to get dressed. You want to choose an outfit or shall I? ‘This is an easy and quick way to give a child two option to do exactly what we want.
  3. Firmness: On really important issues where there was resistance to obedience, we need to apply the limit firmly. For example, ‘Go to your room’ or ‘To!, toys are not for throwing’ are an example of this. Firm limits are best applied with a certain tone of voice, without shouting, and a serious look on his face. Softer limits assume that the child has a choice to obey or not. Examples of light limits: ‘Why do not you take toys out of here?’; ‘You must do the homework now’; ‘Come home now, okay?”. These limits are suitable for when you want the child to take a certain path. Anyway, for those few obligations ‘should be done’, you will be better accomplice of your child if you apply a strong mandate. The firm is among the lightest and authoritarianism.
  4. Accentuate the positive: Children are more receptive to doing what they are told when they receive positive reinforcement. Some direct repression as the ‘no’, they say a child is unacceptable his performance, but does not explain what behavior is appropriate. In general, it is better to tell a child what to do (‘talks under’) before what to do (“Do not scream’). Authoritarian parents tend to give orders and to say ‘no’, while others often change orders by clear phrases that begin with the verb ‘to do’.
  5. Save distances: When we say ‘I want you to go to bed now’, we are creating a personal power struggle with our children. A good strategy is to state the rule impersonally. For example: ‘Son 8, bedtime’ and teach the clock. Here are some conflicts and feelings between the child and the clock.
  6. Explain why: When a child understands why a rule as a way to prevent dangerous situations for himself and for others, it will feel more encouraged to obey. Thus, the best when a limit is applied, explain why the child has to obey. Understanding why children can develop internal standards of conduct or behavior and create your own conscience. Before giving a long explanation that can distract children, says the reason in a nutshell. For example: ‘Do not bite people. That hurt them.”
  7. Suggests an alternative: Whenever you apply a limit to the behavior of a child, tries to indicate an acceptable alternative. It will sound less negative and your child will be compensated. In this way, you can say, ‘that’s my lipstick and is not to play. Here you have a pen and paper to paint’. By offering alternatives, you’re teaching your feelings and desires are acceptable. This is a more correct way of expression.
  8. Firmness in compliance: A point rule is essential for effective implementation of the limit. A routine flexible (bed at 8 one night, at 8 and a half in the next, and at 9 on another night) invites resistance and becomes impossible comply. Important routines and rules in the family should be effective from day to day, even if you’re tired or unwell. If you give your child a chance to spin their rules, they will surely try to resist.
  9. Disapproves behavior, not the child: Make it clear to your children that your disapproval is related to their behavior and not go directly to them. Do not show rejection towards children. Before you say ‘you’re bad’, we should say ‘that’s badly done’ (disapproval of the behavior).
  10. Controls emotions: The researchers note that when parents are very angry punished more seriously and are more likely to be verbally and / or physically abusive to their children. There are times when we need to take the situation more calmly and count to ten before reacting. Before bad behavior, it is best to have one minute with calm, and then calmly ask, ‘what happened here?’

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