Family Life

The ‘How-To’ of setting boundaries

talking to kids

This month in 3008docklands Magazine I talk boundaries…

What do we do when our children seem to not listen to what we ask? They so blatantly ignore our requests or have a big argument if they have to fulfill a request. The question so many parents ask me is how do they put boundaries in place and how do they enforce them?

Let’s be honest, no one likes to do something we don’t want to do. When has a child ever jumped for joy to clean their room or tidy their messy bathroom? Children need boundaries and an understanding of right and wrong. They need to know what is valued in the home what is acceptable and what is expected of them.

As parents, we need to expect the arguments, the tantrums, the whinges and whines that come with the task of asking our children to fulfil what we ask of them. As easy as it may be to “throw in the towel” and walk away to prevent the argument, it is the consistency of standing your ground that is essential for children to learn. It is the inconsistency that we may show that leaves children confused and frustrated of what is expected of them.

Boundaries set the foundations for helping children take ownership of their behaviours and actions while teaching them self-control, respect and trust. Children need limits and boundaries to make them feel safe and secure in their world. Parents can encourage a mutually respectable environment by being clear and specific of limits and boundaries while also offering positive rewards for good and responsible behaviour.

Don’t be fuzzy with what you ask of children and be sure to be realistic of your child’s age and developmental stage. Pick your battles and communicate openly and honestly to your children and don’t forgot to always reassure them how much you love them.

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