Parenthood is an experience of its kind for any person. It’s not a mere phrase but an emotional roller coaster ride. You give birth to a little life and then all your life suddenly swirls around that little one. There are different stages to parenthood thereby parent-child relation evolves. There comes a time when you have to ensure that your love for your child should not keep him unaware of the boundaries the kid needs to understand after a certain age.
You should make your child learn about the boundaries and healthily follow them. However, it is not a single ingredient recipe but it is a process consisting of a series of steps. Let’s have a look at all of them one by one.
- Figuring out the boundaries !
- Boundaries related to Freedom : Absolute or Qualified?
- Family rules
- Don’t interrupt.
- Less talk : Good talk
- Let him handle himself
- Strictness as and when required in boundaries
- Materialistic dilemma !
- Put boundaries always visible
- Say a firm “NO” to Tantrums
- Explain “WHY” boundaries?
- Give consequences !
- Catch the bad behaviour
- Let them learn how to struggle
- Handling emotions in boundaries
- Anger issues
- Parting words
Figuring out the boundaries !
Now, what are those boundaries that you need to set for your child? You have to ask yourself this question as the answers vary from person to person, culture to culture, and society to society.
Boundaries related to Freedom : Absolute or Qualified?
The first boundary that you need to fix is about the amount of freedom you are willing to provide to your child. Is the freedom just qualified resulting which they have even few limitations while enjoying the freedom or is it absolute? Resulting in which they are free to do whatever they want to and they face no constraints on their actions.
Freedom is essential to human existence. However, restriction on one’s freedom is even more important. You can’t have the hold of your kid all the time but yes it is very crucial to understand that when you should leverage the matters and when to be strict enough.
Your child should be assured that he has the required freedom regarding his own life’s matters but at the same time equally aware of the fact that you are not going to buy any wrong action committed by him.
These days children from a very young age are very less involved in their family. It is not their fault but their age is such. We all have experienced that phase. In such a scenario, you should surely provide them with the space their age requires. But there must be a bond that keeps them united with their family.
Some regular period in a day has to be spent with the family and house chores should be divided equally between every member. This helps to maintain the bond healthily indeed.
This habit needs to be embedded in your child’s ethics. It is not a sincere approach to interrupt in between when someone’s talking. This is one of the first few good manners that is a very basic requirement for the ethical growth of your child.
The child should understand that no matter how much he is willing to cut the talk of the other person who is communicating, it is important for him to learn to listen and wait till the other person finishes and use the words like “excuse me”.
Less talk : Good talk
You must communicate with your child well. You should be frank enough that the child isn’t scared of talking with you but in between you are supposed to remember the lines as well. There should be no communications which pass the boundary lines. Don’t go so far in being frank that there is no coming back.
If you include your child very much in your personal life and its decision making then the child soon starts to guide you. The sentences could be like “Mom that was such a terrible action you took” or “Dad I totally disagree to your choice of actions”.
It is however appreciated that you are making your child learn how to do decision making how to lead the life. However, in the process you are making your child bossy too. Guiding the parent itself or judging the decision making power of the parent is something which is crossing the lines.
Let him handle himself
You should understand that after a certain age the child is capable of doing some of his own chores. You should not stop him because of love and affection. As a parent you would not want to trouble you child and you will simply put the things in places for him. But it is important for the child’s mental and physical growth to handle his things himself.
This habit is going to stay with the child forever and the need for being dependent on someone would be lessened at good levels. Hence, you need not to be over affectionate.
Strictness as and when required in boundaries
It is not very easy to be a strict parent and a loving parent at the same time. You get angry on absurd things done by the child but you cannot shout or show your anger due to the love. However, this is a demerit my friend. You have to understand that if you want to set boundaries for your kid you have to show sometimes that the act committed by the child has annoyed you.
You cannot give him some serious directions while you are still smiling at him. Your strict attitude will make the child understand that what actions he has to avoid if he is not willing to piss you off. Be serious enough and do not give empty threats repeatedly. This will make your child belief that you yourself are not very bothered about the boundaries you listed.
Materialistic dilemma !
Do not throw all the demanded things by your child right in front of him. I am not saying that keep your child deprived of the essentials but just make him understand the difference between essentials and luxury. Which means that do not spoil your child. You should Provide your child all that which is necessary but not everything which is demanded.
If not curbed from young, it might become more challenging to place limits on your child’s demands as they enter adolescence. It easier to shape them and their habits when they are young.
Put boundaries always visible
How about putting the boundaries to display? We decorate our homes with posters and sceneries anyways. So it would be a creative and fun exercise of writing down the boundaries and putting them on the walls.
For example if you do not want the kid to play loud music you can simply make a beautiful poster. For example ” LOUD NOISES MAKES MAMA ANGRY”. Or if you want the child to wash his own dishes and keep the kitchen clean then it can be something like “IN OUR KITCHEN WE KEEP THE WORK DIVIDED AND HEARTS TOGETHER”.
You can even involve your child in this exercise and trust me it would be very much fun learning.
Say a firm “NO” to Tantrums
It’s good to stop the tantrums at the earliest stage to make your child be a modest and humble one. Whenever your child ends up showing tantrums for a thing you firmly say a NO. These kind of habits should not get a place to grow. This is very essential for you to limit yourself while showering your affection.
Explain “WHY” boundaries?
When you use sentences like “Don’t do that”, “Don’t go there”,” I won’t allow that”,” No means No” are used very frequently when it comes to setting up boundaries for your child.
However, you must keep a watch on number of times you are using such words and be careful that you do not use them excessively.
You know, sometimes it becomes important to give an explaination that why are you denying to something and give the reasons that why is it good or bad for the child. Otherwise, there are much possibilities that continuous denial may turn you dear child into a stubborn one.
Give consequences !
Your child needs to know the exact consequences of whatever action he may take. The consequences can be positive or negative as well. Calmly and very firmly explain to your child that what will be the resulting consequences of the action being taken. For example, tell him that if he does not completes the homework by lunch then you will not allow him visit the park to play in the evening.This will develop some amount of sense of responsibility in the child.
The consequences should be moderate and justify the seriousness of mistake. It should not exceed the magnitude of mistake being committed. For example, the child did not clean his room and you are taking away the meal of that time as a punishment.
Catch the bad behaviour
Being a child, your kid is bound to trouble you and create mischief in the house. That is acceptable up to certain levels because you cannot expect a child to sit calmly and silently. The children are naturally naughty and that can’t be helped much. However, you must notice the fine line between when your child is getting naughty and when is he completely misbehaving.
Naughtiness is okay but bad behaviour has to be stopped before it multiplies further.
Let them learn how to struggle
Being always there for your child is a matter of being over conscious I guess. See the thing is that you have to he there when your kid is in trouble but sometimes you have to make sure that you child is not always approaching you to fix his issues.
The child has to learn to face the world by himself. I am not asking you do not have your child’s back. Just don’t be the main hero of the picture. Instead be the bulwark for the hero if things go excessively wrong.
It must be difficult at first but it is very important to make your child learn self-control. He must be aware of the boundaries being set there for the level of minimum control he has to exercise on his actions and said words.
It is very crucial for the kid get self-control guidance and boundaries by the parents at the earliest.
Handling emotions in boundaries
As your child grows up, it is important for him to start learning that how to handle his emotions. Emotional intelligence plays a good role in determining how the child’s going to do in his relationships and in his professional life too. Emotional balance means efficiently handling your happiness, sadness, grief, excitement etc. to function properly in the life.
There are possibilities that your child may end up being an angry bird if not guided on the right time. You are supposed to set the boundaries on time.
How much anger levels are acceptable and that too if they justify with the cause. Which means that you have to balance the amount of anger with the cause of it. The child is not supposed to be excessively angry over minor issues.
If the child is getting angry too often and without much of a cause, it means its high time that you put limits to him. And teach him accordingly regarding the appropriate behaviour.
Being a parent handling the child and making him aware of all the boundaries at one time is a risky job to do. What you can do is to make the child learn things slowly but properly. Everyday tell him one concept. Work together and follow the same. I am sure that with the continuous love and support and proper guidance you will shape your child into someone who is completely aware of his boundaries and follows it as well.
You can’t just make a child learn and follow the boundaries all of a sudden until and unless he is not himself willing to. They are just kids after all. Instead develop it into a habit that is continuously being taught and followed in the home, then you will witness the differences very soon.
Do follow podium blog for more such articles !