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One of the most important functions we have as parents is to teach our children to follow certain rules and respect certain limits. This helps us all to live better, providing us with security, stability and confidence in ourselves and in others. We like them more or we like them less, the truth is that they help us to live with the rest of the people around us. That is why, as parents, we must learn how to set rules and limits for children, from the age of 1.
It is true that if you have a baby of just one year, what I am telling you seems difficult to comply with, but this is the best time to start establishing some simple rules and easy-to-understand limits. These will help you develop greater autonomy, better self-esteem, and a greater degree of self-control as you get older.
We are going to see, one by one, some tips for parents who have 1-year-old children and want to work on the rules and limits right away.
1. Practice habits and routines
Rather than dedicating ourselves to implementing a series of rules to comply with and limits to respect, this stage opens a new cycle to begin to put into practice habits and routines that help us to establish new times to eat, dress, collect, bathe or go to bed.
Learning habits and routines is necessary, because they allow the little ones to have some control over situations and to predict what will happen after a certain action. That is, they provide stability, security, and emotional balance. So establishing and fixing these daily routines will save us from having to set many limits and establish an unacceptable system of rules.
2. Less is more, also with the rules and limits
Related to the previous point, you must choose very well which rules are essential and which limits cannot be exceeded. I advise you not to exceed 2 or 3, since at this age children have very little ability to remember all the information we transmit to them.
3. Explain clearly
Do not give many long explanations, but explain to your son or daughter why a certain rule or limit. If necessary, help yourself with stories, images, games, etc.
4. Be consistent and consistent
Don't change the rules from one day to the next based on your mood or for no reason. If one day you do not allow him to do something, do not allow it the next day because fatigue can, you have visitors or for any other circumstance.
5. Be flexible; avoid rigidity and authoritarianism
Although you should not vary from one day to the next there are times when we can make our system of rules more flexible. For example, if one of the rules is to pick up after playing one day we can allow you to pick them up with more help than we usually offer.
6. Do not seek perfection, tolerate mistakes
You learn from mistakes, so it is important that we are able to tolerate the mistakes of our children, but also our own.
7. Praise and reward
In order for children to know when they have done something wrong and when they have done something right, we must tell them.
8. Offer a safe environment where they can move and move freely
At just one year old, your baby is beginning to explore the world around him. Now you can move from here to there, first crawling and later running at full speed. It will fall, bump, and rise again. His new psychomotor skills will open up a whole universe of possibilities and a thousand things to discover every day. Don't limit their exploration. It allows you to move around the house freely while maintaining a safe environment. Remove any sharp objects or toxic elements that they could touch or ingest from their reach. This will prevent not only many accidents but also many unnecessary 'no's' that could limit your potential for exploration and therefore learning.
9. Learn to use the 'No'
Use a firm, resounding but not shouting 'no' when approaching an item that could be damaged and it has not been possible to remove, hide or cover. This is the time to open and close drawers, remove the treasures you find there and experiment with the law of gravity. That is to say, it is that stage that every child enjoys throwing everything in their grasp to the ground, something that adults do not usually handle very well but that they need to learn how the world around them is and works. No matter how much temptation we may have to prohibit this action, we must let them do it. Try not to have objects that break when falling within reach.
10. Help him socialize
As his abilities increase, so does his playability. Playgrounds are the ideal place for little ones to learn and have fun outdoors, sharing many playful moments with other boys and girls of the same age, something that can often cause the odd little conflict.
When these occur we must teach our children what limits they cannot cross such as biting, pulling hair, hitting ... So if they occur, we will return to the resounding no and apply educational consequences such as, for example, leaving the place of fun for a few minutes. Offer him the more opportunities the better to observe appropriate patterns of coexistence among equals.
Any child, adolescent or adult needs rules and limits, but more a child of this age. These are necessary because they guarantee their safety and well-beingr, not only physical but also emotional. So the limits we set and the rules we set will allow our children to:
- They feel loved and guided.
- Be more autonomous.
- Have more confidence in yourself.
- Develop a more positive self-esteem.
- Have greater self-control.
- Increase your sense of belonging to family, school and society in general.
In short, having a system of rules at home and setting certain limits that should not be transgressed helps our children to be better people for the world.
You can read more articles similar to Effective tips for setting rules and limits for 1-year-olds, in the category Limits - Discipline on site.