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How to avoid being the bad guy because you put rules and limits on your children


The absence of limits and norms in the family can have negative consequences for the education of the children. Therefore, limits are essential for children to learn how far they can go. It makes them more responsible, favors their mental development, acquires tolerance, patience and order, and gives them security.

In the development of their personality, the little ones rehearse and test these limits by putting adults to the test. But How do you manage not to be the bad guy because you are the one who sets rules and limits on the children while your partner remains the good guy because he doesn't?

Parents, both mother and father, should always talk about the education of their children, try to reach an agreement.

It may happen that one parent is more strict and the other more permissive, but it must be clear that if one of them sets a limit, it should not be contradicted at least in front of the child, since the child may be confused believing that one of the parents is good and the other is bad.

Mothers and fathers are the main educators and trainers of their children. To be able to carry it out, it is important that they have common sense, are objective and, above all, that they do not undermine each other.

There is no magic formula for how to set limits. Each situation will be seen from the emotional resources and expectations that the parents have on the child, taking into account the stage of development in which the child is and the characteristics of the child himself.

When limits are set it has to be done in a conscious way. These must be reasonable and respectful of the integrity of the child. Therefore, when setting limits, aspects such as:

  • That the rules and limits to be used must be clear to the adult since he will be in charge of transmitting them to the children in an understandable way so that they understand them.
  • Convey the rules and limits in a positive way. In this way, it is easier for the child to better understand the things he can do and not the things he cannot do.
  • It is important for the child to understand that the rules are respected because they make sense to him and not because the adult says them.
  • Say no with sense. If the child feels that it is done in an arbitrary way, a feeling of anger and frustration will be generated in him.

On the other hand, the consequences that come from the rules are important. These make the child self-regulate. Therefore, they must be consistent so that the child respects the rule. That is to say, that the consequence is not exaggerated and that its fulfillment is real.

When the child complies with the norm, positive reinforcement is vital so that they feel that it is worth the effort to self-regulate. Consequences allow the child to self-regulate. These must be consistent so that the child respects the rule knowing that he will experience something that he does not like.

You can read more articles similar to How to avoid being the bad guy because you put rules and limits on your children, in the category Limits - Discipline on site.


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