Consistent Consequences and Setting Limits
You’ve set limits for your children. They know the rules. Are you consistent with the consequences?
What You Need to Know
Children need limits. It’s the role of the parents to set those limits and give their children the structure they need. This helps them to feel safe and to learn to make appropriate choices.
- Newborn to twelve months. In their first year, children need love and attention from their parents to make them feel secure and to build a strong bond. They are too young to understand boundaries.
- One to three years. Children at this age can understand limits and that there are consequences for their behavior. You may start hearing, “No!” from your child. Try to decrease the amount of times he/she hears it from you and give positive guidance instead.
- Decide on boundaries. Use the words “boundaries” and “out of bounds” to set both physical and emotional limits.
- Be consistent and follow through with the consequences right away.
How You Can Help
- Get in the habit of using alternatives to saying no. “Our rule is that you cannot play with your toys until your room is clean.” “It’s not time for cookies. What other snack would you like?”
- Your child knows how many times they can get away with something before you take action. If you say, “Stop that or I’m turning off the TV,” turn off the TV if they don’t stop. Be clear about the consequence and take immediate action.
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