Learning that there are limits is important for the development of your child. Boundaries offer him safety and security. Where the boundaries go often depends on the stage (age) in which your child is. As a baby, for example, he absolutely can not play with beads, but after a couple of years he is allowed to string a nice necklace. The limits are therefore dependent on his development and therefore change as your child grows older.
Of course you have to point it out to him if he passes a boundary, or has passed. But not every border is equally important. You can show with your voice (more urgent tone) if he really needs to do something. With a possible punishment measure you show your child how serious this issue is. Explain it briefly and clearly (so that he understands it too) why you forbid something (Danger? Social behavior?)
Where do you want the border?
Think well in advance where you want to draw a line. Some limits are obvious (a baby or toddler should not be plugged in) but sometimes there is some room for maneuver. Because of too strict (or too many) rules your child may feel troubled in his freedom (and therefore protest a lot). For yourself too strict rules are no fun. You have to check a lot more (and act) if he does not follow the rules. The chances are greater that you will react less consistently (it does not matter now) and being consistent is precisely the most important aspect of setting limits. If it is not allowed today, it is not allowed tomorrow.
Safety and security
You can limit the number of rules by making sure that your environment (house, garden, cellar, barn, etc.) is as safe as possible for your child. If, for example, the sockets are shielded and the chemicals are well unborn, then you do not have to keep an eye on this anyway.
Boundaries offer your child safety and security, but every child must dare to offer a healthy resistance and dare to question rules.
Learning to think for yourself
Your child does not only have to learn to listen (and obey) but also to question learning arguments from others. After all, he has to learn to think for himself and to develop his thoughts to become an independent adult. Listen to the arguments of your child and always give him the opportunity to make up for it again. Often your child provokes a reprimand and directs it to a confrontation. In this way he tests his perseverance and the firmness of his parents.
A reprimand is not pleasant for any party, but it is the worst for your child. Do not show your child where others are. The more spectators there are, the more pressure is exerted on your child. It is very painful for your child to be criticized in the presence of others. Are you doing this? Remember that your child will experience this as humiliation.
Every reprimand must be followed by a quiet conversation in which you explain why you gave him punishment. Choose the right time for this call, so keep in mind the 4 × 4 rule and do not make the call for four minutes:
- after waking up
- before going to bed
- before you go out the door
- after coming home
Without a biased position
Listen to your child without bias or prejudice. He will feel very taken seriously by this.
According to an American study, especially the children who were raised with a lot of heat on the one hand and fixed rules on the other, are particularly self-aware, satisfied, enterprising and independent.