What is the key to putting limits on children?
A child is neither foolish nor bad, he simply communicates to his parents that something is not right.
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One of the most common consultations in working with children is about boundaries. And the most frequent complaints about it are: ” I already punished him and he ignored me,” “I threatened to take out what he likes and continues to behave badly”, “He does not accept authority”, “He does not understand the difference between what is right and what is wrong”, “he has evil.” All these arguments are partially or completely wrong. The first thing to say is that a child is neither silly nor bad, simply communicates to his parents that something is not right, only he does it differently. He does it with behaviors. And he does so because he has not yet acquired the ability to speak directly about his feelings or sufferings. The second thing we need to know is that we have to think each case individually, because behind each child there is a family and a story to understand. We are talking about typical children and not children with serious pathologies. Some things about the boundaries have already been said, but we can refresh them: it is very important that parents have a common criterion. In the “crack” or difficulty in combining criteria and agreeing between father and mother, the problem of behavior grows. It is always good to make clear the difference between the place of adults and that of children, it is very important, too, not to promise things that will not be able to be fulfilled because the relationship with the truth and with the word deteriorates: “I take your cell phone until the end of the year”, it is an unsustainable goal... In addition, punishment can never be more important that the word or authority of the parents (children have to listen because the parents are the parents, not because they threaten) In that sense, impersonal interventions are preferable. The impersonal form par excellence is ” That's not done. ”. Impersonal intervention is important, because the term “se” calls for the existence of a law regulating the link between persons and not a struggle between two persons. For example, “If you hit mom, Mom hits you... would you like that?” , or “Dad doesn't like you being bad,” they're pulsed to see who can over who. On the other hand, ” The children don't hit dads ” , or ” The children fall asleep in the children's room and the dads in that of the big ” , is a clear allusion to the fact that there is an unspoken law that should not be violated.But the real key is not in what we say, but in how we say it. The children instinctively detect our feelings or moods, our fears, our insecurities and our internal contradictions. No matter how much we hide it or how much we try to keep the kids not listening or not knowing, they have the ability to perceive it. Perhaps not sharply and consciously, but they have at least intuitive perception. The real key is to be able to set limits assertively. If we google it, we find that assertiveness is a form of communication that consists of defending your rights, expressing your opinions and making suggestions honestly, without falling into aggression or passivity, respecting others but above all, respecting your own needs. I would simply say that it is to be able to tell someone something very convinced, very sure of ourselves and without any particular emotion that distorts the message. Generally, when one is assertive by setting boundaries and holding a message over time (and according to criteria both parents), children often accept limits progressively. Sign of that is that they become more docile and affectionate. It is important to note that the greater degree of behavior disturbance, probably the higher the degree of conflict at stake. These suggestions are not magic formulas and it is always good to make a query to any doubt.