In the popular imagination, limits usually have a negative imprint. Many parents think that setting rules for their children means curtailing their freedom and restricting their development and, therefore, they adopt a more permissive position. However, in reality, children do need limits to grow and feel safe and confident. In fact, it has been shown that putting into practice an education that is too permissive and without clear rules can affect the child’s adaptation to their environment, as well as their emotional development, and they can even become tyrannical children.
The implications of NOT setting limits on children
Parents who do not put limits on children and allow them to do what they want are raising children who will probably not be able to adapt to changes, with a low tolerance for frustration, little self-control and low self-esteem. An indulgent upbringing gives rise to children who continually put their needs before those of others, who find it difficult to put themselves in the place of others, assume their responsibilities and comply with rules and obligations. Juvenile courts implement a program with accompanying dogs to reduce the stress of children.
In fact, many of the children who have grown up without clear and precise limits and who always achieve everything they set out to do at the cost of manipulating their parents end up becoming little rebels, aggressive and who have continuous tantrums, with a tyrannical child profile. , since they have not learned to regulate their behavior and adapt to different contexts. In some cases they can assume a self-sufficient behavior and, at first glance, they seem to have great self-confidence but in reality it is a mask behind which they hide their insecurity and fear.
The impertinence, the lack of perseverance, the impatience, the little desire to collaborate, the lack of commitment and the problems to relate assertively with their peers are usually other characteristics of these tyrannical children. However, there are times when excessive permissiveness can lead to more complex and difficult to treat disorders such as oppositional defiant disorder , characterized by a constant violation of the rules, or other behavioral problems that can affect the academic development of the student. child and his interpersonal relationships.
How to set healthy limits for children?
Limits do not have to restrict the spontaneity and freedom of children. When applied correctly, children not only feel safer, but family dynamics also flow more naturally. The key is to set few limits, but keep them clear and concrete, since it is important that children understand exactly what their parents expect of them. Ideally, they should be explained in simple language according to their age so that they can understand them, since they will not perceive them as impositions and they will be more willing to follow them. In fact, there is no greater motivation for violating a boundary than not understanding it.
It is also essential that the limits are firm and consistent, that is, that they are always met, without exceptions, otherwise they could generate confusion in children and, in some cases, lead the little ones to try to measure forces or manipulate their parents to not follow the rules. Another important detail is to focus the limits only on the child’s behavior, never on her emotions or ideas. A child who feels limited in expressing her emotions or what he thinks will end up being a small frustrated, repressed and unable to fully deploy her potential.
Obviously, it is also necessary to adapt the limits to the age and level of development of each child to avoid being too weak or too severe in their education. It is essential that the rules and regulations are always consistent with the level of self-control that the little ones have developed.