Setting limits for children between the ages of 3 and 6 is teaching them not only to obey, but also to understand that there are things that are allowed and others that are not tolerable. Establishing ground rules and teaching obedience early is important for the family.
Parents can usually start as soon as their child understands the word “no”; normally before one year. The ideal time to start may be when your child begins to crawl and can reach things more easily.
When parenting starts early it’s not just easier for you , also for them. Today we want to focus on the ages between 3 and 6 years old, since setting limits can be somewhat more complicated since they try to show that they “also know how to do things” in a different way than you want them to be done… Although of course , without having enough understanding to be able to do them well.
Between 3 and 6 years old
At this age is when parents begin to meet with more trouble setting rules and getting their children to follow them. Until the age of three, children tend to be more “docile” but it is from then on that things get complicated, even after the “terrible two years”. The evolutionary changes they experience mean that parents do not stop encountering obstacles in their education.
It is now, more important than ever, to set limits for children so that they begin to be children more obedient, but always respecting them as people and above all, without using fear or toxic authority in educational strategies. Since affection can be achieved, you just have to have enough patience to create good results, not only in the short term, but also in the long term.
Listen to mom and dad
Three-year-olds have practically developed language and know how to explain what they feel. They confront adults more and tantrums are stronger. At the same time they show more autonomy and better understand their environment, as well as the social norms for a good coexistence. Routines and habits are still important, but now rules and limits appear more frequently at home and in the social sphere.
At this age children children begin to be more social with other children, so social norms begin to have great importance in education (not yelling in public places, not hitting others, not running in places not appropriate for it, not getting up from the table while eating, playing quietly with siblings, etc.).
Consequences and positive reinforcement
Of course, just with the establishment of rules, consequences appear when they are not followed rules and also positive reinforcement when they are followed. Children learn that ignoring means having a negative result (consequence) and doing so means positive reinforcement (parental recognition).
But before you begin, you must keep in mind something very important: you have to teach your child the established rules and make sure that he has understood them. Then, another necessary aspect to remember is that you have to be coherent, congruent and constant, this means that you have to comply with the rules and the consequences, if you don’t, they won’t have an effect and will be useless. Only by doing things well will your children be able to internalize the rules.
Be firm but flexible at the same time, be consistent with the rules and consequences and above all, you must be the best example to follow your children.