Setting boundaries for children is a developmental and psychological need. Many parents can be anxious about setting boundaries. These concerns are unnecessary. Every child needs boundaries
You wish the best for your children. That’s why you want everything to be perfect in your approach to your child. That’s why you worry about not “giving” something your child wants from you or saying “no” to your child for anything. As parents, they have the following concerns when saying no to their children; “My child does not trust me, my relationship with my child is damaged, my child’s psychology deteriorates, my child hates me, my child does not love me anymore. It can be even more difficult to set limits on your child, especially if you are a working parent. Because the time you can spend with your child is very limited, you are afraid of making your child unhappy if you spend this short time limiting.
So, are these concerns about setting boundaries true?
Reply; “no”. World-renowned experts such as Garry L. Landreth emphasize that limit setting is not a worrying situation, but rather “not setting boundaries” is a worrying one. Therefore, as parents, your fears about setting boundaries are unnecessary. If you set limits on your child, you won’t make them love you less or think you’re not a good parent. It’s just your concern as parents. If you don’t set limits on your actual child, you should be worried. For children, “defining boundaries” by the adults around them (mother, father, caregiver, family members, etc.) is a psychological and developmental need. By not setting limits on your child, you are not meeting these needs.
So, what are the benefits of setting limits on the child?
Boundaries make the child feel safe!
Rules and borders make our lives easier for their children, just as they make our lives easier. While we, as adults, need limits and rules in our lives, you can understand how much children need limits, rules and routines considering their cognitive level.
Children can only feel safe when there are boundaries. For example, imagine there are no traffic lights at a very busy intersection. What do you feel? Can you feel safe? You can say “absolutely not”. For children, the setting of boundaries by their parents has the same function. Without boundaries, children feel like they are lost in a mess.
Boundaries increase the child’s social skills and adaptability!
Children’s encounters with boundaries at an early age not only meet their need to be safe, but also help children develop social skills. Children who have grown up with boundaries have no difficulty in adapting to the rules of social life. Because they learned which behavior is accepted and which behavior is not accepted in the society by experiencing them with the limits set by their parents. If you don’t set boundaries and allow your child to do something you don’t approve of, you’re not giving your child a chance to learn that that behavior is wrong.
Boundaries develop the child’s sense of responsibility!
Setting boundaries also helps children develop important personality traits such as taking responsibility, self-control, and making their own decisions. When the limit is set, children have to decide about the alternatives offered by the parents. They choose one of the alternatives presented by the parents and accept the outcome of the choice they have chosen. This experience develops a sense of responsibility in the child.
Borders improve family relationships!
In a family with borders, everyone knows their duties and responsibilities. Less fights, arguments and stress. The most arguments in the family arise because there is no limit to the children. Frequent occurrences of these arguments disturb the peace of couples and the entire family. On the other hand, parents who set limits on their children do not experience these discussions. Because they do not fight for power with their children, they set limits by offering them options. Thus, the family becomes happier and more peaceful. The child who grows up in this family also grows up happier.
In short, borders are necessary for all of us. Without borders, we do not feel safe. We should not put this great burden on children when we cannot bear this situation. Because children cannot set limits on themselves. As a parent, you should meet the child’s need to be safe by drawing boundaries.
If you do not know how to set limits on your child, you can get professional pedagogue support. By participating in the “Effective Parenting Skills Development Group with CPRT (Child Parent Relationship Therapy)” study held at the Parenting Skills & Counseling Center, you can improve your parenting skills, learn how to set limits for your child, and improve your communication with your child by improving your game skills,
I wish you to set limits for your child,
Specialist Pedagogue Sevil Yavuz
Child, Adolescent and Family Psychologist,
Lecturer, Play Therapist,
Parenting Skills & Counseling Center