The Behaviour Blogs ~ Part 9 ~ If You Don’t Set Boundaries For Your Kids Who Will?
Posted by: Sue Atkins
The gift of self discipline
Kids who are taught through loving, fair discipline are happier, feel more secure, do better at school, don’t go off the rails so easily with drugs or drink and negotiate and function in the world far more easily.
Without rules and parental guidelines kids don’t develop their own inner controls and they can carry on “throwing their toys out of the pram” when they are 6 or 16! So by teaching discipline you are teaching autonomy and preparing your kids to live in the real world with rules, regulations and limitations and are preparing them to contribute to society not abuse it.
I read somewhere where it said ‘If you don’t set boundaries for your kids the police, social services or the courts will !!!!’ – a bit drastic but a maybe it was meant to shock.
So by taking back control of your parenting you are doing your child a great service and helping them learn how to negotiate the world, stay safe and keep out of trouble and learn the vital skill of facing the consequences of their actions.
Discipline is really all about getting along with others and learning how to regulate, control and conduct yourself in different situations.
Getting your kids to behave is not about harsh words, Dickensian punishments and alienating yourself from them- it’s about creating a healthy loving environment, respectful discipline, and setting boundaries because you love them.
I like to break down your role as a parent into 3 stages
Which offers you a new perception and a new role to seeing yourself as a parent.
Between the ages of 0-6 you are in The Teacher Role.
The first six years of your parenting is like being a teacher. You teach them how to handle a beaker, a knife and fork, how to go to the loo, open doors, – everything they need to know to survive in life and make sense of their world. It is usually a stage parents really enjoy despite how tired they feel!
Between 7-12 years you are in the Manager’s Role.
At 6 to 7 a child moves from “learning to read” to “learning to learn” and you become like an administrator or manager in their lives. They look to the wider world to learn about life and their circle becomes more social. This is setting the stage for the teenager to come. So look at how you handle discipline, discussions and respect as this is your training ground for the next age to come.
And from 13+ years you are The Coach
When child hits around 13 something extraordinary happens, the cognitive abilities develop and they are able to understand more abstract thought processes. They become unsure of themselves and their hormones kick in. They start thinking for themselves and trying to develop their own independence. It is when a new style of communication is needed. You become more of a supporting role.
Managing and teaching in a nagging, criticising, blaming, threatening tone really don’t help. You need to manage yourself first, so you can then support your teenager through the changes.
If you’d like to have more of my tools, tips and techniques from Toddler to Teen download my “Secrets To Well – Behaved Kids” MP3 and Ideas Book instantly !
The Behaviour Blogs ~ Part 9 ~ If you don’t set boundaries for your kids who will?