Low tolerance for frustrations and little control of their emotions are just some of the consequences of the lack of limits in children.
The power struggle in raising children is often an inexhaustible source of conflict. The child wants something and will fight tooth and nail for it, and his parents will try to make him see reason when what he wants is not possible. Yif the boundary is not clear, this scene can be repeated and again.
Parents often listen to experts, teachers, specialists in child behavior and even read reports, research, and everywhere we are told that the lack of limits in a child can have severe consequences.
But of course, raising a child is not mathematics, and many times we find that we are not sure if that limit we are setting is enough And at worst, many of us don’t even know how to apply them.
The tyranny of the “limitless”
“Raise crows and they will gouge out your eyes,” says the popular saying. In our society, it often seems that this is exactly what we are doing with our children. Many of our grandparents are amazed how today’s children are answering, defiant, and always have an objection to what adults say.
We are raising children without limits, or with unclear limits, if you don’t want us to be so drastic. But we cannot deny that the current generation of children is marked by this blurring of the border between permissiveness and freedom, between the world of what is right and what is wrong.
I do not intend to make a sociological analysis of children’s behavior, but as a mother I am urged by the need for introspection and self-criticism, since my children are part of this society of the immediate, of absent and over-busy parents. Therefore, the more we reflect on the need for healthy boundaries for our children, the greater the benefit for them in the future.
Limits in everyday life
The scene is almost daily. My children scatter their toys all over the house. They build houses, markets, classrooms, vets, and more. The house is in chaos and when they get tired, they simply pretend to leave everything there because “tomorrow they will continue playing.”
But we can’t even walk. And I even broke one of their toys when I accidentally stepped on it. Impossible to see it in the tangle of things on the floor. Ah, but the little ones want to play with the tablet and they want to leave the toy line. Even if they cry or kick, they must gather together if they want to use video games.
What happens if I say yes to your request? Every day would be the same. They would play games, lay down their things and sit around playing videos, and Mom and Dad would collect everything. And what are we teaching them? Nothing positive by the way, because life (unless you are royalty) although it is much more than putting together toys, you start with something.
What is a limit, really?
When we adults give in to the whims of our children, we are reinforcing negative behavior. For example, a child who cries and kicks in the middle of the market because he wants his mother to buy him a box of chocolates, will find a way for the adult to ignore it. If the parents give in, the child has won the fight and for sure that negative behavior will be repeated in the future.
When you can’t, you can’t. And this children must understand. I know many parents who go into debt beyond belief to buy the whim of their baby, and since they do not know how to say no, or do not want her to “get frustrated”, they prefer to break their lives by working too much
If we tend to give in in each tantrum of our children we will be strengthening that negative behavior more and more, and thus this could become common to get what they want.
We adults have difficulty
Claudio Gustavo Rojas, Social psychologist, explains that “What is happening is that daily communication in the family has been broken, problems are solved in a primitive way and responsibilities towards children are not shared. On the other hand, knowing how to set limits allows us to create and strengthen feelings of autonomy, personal worth, sociability, creativity and personal well-being. In addition, setting limits is also an act of love towards sons and daughters”.
Understanding limits as an “act of love” places us in a somewhat different perspective than what we commonly associate with the word limit. We will not deny that setting limits is difficult. How many times do we give in to tantrums and whims just because we don’t want to hear them cry anymore?
And then, we will not only be reinforcing that negative behavior that we said previously, but also We will be taking away from the child the possibility of educating him in emotions, in teaching them about patience, respect for the other, the effort of everyday life.
Children are the present
It is said a lot out there that children are the future. However, we are forgetting that in truth, they are the present. Even more so, all kinds of psychological and sociological supports converge here that invite us to put a stop to the narcissistic behaviors of our children.
Limits are love, they are dedication and patience. Limits are an inexhaustible source of teaching. And even if it is difficult for us, and we enter a power struggle, when you have the opportunity to talk with your child and explain the reason for that limit, your child can understand it. Just do the test.
Don’t be afraid to apply the necessary limits on your children, or you may regret it all your life. Loving them also implies knowing how to do this, with all your heart. And you, how do you apply the limits to your children?