How do we put limits on the disobedient child? While sometimes it may seem funny or positive that our little one has a strong personality, as parents we need to set boundaries for our children. So what can we do when our child ignores us and does what he wants? Voices not only spoil our relationship with him but can even push him to more extreme behaviors in response. The key is to find a middle ground so that we can help the child understand the importance of boundaries and learn to abide by them.
Here are some ways to put limits on the disobedient child.
* We take control of the situation
The child must feel that we are responsible because that makes him feel safe. This means that we have to make decisions about things like what time he will sleep and how much time he can spend in front of the computer. It also means that we must be able to maintain control of the situation without having emotional outbursts.
* We choose our battles
When the child is disobedient, it is important to choose our battles, otherwise, we will soon be exhausted. For example, we could divide the points of conflict into three categories: red, green, and yellow. Reds are non-negotiable, such as always wearing a seat belt in the car, washing his hands as soon as he returns home, and sleeping at a certain time. We have to win these battles every time. Yellow is for things like bath time and brushing your teeth. There we can take a moment if the child disagrees, before giving an answer. The end of the world is not coming if he takes a bath an hour later, so we can be a little more flexible. And finally, there are the greens:
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* We keep our cool
While for us the tensions can be uncomfortable, for our little one it can be fun. That is why when we have made a decision, we remain steadfast in it without losing our composure. The solution is not to shout or cry.
* We give it predefined options
It is important to give the child choices so that he feels that his opinion matters. However, the options must be limited. We avoid open questions like “what do you want to wear today?” or “what to eat in the evening?” and we give it predefined options. For example, “will you wear a green or blue t-shirt” or “do you want to eat chicken or burgers in the evening?”. In this way we will help the child to make decisions, we will strengthen his self-confidence, we will avoid quarrels and we will all be happy.
* We inform him about the result of his actions
Every action has a reaction: if you continue to behave in this way, you choose this consequence. For example, “Let’s go to the mall. This is the behavior I want from you. I expect this behavior. How can I help you achieve it? We also explain the consequences in advance and make sure they make sense – in this case, to return the child home or let him sit in the car with the other parent.
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