No matter in which language you search, all the experts say the same: for healthier development of the child, and for us parents, it’s important to set clear boundaries without flexibility, as kids always test our limits, and how far they can stretch the boundaries.
Easy to say, hard to follow.
Our child is crying, insisting for something in the middle of the street or some shop. At home you just want half an hour of quiet. So you give your child the tablet, or T.V. or some candy just in order to buy a little quiet, so you can hear your thoughts.
Imagine a stew on the stove.
If we leave it on high flame and turn our head for a minute, it will overflow. If we will cover the pot completely, the pressure will grow.
When cooking, always there is need to adjust the flame, so it will boil but not overflow. Covering with lid so it will cook, but leaving a little space so steam can go out.
The same with children. The flame is allegory to our demands, and challenging our kids. The lid represents boundaries.
It is important to challenge children, the challenges gives the opportunities to develop, and feeling of achievements. It is also important to set clear boundaries, so they learn what is allowed and what is not, what is good or bad, when is the time for each activity.
Not less important is to let our children the opportunity to express themselves. Demand, but not more than your kid’s level, in order avoid unnecessary frustrations, and loss of self esteem.
The same with boundaries, our children need to feel that sometimes they get ‘yes’ as an answer.
So in our boundaries, we will always keep space for tablet, T.V., or setting time and amount for sweets.
As for situations of crying and stubbornness in the middle of the street, if we will give up even once, it can solve the immediate situation, but next time the crying will be louder, stubbornness even stronger and much more difficult to control or relax.
So next time when we plan our shopping, or other arrangements, we should add one small event for our child, and to set the expectations.
For example: ‘we are going to some office, and after we will pass through a playground for you to play ten minutes’. It can be anything else, whatever you can add without making big change to your plan, but for your child it will be very important, to feel that he have something to expect for.
In that way, our kids will learn that it is possible to get things even without asking or crying for.
Always leave time frame for your kid to ask just a little more, and to get as an answer ‘yes’.