Loving your child means having to set limits. You can’t let a two-year-old rule your house. You may cringe at the idea because you don’t like struggling with your child, but clear rules help your child feel safe and learn self-regulation. Your child’s ability to say no, control his impulses, and delay gratification will have a significant impact on his development, school success, and overall quality of life. He learns these vital skills when you set limits.
Society is filled with limits. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone thought they could do anything they wanted?
Remember that limit-setting is about teaching, not about punishment. In between overly permissive parenting and heavy-handed authoritarian parenting lies a sweet spot of empathetic guidance. Your child needs help and practice to build his frustration tolerance. Research shows that your child will develop optimally in this realm of thoughtful limitations.
Limit-setting benefits your child by teaching him to:
• Understand the difference between words and actions.
• Gain control of his actions and feel safe.
• Regulate and master his feelings.