We all are aware that children these days are too smart. It may be due to the influence of technology or their smart peers at school. They are much more aware of many things than the current parent generation during their childhood.
Being too smart may make a child entitled and adamant. That would be a disaster for parents. Daily life would get difficult as they would throw tantrums at each and every small thing. So in order to curb this, parents need to set boundaries for children, when they reach an age of understanding. Knowing and following boundaries from an early age will also ensure that your little one will set boundaries of their own, regarding friendships and relationships.
What Are Boundaries?
Boundaries are certain rules to be followed for daily routines, schoolwork, play, household chores, friendships and your interactions with each other. For younger children, the boundaries applicable would be basic, but as they grow into their teenage years, their boundaries would change.
Parents and children need to sit and talk this out openly and come to a set of boundaries that both parties agree upon. It is important that parents also keep up their end of the bargain. If you fail to do so, then your children will take that as an unhealthy example. Remember, you are always their first and finest role model.
Boundaries For Young Ones:
Young children’s boundaries are as follows:
Bedtime and wake-up time:
When they understand what is school and that they need to attend school daily, bring some routine to their sleep time. Set a bedtime limit – they must wrap up playing and get ready for bed. You and they can clear up all the toys together, then get them to brush their teeth, give them a warm bath if needed and move on to the bedroom to read a bedtime story if they like reading books. Or just tell them a story or sing a lullaby until they fall asleep. Wake them up every morning at the same time. It is very difficult initially, but they will get used to the wake-up time gradually.
Getting ready for School:
Set them a certain time to get ready in the morning. Young ones obviously need their parents’ help. Do not let them prolong brushing/bath time. If they are a bit older, you can ask them to have their school bag ready the previous night, according to their timetable. Also, they can press their uniforms and shine their shoes the previous evening/night and have them ready for the morning.
Back from School:
Once they are back from school, ask them to keep all their items in their places. For example, their shoes must be kept on the shoe rack and their uniforms must go in the laundry basket.
Set a schedule for homework in the evening. If your tots take naps in the afternoon following school, let them wake up fresh from their nap and then take on homework. Even if their homework is less or none, ensure they study during that time. They can revise any subject of their choice that day with you and you can help them with a home test at the end.
Young children are often too enthusiastic when it comes to playtime. It is extremely challenging to make them come back home for homework or a meal once they have started playing with their friends. Try encouraging them to return to your house at a certain time – e.g., they must return home by 7. So that they can get things ready for the next day or help you with dinner. Set a time that works best for your household.
Start with chores as early as possible. Your tiny tot may surprise you by participating in chores. You can set a timetable and have them help them differently daily. For instance, on Mondays, they can help put away dried dishes and on Tuesdays, they can lend a hand in folding their laundry.
Limit the amount of time they spend on screens. It may be a television, tablet, or mobile device – let them use it only for a certain time daily. On weekends and holidays, you may cut them some slack and allow more time but on school nights, let them keep to their daily limit.
This includes various things such as how they talk or behave during a tantrum/conflict. Tell them what is acceptable to you and what is not acceptable. They may not understand when they are too young but remind them about boundaries whenever they cross them. Also, physical boundaries must be set on both sides – teach them about appropriate touch and unacceptable touch. Tell them where they can touch you and where they cannot. It is also your responsibility to follow the same with them.
Hope this helps in understanding boundaries and hope you can talk to your kids soon about them. We will cover more on boundaries for teenage kids. Stay tuned. Happy parenting.