Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Magic of Setting Limits

Imagine if you're a blind person and every morning when you wake up, you find that someone has moved all of the furniture in your house.  You bump into things at every turn and struggle to find your way even to the next room.  Eventually, you would probably stop getting out of bed or would go so crazy that no one would recognize you! 

The same is true for our kids.  I know it's kind of a stretch, but stay with me here.  If the rules change, shift or disappear altogether, our kids become confused.  In order for our kids to feel safe and secure and to be able to explore the world, they need consistent limits.  When their world is predictable, they aren't expending any energy on testing (ok, any more than is absolutely necessary!) and they are free to blossom and develop without any delays. 

Testing is a typical part of growing up, but when our kids test the limits and the limits are just where they found them the last time they checked, they move on.  That's why kids who have inconsistent limits have to test with their behavior on an on-going basis.  They are saying, "please take this power away from me!"  Kids with no boundaries experience anxiety, because kids need the adults in charge to BE IN CHARGE!

I challenge you to look in the mirror and see where your limits are a little loose that might be causing your kids some anxiety.  Do them (and you) a favor and give them the limits and boundaries they want and need!

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