Children Pushing Boundaries – What you need to know
So, you have been accustomed to having your child do exactly as you want them to, and then one day they just refuse to settle down for a nap and throw a major tantrum just because you wouldn’t let them play? These are the first signs of your child pushing their limits and trying to rebel against the boundaries you have set for them.
What catches many parents off guard is the subtle transition of their gentle easygoing baby into this rebellious toddler who has just got it into their head, to do the exact opposite of what you ask them to! Ask them to eat one more spoon of rice, and they will refuse you to your face. Tell them not to throw their toys about the room, and you will actually have to duck to save yourself from the flying rattle that has been sent in your direction by the angel turned devil you know as your child. Add to all this, a confident smirk, and you are at your wit’s end on how to deal with this strong minded and stubborn toddler.
What you need, are a handful of effective tips, to curb that rebellion and appreciate the individuality of your child, but also ensure that the boundaries are not violated that blatantly by your child.
Children Pushing Boundaries – a Sign of Positive Development
While you might be getting mighty annoyed by the behavior of your child and want to curb those rebellious symptoms once and for all, know that it is in fact, just a sign of the positive development of the child.
As your child grows, they develop certain personality traits, and realize that they no longer need to follow your orders and do what you want them to do. The child gradually realizes that they can say no to eating their greens, putting their toys away, and can actually try their luck at getting their hands on that jar of biscuits which you have declared to be completely out of bounds.
While it is a little frustrating, a positive thing is that it is quite normal and in fact, positive development of your child, which means that they have the potential and interest to pursue what they want to do. While you appreciate the positive expected growth of your child, don’t forget that it is also the time when you need to teach them rules and discipline them on how to lead a purposeful life.
Just giving in too much to your toddler’s ways can make them realize that they can do anything and everything they want. This way, you wouldn’t be able to control the actions of your child at all, and there is a high chance that you would lose your control over the child. The need is to make the child realize that there are some things for which they can express their opinions, but there are certain things which are set rules and have to be followed.
Positive growth with discipline is the right way for the development of your child.
At What Age Do Children Start Pushing Their Boundaries?
Many parents ask, at what age can they expect their child to start pushing their first boundaries? The answer is that as soon as your baby becomes a toddler and is able to express their opinion and act out what they want to do, you should watch out for the very first signs of them pushing against their invisible boundaries set by you.
If you want to know what to expect from your toddler, then know that the child will express opinions and refuse to act on your wishes linked with eating, sleeping and all other everyday activities. Starting from the age of being a toddler, this rebellious streak is sure to continue into the teenage years of your child. What you need to do is set boundaries, some of which will be questioned in the upcoming years, while others need to be set in stone to teach some essential discipline and rules to your child.
Be ready for your child to initiate the act of pushing the boundaries as soon as they can do so by recognizing the need of no more having to do what you want them to do.
Control Defiance with Effective Tips
While being understanding and respecting your child’s development, it is essential to set some ground rules. If your child throws toys at you when you tell them not to, then you need to deal with such defiance which may lead to a stubborn attitude in the future. But don’t be alarmed. Since pushing boundaries is a normal stage in the life of your child, it is essential to take it as regular development. There are simple ways for you to accept and deal with the situation.
Effective tips for dealing with children pushing boundaries is to,
- Set clear boundaries and know which are the most important and not to be violated and which ones are not so critical and you are willing to be flexible about them.
- Start setting boundaries early, and be very firm about them. Be consistent about the boundaries which are non-negotiable so that the child will know which rules you expect them to follow at all times.
- Don’t get aggressive or shout and throw a tantrum like your child. Just tell them firmly that you won’t tolerate any kind of tantrums about important boundaries you have set for things like bedtime, study time, play time and cleaning habits etc.
- On a positive note, be ready to be a little flexible with any boundaries that your child might push which are not that crucial. This means that if you get a few minutes late because your child wanted to wear their favorite shirt or pair of shoes, it is all right. If your child wants to sleep in their princess or superhero dress, then it’s no use you getting all stressed out. Giving in once in a while to the whims of your child helps them appreciate what is most important and what boundaries are completely off limits by you.
- Be firm and carry out any punishment you said you will carry out if your child pushed any important boundary. You can send them to bed early if they throw toys at you and get into a tantrum.
- It is very important that you recognize your child’s act of pushing boundaries as being entirely normal behavior and don’t take it as a personal insult or attack. This way, you will be able to handle the problem more objectively and get the desired results.
Children pushing boundaries is quite normal, what is critical is how you handle the situation. Make smart choices and help your child develop their personality and express their likes and dislikes without exceeding your defined non-negotiable limits.
© Teresa Boardman, Nanny Options.
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