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happylittlegems behaviour fact of the day:

Setting boundaries makes children feel safe

As much as we all want to spoil our children, it's important to set clear boundaries when they are young. Toddlers and even older children need boundaries in order for them to feel safe. Boundaries create predictability in a child's life. Predictability reduces uncertainty, and that in turn reduces anxiety. Often, if children are never given clear guidelines, or boundaries keep changing, their behaviour can become very challenging. The world is a scary place, but giving children guidelines as to what they can and can't do helps ease that fear. It's also vital that they learn about things around them which may be dangerous or harmful.

happylittlegems top tips when setting boundaries:

  • When telling children they can't do something remember to explain why. Even babies can begin to understand words and gestures, for example telling them not to touch the oven because it is hot.

  • Give them clear and simple instructions. Young children can't remember lots of instructions at once.

  • Praise good behaviour and when your child does follow the rules. Setting boundaries is all about a mutual love and respect.

  • Discipline done in the right way is so important. Decide what discipline is going to look like in your house and stick to it. Make sure it is age appropriate.

  • Give a warning before a consequence.

  • Most importantly, follow through on any consequences. Consistency is key.

  • Don't 'moan' at them. Easier said than done, but if you keep doing this they will learn to zone out.

  • Make sure you also give children space to do things independently within the boundaries, give them some control over their lives, but within safe parameters. A good example of this may be telling your child they can run on in front, but must stop and wait at a set place.

  • Sometimes 'pick your battles'! Prioritise boundaries and make sure you also let children have fun and explore.

Remember setting boundaries not only helps your child right now, it makes parenting easier and in the long-term your child will have more maturity, resilience, adaptability, feelings of safety and connection.

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