You are waiting at the counter of your favorite fast food chain. In front of you is a mother with a little boy, ordering some food. The boy lies on the counter, playing, screaming and hitting you with his pedaling feet. Will you tolerate this behavior or will you say something?

Another example. The neighbors kid is at your home, playing with your son. Some toys break because the neighbors son is throwing them around. It’s not the first time that this happens. You know your son has this toy for a long time now, is proud of it and took care of it so far. You can see the incomprehension in your sons eyes. Will this raise anger in you?

Third one. Neighbors little daughter is using low class words you don’t use in your family. Your little one is looking at her with wide eyes and you can read in her face the question “Oh my god, did she really say this now?”. Would this be tolerable?

All this boils down to limits. Do you set your kids limits? If yes where? Here exist a lot of different opinions. And that’s okay. I have my own opinion here too. I think kids need limits. Not for all and every detail, but they need to learn the game might change when crossing a certain border.

How many times I have heard how lucky I am, since my kids are so calm. NO, I am not lucky! This is the result of setting limits. These kids know that they are crossing a boarder when they scream around without reason, when they break a toy of somebody else intentionally, they know there are rules in behavior. They are not calm just because of luck, they are because we have taught them so.

Or how many times I have heard “No wonder your kids are calm and balanced since you are too”. NO, wrong. How can I teach my kids to behave civilized when I behave contrary? I behave the way i want my kids to behave. Teaching by example. Again it’s the result of decent education and not luck since I might be calm accidentally and nature given.

Another one: “Oh my son is so active and briskly, that’s why he is doing all this”. NO, wrong again! That’s only an excuse. When he does not know limits, how should he know what’s wrong behavior? How should your children know what is good and what is bad if you do not teach them, if you do not show them? How should your children know when everything is allowed without consequences? How should your children value something correctly when values don’t matter?

So what makes the difference? In my opinion limits are the key. Teaching the kids, they can go until here, but not further. Here is a boundary you should not cross. You are free within these limits, but when you cross them, you should know that this crossing has a price.

And what comes usually as next resposnse? “When restricting kids, they are not able to develop themselves, to develop self-confidence, to try out things, …” WRONG! This is also possible within limits, if you set limits advisedly, not to tight and only when necessary.

“Limit” is a kind of negatively biased word. But for me it helps me to make a better human out of myself and to prepare my kids for life. For me it is a positive word. Isn’t it?



2 thoughts on “Limits”

  1. I was reading throught some of the posts and i identify them to be awfully interesting. sorry my english is not exaclty the very best. would there be anyway to transalte this into my patois, spanish. it would in reality usurp me a lot. since i could compare the english lingo to the spanish language.

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