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Set boundaries early, not late

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When do you set boundaries for kids? Before kids do something new or when you see that they are needed?

Let me explain.

Many parents set boundaries for their kids after the fact. That is, they’ll get their kids a mobile phone, but won’t set boundaries about when and how it should be used.

Suddenly, they see their young person on the phone all the time, even when they are at the mealtable. They’ll put some boundaries in place such “No texting, playing games (on the phone) or answering calls at the mealtable.”

There's often resentment.

Such a boundary is met with resistance as you are pulling back a freedom.

But they shouldn't have had this freedom in the first place.

Much easier to set some rules and boundaries in place earlier and grant more freedom as they get older. Same goes for going out (and home times); bedtimes (earlier rather than later); the use of toys and all forms of technology.

Sometimes it’s hard to know what the rules should be until there has been an infraction. But a little forethought and common sense can help. Also a backbone helps too.

As I wrote in my book Thriving!, kids need boundaries. They often fight boundaries, but they teach them to be social; to be safe and to act in way that respects the rights of others.

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