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When Kids Start Pushing Boundaries: 12 Helpful Tips

12 Tips for When Your Limits Are Being Tested

family playing a board game. kids pushing boundaries

When kids are pushing Boundaries...


Establishing boundaries with kids can certainly be a tough task, especially when dealing with those young experts in pushing limits. But don't worry, we've got your back! We're here to arm you with 12 super-useful tips to help you master those boundary-testing escapades like a seasoned pro. Ready to dive in? Let's do this!

Friendly heads-up: I totally get it if this list seems a bit overwhelming when you try to put it all into action at once. Think of it more like a handy checklist – give it a read and pinpoint where a little improvement could bring some sunshine into your family's life.

Here's my suggestion: take on just one strategy at a time. Get comfy using it before you dive into the next one. It's like mastering one dance move before grooving to the next. You've got this!

1. Set Clear Boundaries

Picture this: you're setting sail on the boundary-setting ship. The first thing you need? Clear directions! Explain the rules using words your kids can easily understand. It's all about keeping it simple and clear. For instance, when they know that toys stay in the playroom, it's easier for them to understand where the boundary lies.


2. Keep Everyone in the Loop

Teamwork makes the dream work! Make sure all the grown-ups in the house are on the same page about the rules, so there's no confusion for the little ones.

Suggestion: How about having a "grown-up meeting" where you all sit down to discuss the various rules and expectations within the house? This is also a great time to talk about rewards and consequences. Let's make sure everyone's on the same page!


3. Warning, Warning!

Transition times can be as bumpy as a roller coaster, so giving a heads-up can be a great idea. Try something like, "Hey, in just five minutes, let's wrap up the game and get ready to set the table. Sound good?"


4. Firm yet Friendly

When your kids test the limits, channel your inner superhero: be strong but gentle. Acknowledge their feelings while standing your ground on the boundaries. So, when they want to stay up late, you can say, "I understand you're excited, I am as well, but our bedtime stays the same."


5. Calm is the Name of the Game

No room for tantrums (from us, that is). I know it can be hard but picture this: you're a zen master in the art of parenting. Stay chill when addressing their boundary-pushing adventures.


6. Be the Rock of Consistency

Kids love knowing what to expect. Imagine your boundaries are like the North Star – unwavering and dependable. Stick to your rules and consequences, so kids know it's not up for negotiation. For instance, if screen time is over at 7 p.m. every day, stick to it every day.


7. Consequences and High-Fives

Hey, it's not all punishment! Appropriate/ natural consequences and rewards are the way to go. Keep it fair and linked to their actions. For instance, if they finish their homework on time, maybe they can get some extra playtime.


8. High-Five Worthy Moments

When your kids play by the rules, celebrate their victories! Shower them with praise when they respect boundaries and behave well. When they remember to put away their toys without being asked, give them a high-five and a big smile.


9. Options, Anyone?

Ever heard of the phrase "give them a say in the play"? Sometimes, kids just want a bit of control. Offer them alternatives or choices within the boundaries – it's a win-win. Letting them choose between two healthy snacks, for example, gives them a sense of control.

10. Expect the Unexpected

Ahoy, brave sailors! When you introduce new boundaries, brace yourself. There might be a burst of extra testing before everyone finds their sea legs. If you suddenly limit TV time, don't be surprised if they try to push that boundary a bit before adjusting.

11. Role-Modeling 101

Actions can speak louder than words! Show your kids how it's done by respecting boundaries and being kind to others. They're watching, after all! When you show respect by asking for their permission before borrowing their stuff, they'll learn to do the same.


12. Growing Pains are Real

Guess what? Kids pushing boundaries is like a rite of passage. They're learning and growing, testing the waters like curious explorers. So, remember, patience and consistency are your trusty companions on this journey.

There you have it, your survival guide for those boundary-pushing moments! With these 12 tips in your parenting toolkit, you're all set to navigate the challenges and enjoy the rewarding moments of raising awesome kids.

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