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Parenting – Children need clear rules
Even if this is only a small, everyday example, parents often ask themselves whether and how they should set limits in their upbringing. How compliant can I be? Or the other way around: Do I always have to be consistent? Exceptions destroy my educational work?
As an educational and family consultant, Andreas Engel deals with such questions. “Children need boundaries so that they can orient themselves. A child can only find its way in our society if parents set clear rules and announce them clearly. ”Rules not only provide security and protection, but also support and orientation, Engel knows. It is not always easy for parents to remain consistent.
On the one hand, it is because they can hardly bear the children’s frustration when they hear a "No!" Or "Stop!" On the other hand, the argument costs a lot of strength – then a “Yes!” Seems to be the easier way. But that takes revenge, psychologist Andreas Engel knows: "Notorious inconsistency means that at some point the child no longer takes any rule seriously."
Limits can also have a negative impact
If they make no sense or severely limit the child’s joy of exploration, they inhibit the child’s development. The psychologist advises parents to critically question their own beliefs and to consider whether setting limits protects or encourages the child.
And how does it look now? with the Candy bar out? Of course, the psychologist knows such scenes, and he also knows that many parents find it difficult to cope with everyday stress. He says exceptions are fine, as long as they don’t become the rule.
Expert Interview "Boundaries Provide Protection and Orientation"
Graduate psychologist Andreas Engel from Hof works as an educational and family consultant. In the Federal Conference on Educational Counseling, he is responsible for the seal of quality for educational counseling centers.
kidsgo: Mr. Engel, why do children need borders?
Andreas Engel: The simple answer is: so that you can orient yourself. Only if parents set up clear rules and announce them clearly will the child find their way in our society and can establish good relationships with other people – be it the friend from the daycare center or the neighbor. But borders also offer protection: this is important, especially for children with a great urge to research, because they often lack awareness of the potential Risks and Hazards. By setting limits, we offer our children protection, but also support and orientation.
There are negative limits?
Yes, absolutely. If borders impair the child’s joy of exploration too much or make no sense, they inhibit the child’s development.
How should parents draw boundaries??
Even if it is not always easy: considered, calm, safe and determined. But also with love and the awareness that children often cannot yet directly recognize the need for a concrete border. A tip: question your own beliefs and consider whether setting limits protects or encourages your child.
As you know, the freedom of one ends where the freedom of the other begins. How do children behave who know no borders?
They very often exceed the personal limits of others. An example: The playmate jumping trampoline on the parents’ bed. Or the boy next door who loots your fridge without asking. It annoys and annoys, the children notice that too. But they cannot assess it or change it on their own. As a result, these children remain demanding for a long time, but at the same time they are also insecure. They develop social skills such as empathy or consideration late.
As parents, it is not always easy for us to consistently adhere to the limits set ourselves. Why is that
It is frustrating for children to hear a "stop!" Let them out: The tantrum in the supermarket’s Quengel zone is a typical case. Many parents find it difficult to cope with everyday stress. It is not uncommon then to give in and the child receives the gummy bears or the chocolate bar. As an exception, that’s fine. Notorious inconsistency means that at some point the child no longer takes any rule seriously.
To what extent allowed to Participate children in drawing the border?
There are often compromises – talking about it is a good place to start.
Should parents insist that other caregivers adhere to the limits?
It makes sense that other important caregivers also know the basic rules of education. With grandparents, aunts and godparents, the boundaries may also be different from those in the nuclear family.
Mr. Engel, thank you for the interview.
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