The Art of Setting Limits

     Look, we all know there are no classes on being a parent. Every day we question rather or not we are making the right decisions when it comes to our children. In reality, there is no right or wrong as every child is different and needs different things. Here at Holy Angels many of us are parents, and our children attend the school. Imagine going to work every day, and your child is there able to see how you live by the same standards you set for them. It is an impossible task, and we have not figured out any secret ingredient to being perfect. What we have learned is the importance of having other parents to talk to make sense of the chaos of life.

     As we as faculty and staff have shared ideas and tried to be there for each other, we realized our parents deserve the same opportunity. So, we as a family of Angels have committed to working together to get through this thing called parenting. We are hosting monthly meetings where we can all share our trials and triumphs and hopefully learn something new. April 26th, we hosted our second Parenting Workshop where parents were able to talk about how to set limits with their children. The most impossible task of them all lol. But from the experiences we’ve had as parents, we were able to come up with a couple of things that can help make the pleasure and pain of parenting a little less daunting.

 

1.    Listen – I’m sure as these blogs stake up you will notice a pattern. Many of us were raised under the belief that children should be seen and here. And while this strategy has merit, as we can see from the things our children go through everyday times have changed, and so should our approach as parents. There are too many ways for our children to hide who they truly are from us. So, let’s not give them an excuse. We’ve got to let them be seen and heard.  

2.    Make A Plan – While some things have changed somethings remain the same. Because you have survived this long, in many ways we are still smarter than our children and know them better than anyone else. So, talk to your child and make a plan for when their behavior is out of control. Also, take note of when they are most likely to have a meltdown and plan for it.

3.    Don’t Make Empty Threats – As smart as we might be our children can see our weaknesses and exploit them when it gets them what they want. So, choose your words wisely, and always follow through. It might be helpful to record yourself in those moments when there is chaos and see how you respond. This will allow you to see how you react in certain situations and get rid of the unclear or weak language we use with people we care about.

4.    Be Firm but Loving – We are human and at times our days gets the better of us. Children deserve guidance and correction; if we anchor our reactions in love, then we can operate without doubt. 

5.    Keep Your Mess Out of It – Again, we are human and our children’s behavior at times remind us of past experience. As much as it is humanly possible, when are children fly off the hinges try to control your facial expressions, body language, and other physically expressive emotions. When are children are flipping out, they need us to be calm.

6.    Remember They are Going to Be Someone’s Husband, Wife, or Parent – This simply means you are raising future adults, and we have to remember they have stresses and emotions too. Most of the time, they have not figured out how to best express themselves, and it is our job to help them make sense of those things.

7.    Be Physical/Assertive When Called For – Sometimes it is a good idea to relocate your child when they are having a breakdown. Take them to a controlled place to reestablish their self-control. You’d be surprised how effective this can be. 

8.    Avoid Repetition – Don’t fall into the habit of repeating yourself, this makes you seem unsure. Make your point and stand your ground.

9.    Change Limits and Expectations as Children Mature – Set age appropriate expectations. Don’t dwell on the things your children have come to understand. This does not mean changing your expectations, but it does mean after our children have learned certain things don’t spend a ton of time reminding them of when they struggled with those things.

10.    Use Humor – Again, we love these tiny people and their unique personalities. So, don’t try and change them too much. When they make small mistakes like we all do at times try and help them to remember how amazing they are with humor. 

     As I have said before, we are all getting on the job training as parents. Try to be as flexible as without losing consistency. We’ll get it right. This is why it is important to establish a community of people we can talk to about what we are going through in raising our children. Join us at our next session where we will be discussing ways of avoiding the summer slide. Students tend to lose many of the things they have learned during the school year as they are taking a break during the summer. Establish a routine during the summer where they are exercising their brains. To find out more cool tips, join us on May 17th for tricks and tips to make those moments fun and engaging.