Some believe that setting boundaries for children will hold them back from creativity, innovation, and discovering themselves. On the contrary, studies have shown that children need a clear understanding of what’s safe and acceptable for them to grow and flourish. As a parent, it is essential to create clear guidelines for your children and communicate the consequences of not following them. This will greatly benefit your child in the long run.
Feeling of Safety
It’s understandable for a parent to feel like setting up boundaries and guidelines is going to make their child feel trapped. However, it will actually make a child feel safer. When a parent sets secure boundaries, their child is less likely to feel the burden of anxiety. It’s essential to treat mealtimes, bedtimes, school work time, chores, and screen time as routines. When these allotted times come with a set of rules that are monitored by the parent, then there is more predictability in a child’s life. With more predictability, there will be less uncertainty which then reduces anxiety.
From a more scientific point, children need boundaries because they have underdeveloped brains. Their prefrontal lobes aren’t yet fully developed, which means a child should not be given decision-making power over adults. In the early ages, they are not yet equipped to make big decisions. The ideal age to experiment with lifting some boundaries isn’t until after age 12. This is when children’s thoughts become more abstract and nuanced.
The power of boundaries can even affect a child’s personality. Much of the time, everything to do with your child will control most of your life. While some narcissism is normal, especially with small children, it needs to be disrupted. If it is not, this can lead to your child believing that the world revolves around them and will eventually become narcissistic adults. Boundaries allow children to understand that they can’t always get what they want. They’ll also learn to be more patient, cope with disappointment, and develop empathy.