Yes, you read it right…. set limits that reflect YOUR needs. Since you are the adult responsible for guiding the child/children in your care, any limits that you set need to be ones that you are happy to choose associated consequences that go with them.
I have spoken to parents who have perhaps chosen limits that can sometimes become counter productive because they have involved actions or decisions that affect them more than actually benefitting themselves or the child concerned.
You see the goal is to help the child self regulate, not for you or the child to end up in further distress or aggravation, otherwise you are both simply spinning your wheels and there is no gain for either party.
So, in choosing limits with children in accordance there are a couple of things to consider:
- Are they age appropriate?
- Are they meaningful and relevant to the child?
- Do they match the goal/desired behaviour/have positive opportunities for emotional growth to occur?
For example you may allow older children a later bed time than younger children, or you may set different amount of screen time available for children dependent on their age. Older children tend to use gaming time for social connection, whilst younger children may use it to assist educational learning goals like reading or maths practice.
Now that you have answered those questions, you can set limits that are
- Simple and clear to explain
- Easy for the child to understand
- Able to be reinforced whenever required (without having to explain again)