Limits - Discipline

Setting rules and limits for children through play in 4 steps


If pedagogues, psychologists and especially teachers agree on something, it is that boys and girls should have clearly defined rules and limits. This shows them the way and lets them know where they can move and how far they must go, without ever stumbling on that path. But what is the most effective way to establish them? Can they set rules and limits on children from play? What steps do you have to follow?

These first limits and norms are those that, in principle, should come from the homes themselves and from the family environment, and I say 'in principle' because on many occasions it is not like that. Rules are often adopted in the family that are copied from school or sports or some activity that the child does. Children are the first in need in which these rules are established first from the family.

In the schools you are rules and limits are usually quite well marked, so that children know which is the 'furrow' through which they must walk and which is the border that they must not cross, and if they cross it they know very well what the consequence they will face will be, and they are also usually easier to comply with because they are group-level rules that everyone complies with, and corrections, as a general rule, usually come from their peers.

For this reason, it is very common for children to behave wonderfully well in school, and terribly bad at home. This is the product of the same, where they know the rules and limits, they behave somewhat better, and where there are neither norms nor limits, or these vary depending on the mood of the parents, they behave somewhat worse.

This corroborates our thesis of the importance of norms and limits, but now comes the question that parents often ask us: and how do I do it? And in these cases, I like to answer with another question: what if we do it as a game?

After all, as indicated in works such as the article 'Some reflections about play and creativity from the constructivist point of view' by Francisco Aquino and Inés Sánchez de Bustamante (Autonomous University of the State of Mexico) for the Interinstitutional magazine,play has a basic role in the development of the child, so it is essential to incorporate it into your daily activities. And it is that, going a little further, the game is related to the intelligence of the child and the different stages of maturation and development through which it passes throughout childhood.

Well that's what it's about propose these rules as if it were a game. The first thing to be able to play is to take into account the following basic characteristics.

For children:

- The younger children are, the more predisposed to play they will be.

- Children should have important trust with parents.

To the parents:

- It has to be at a time where they know they will have patience, and time to develop it.

- That they find themselves in a moment of wanting to do it and not so much of 'I have to do it'. That is, with a good disposition.

- Trust and know what they are going to do.

The first of all is to explain the game, what we have to do and how to do it. In this case we should not confuse playing with rewards or punishments. Let's go to a concrete example.

1. Establish what is the limit or the normal that we want to put
We are going to set a rule for 3-year-olds, the limit is: 'Mom and dad are not yelled at, nor hit'.

2. Clearly explain the limit we want to put
'Mom and Dad are not yelled at or hit.' That could be a rule or limit, but it would be poorly written. We would need it to be explained in positive so that it is loaded with value. We cannot forget that language and how we speak to our children is very important.

Therefore, we could establish that the norm would be: 'Mom and dad are spoken to with affection and embraced'.

3. We repeat the rule until all family members know it
Once we have the norm or limit formulated in positive and we have told it to our son / daughter, what we do, as if it were a game, is that each member of the family must repeat it 3 times a first time with their own voice and the other two with the voice of someone you know (a grandfather, a grandmother, a cartoon character, a cousin, etc.). Thus, as a fun plan, the norm is penetrating the family and especially the child.

4. We establish the consequences of not complying with the rule
Once we have repeated it and we know it, we move on to the next point, which would be: what would be the consequence of not complying with it? And there, in assembly mode, which is a system that is well known by children in Early Childhood Education (since it is a tool that is widely used in schools), we would talk about it among all family members to agree on the consequence that it will not have. respect that rule.

To do this, and do it in an enjoyable and different way, we can train the indian council of consequencesAnd so in this way we sit in a circle with our legs crossed and we adopt the role as if we were Indians who are going to make an important decision. In this way, while we play we are imposing the norm or limit that we want to do.

The child, on the one hand, has had an extraordinary time with the parents, and on the other, we have taught them a basic rule or limit that they must learn and what the consequence would be not to do so.

In this article I have proposed a way to propose a limit to your child. But now let your imagination fly and set your rules and processes playing with your children, they will integrate them better and your family life will be better too.

You can read more articles similar to Setting rules and limits for children through play in 4 steps, in the Limits category - On-site discipline.

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