One of the most important functions we have as parents is, without a doubt, that of put limits on our children. And we like it more or we like it less, the truth is that this parental function when establishing norms is absolutely essential for boys and girls, of all ages but also l7 year old children On which we are focusing on this occasion, they can develop properly and grow safe, knowing what they can do or how far they can go.
So, it is important to understand that the main function of limits and norms is to protect and care, and not so much that of stopping the autonomy or independence of our children as some currents of thought affirm. By establishing limits and setting a system of norms or rules that we must comply with, we are transmitting values and acceptable ways of living with others.
As always, we must find the middle point and learn how to set limits and norms for our children because an absolutely permissive education is just as damaging as a radically authoritarian or coercive one.
That is why today we talk about how to set limits and rules to 7 year old children. A stage where the little ones are no longer so little and in which another phase of vindication of their nascent 'I' appears and that some professionals, among whom I count myself, talk about the 7-year crisis. A crisis that occurs due to the physical, cognitive, linguistic and emotional development they have experienced, along with the expansion of their social world and their greater autonomy.
So, it is important to adapt and adjust the limits and norms as our children grow up. Remember that educating means allowing our little ones to evolve, letting them make small decisions even at the risk of making mistakes. This is a stage in which you must be more flexible and letting you express your opinion, even if that does not mean that we let you break the rules or the limits set.
Having clarified the previous points, let's see how to set limits and norms for 7-year-old boys and girls.
1. Review the rules and limits that you have been applying up to now
It is time to take some time to see which ones are no longer necessary and which ones you should adapt to the age of your son or daughter. The maxim 'less is more' remains in force in terms of standards and limits applicable at this stage. Better few and clear than many and diffuse.
2. Be objective
This point has to do both with not demanding something from him that he is not yet capable of doing and with the importance of not letting ourselves be carried away by the emotion that invades us at a certain moment.
3. Clear and concise rules and limits
Explain and repeat as many times as necessary what to do and what not to do. Do it in clear language, explaining why but without going around the bush. At this age, children still have a very limited attention span, so that a very long speech is not effective, just as sermons are not effective at any age.
4. Set and apply the consequences of non-compliance with the rules
If necessary, you can make a poster or mural together with the 5 most important rules that you have decided as a family and what the consequences are.
5. Rate and praise their compliance
Avoid looking only when the rules are broken. This point is important because sometimes children have no other way of getting our attention. That is to say, the rules are skipped to stop being invisible. They prefer a reprimand to be ignored.
On the other hand, these are other keys that we must take into account when establishing and specifying limits for our little ones.
6. Take their opinion into account
Listen to their complaints, discrepancies and be flexible when the situation allows. An example would be accepting that you see the end of some drawings even if it is time for dinner if they are going to take only a few minutes.
7. Stay away from authoritarian impositions
Educational methods or styles based on authoritarianism are, as I indicated at the beginning, as detrimental to children's development as those that are overprotective or based on 'laissez faire'. In all of these cases, children can become more insecure, lacking in self-esteem and, obviously, much more vulnerable.
8. Use positive language
Try to explain the rules avoiding using 'No'. For example, instead of saying 'Do not yell at, or insult any member of the family', you can say 'We speak in a soft tone and with respect'. Correct inappropriate behavior without attacking.
9. Be consistent and consistent
Consistency and consistency is what allows children to integrate norms and limits in a natural way. If one day we apply the rule but the next we forget about it, the message we send is that that rule is not important, so they can skip it whenever they want. If we ask children not to yell or hit, we will have to set an example.
10. Allow error
Error is one of the best sources of learning. Let your child learn from their mistakes and, therefore, from the consequences of non-compliance with the rules that you have set for yourself and the limits that you have established as a family. An overprotective attitude in which the set consequences are not carried out prevents this learning.
And finally, remember that the habits and daily routines acquired throughout these first 7 years will prevent, to a great extent, that we should insist over and over again on following certain rules. That is why we attach so much importance to the need to have fixed schedules for meals, dinners, leisure and study time, hygiene habits and bedtime. Habits and routines are essential at any age, the sooner we incorporate them into our lives, the easier our day to day will be.
You can read more articles similar to Tips to set limits for 7-year-olds and make them listen to us, in the category Limits - Discipline on site.