Setting limits with children

53523_hotel.jpgAn important part of childrearing is setting limits, especially when children are very young. The hard part is making sure that setting limits is done through education – letting the child know why we are saying “no” to something, not just refusing. Another vital part of this education process is that we keep our voices factual rather than critical or shaming, otherwise the lesson is lost and the child just feels oppressed. It is hard for us to remember this when children are young, because usually the pace of living is stressful for everybody and being relaxed and calm seems impossible. Also we are in denial at that time about our behaviour and how uptight we are. Children feel the full brunt of harsh, unexplained limit-setting and it affects their self esteem badly. This can result in serious rebellious behaviour in childhood and all the way through to adult relationships.

at four years of age she is the cutest
and she is very aware of ‘living the good life’
as I babysat my granddaughter in the hotel suite
she declared that she wanted stuff from the mini bar
I had to be very careful how I refused her
tonight we were going to eat
in the restaurant downstairs which
my nine year old grandson had been
given the honour to escort us to
I began with “no, darling”
the disappointment in her eyes showed
that there was anger bubbling deep inside
so I sat down near her and pointed out that
using the mini bar costs too much
her eyes mellowed and this showed that
the information made sense, so she seemed at peace
after the delicious meal downstairs
we enjoyed watching the movie Happy Feet, in the suite

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Befriending negative feelings

gasp as you photo by Kristen Handfield Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada http://sassmuffin.deviantart.com/ http://www.sxc.hu/photo/139431 negative feelings Some people think that we need to rid ourselves of negative feelings when in actual fact that would only result in pushing them down into the pressure cooker of our inner world. This will result in a volcanic eruption when we least expect it. More useful is befriending negative feelings and realising that they are valuable to us when we reframe them for a positive outcome.

negative feelings can be frightening
and she tried to bury them
feelings of anger, self pity, resentment
until someone pointed out that
befriending negative feelings turns them
into fuel for living a full happy life
they call that reframing the negative into a positive!
much better than when she used up all that energy
to bury them and they explode unexpectedly as well!

gasp as you photo by Kristen Handfield Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada http://sassmuffin.deviantart.com/

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Attitude – Choose our words carefully

attitude photo by Simona Balint Istanbul Turkey http://www.sxc.hu/photo/451750 sulk smileStress exists in everyone’s life. However, the best way to deal with it is to relax as we interact with others and make sure that we communicate our needs clearly. In other words choose our words carefully to get the right attitude. This is of benefit, ultimately, to all parties.

the child was in trouble with his mother and
she composed herself and explained to him
the reason that his behaviour was dangerous
he became annoyed as young children do
nevertheless she persisted and then asked him
if he understood why he was in trouble
he admitted he did but still had a sulk
she then asked him to change his attitude and put a smile
on his face to show that he understood, and he did
when we choose our words carefully the outcome
is productive and rewarding

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