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  • Brittany Podsobinski

What limits should I set for my child?

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

If you read last week's blog post you know that our children NEED limits in order to feel safe. Okay, but how many limits? And what should those limits be? Do they need to make their bed each morning? Is it okay if they jump on the couch? Are they allowed to call a character on a show stupid? Well, it depends, what are your family values?


What are family values?

These are the traits that are most important to you as a family. When you think about your children becoming adults and coming home to visit, these are the traits that you hope they possess. There are no wrong answers here, since none of the choices are negative traits.


Here is a list of examples. However this list is NOT all-inclusive. You might think, "but all of these are important". That may be true, but there's no way to focus on everything within your family, so I suggest narrowing it down to your top 5-8 and ultimately your top 3.



It can be helpful to think about the qualities that make you light up when a teacher compliments your child on them. Or sometimes it's helpful to think about your triggers, and what values were missing. For example, I'm easily triggered by lying because honesty is one of my top values.


Why are family values important? What now?


So now that you know your top values, what's next? A couple of things! First, make sure your family is in agreement (especially if you have older kids). Then you begin teaching these values. Make sure to notice and point out when you see a character in a book, movie, or real life showing the character trait (or maybe not showing it). And most importantly, make sure you're modeling the value. If you are not willing to model the value, then it can NOT be one of your families top values. Our kids will rarely listen to what we say if we're not following through with our actions.


What do family values have to do with setting limits?

Think about the limits or rules that you have in your family, or the one's your considering upholding. Are they structured around these values, or are they arbitrary rules? Have you put thought into what you're asking your child to do, or do you just feel like you're "supposed" to have certain rules? Can you point to your family values as the reason you are holding a limit? For example, being able to tell your child that we limit screen time because we value family connection and it's tough to connect in front of a screen. Or we spend Saturday mornings cleaning up the house as a family because we value cleanliness and teamwork in our family. When you've established your family values together, you're much more likely to gain cooperation from your children on limits that have to do with your values.


If you think this sounds great, but you're not sure how to actually implement this in your home, set up a 30 or 60 minute problem solving session and I can walk you through the process of coming up with limits based on your family values! Click here to set up a call.


Here in support of you!



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