• elizabethmanthena

What is the importance of setting rules and limitations?

Updated: Feb 11

When it comes to your child's behaviour, conduct and manner, you play an important role as the mediator of setting the rules and limitations to mould your child and prepare them for the outside world.



Guiding Children's behaviour is a complex skill that will change from day to day and for each individual child.


Strategies need to be flexible and be based on:

1. Observations of the child

2. recognising when inappropriate behaviour occurs e.g. triggers, time of day, indoors/outdoors, expectations of what the child can and can not do.

3. Back up support from family members when you are finding it difficult to get your child to listen to instruction.


According to the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia:

"Educators (teacher or not, this is you!) who are tuned to children's thoughts and feelings, support the development of a strong sense of wellbeing. through a widening network of secure relationships, children develop confidence and feel respected and valued. they become increasingly able to recognise and respect the feelings of others and to interact with them positively".


The key to setting rules and limitations for your young child is to keep them simple, a few examples are as follows:

1. Walking feet inside

2. Listening ears turned on

3. Looking eyes (when someone is speaking to you)

4. Using kind/gentle hands

5. Inside voices


What strategies do you use when the rules and limitations are broken?

- We suggest helping the child to self regulate how he/she is feeling through naming their feelings (I can see your feeling angry/upset/frustrated)

- Talk your child through what has happened (I can see that you would like to have the toy car, but Toby is playing with it at the moment) and offer a solution (lets set a timer and when the timer is up Toby will give the toy car to you, lets take turns) or if your child is older they can come up with one themselves.

- Give the child an opportunity to calm down by asking them to have a quiet time in their room.

- A thinking chair is also a great way of helping your child to self regulate and reflect on their behaviour. You can also sit with them and discuss the matter with them.


Your off to great places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting,

So... get on your way!

- Dr Suess



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