What kind of limit setter are you?
I invite you to think about what your default limit setting approach is. Here are a few I came up with.
1. Explain 20 times, run out of patience when no one listens and then snap.
2. You set limits harshly or with a very stern tone, sounding exactly like how your own parents set limits with you.
3. You workaround your child's big feelings and upsets to avoid conflict at all costs. That means you often go to great lengths to keep everyone happy, even when it starts to get ridiculous.
4. Maybe your parents were super strict and you are determined to do things differently. So you don't set any limits at all through fear of upsetting your child or being unfair to them. However, maybe that means life is a little chaotic and you aren't getting your own needs met.
Of something else?
I definitely bounce between all of these strategies from day to day and moment to moment.
But when I step out of my "auto-pilot parenting" I use the Hand in Hand Parenting approach to setting limits:
Listen - assess the situation, is the limit necessary, is your child's behaviour off-track?
Limit - bring the limit with connection and warmth
Listen - This is the crucial bit, listen to any feelings that come up. This will allow your child to release emotional tension and get back to being relaxed and flexible.
No to the behaviour, yes to the feelings.
This will allow you to set limits in a way that builds relationship and emotional intelligence.
Find out more in this week's podcast Epidsode 21 of Peaceful Parenting with Pam.
Pamela works with parents, supporting them as they strive to raise conscious, respectful children.