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I Don’t Know How to Enforce Limits for My Children without Using Force

When you are a parent, you have to establish boundaries for your children in order to help them develop into satisfied, productive people but also for their own health and wellbeing. For instance, your child has to brush their teeth. But, how do you make these things happen when the child refuses?

Literally, the only thing you can do to force a child, or anyone, to do what they don’t want to do is to threaten them with punishment. But, that undermines that parent child relationship and teaches them that threats and force are the way to solve disagreements. Unfortunately, homes troubled by intense stress or parents with meth addiction often have a harder time avoiding threats. Parents can prevent this issues by the help of meth addiction treatment centers.

Also, try following these techniques when you insist on something and need to make sure that your child follows through.

Remain Calm

Your child depends upon you for stability and safety. When you freak out, you send them into a state of panic and their fight or flight impulses kick in. That automatically makes you the enemy and your child immediately becomes less likely to cooperate.

Instead of getting upset, take a deep breath and remember that it isn’t an emergency situation. You have the power to control how things move forward.

Acknowledge Your Child’s Perspective

The reasons that your child doesn’t want to do something that is required rarely feels logical, but it is completely rational to them. When you acknowledge how they think and feel, you help them feel respected and you give them your support in developing and expressing opinions. Be sure to remain sincere and empathetic when you speak with your child. Don’t be patronizing.

Try a New Approach

Children can rarely pass up a chance to play. If you frame the task as a game that the two of you will play together, they are a lot more likely to cooperate. That ends the standoff, you get what you want, and neither party feels insulted. So, try making funny faces, challenging your child to a contest, making funny commentary while you do the task, or doing things wrong so that your child corrects you by doing the task.

Find a Solution That Works for Everybody

Ideally, you are looking for a win-win solution. Express the difficulty to your child. He or she needs to brush their teeth to avoid dental problems and yet they don’t want to. How can the task get done? When you work with your child to come up with a solution, you will probably find a good one. Plus, your child will learn that you want to work with them rather than control them.

When you avoid threats and punishments, you help you children to understand:

  • They aren’t bad people for refusing to cooperate
  • People are allowed to have different needs and perspectives
  • Problems can be solved when you think outside of the box
  • Doing what they refused to do isn’t all that bad (it might even be fun)
  • They love you

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