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Setting Limits and Guidelines for Behaviour: What Are the Benefits?

Expertly reviewed by Jessica Espanto, LPT, MA, RPsy · Psychology · In Touch Community Services

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jul 28, 2022

Setting Limits and Guidelines for Behaviour: What Are the Benefits?

One of the most difficult parts of being a parent is disciplining your child. On one hand, it can be very difficult to say no to your little one, or to reprimand them. On the other hand, setting limits and guidelines for behavior teaches children what is safe to do and not safe to do in different settings such as at home, in school and public settings. 

How do you go about setting limits and guidelines for behavior?

Here are some important things to remember when setting limits and guidelines for your little one.

Be realistic

First off, don’t forget that your child is still young. They have a lot of things to learn, and it is in their nature to explore and do things that pique their curiosity. This means that it’s natural for them not to immediately follow some of the rules and guidelines that you set. Additionally, They can explore their environment and follow limits at the same time.

Be realistic, and know that sometimes your child might be a little naughty, or disobey you. And that’s totally okay! Your child is not doing it out of spite, it’s just in their nature to try and test their boundaries to see how far they can go.

Praise your child

If your child does a good thing, or follows your instructions well, let them know. Always acknowledge the good things that your child does as praise is an example of a positive reinforcer or a stimulus that reinforces the behavior. It makes them feel loved, and it also gives them a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction that they did something well.

As your child grows, they will definitely appreciate that you’re praising them for the good things they do. This teaches them to be grateful and appreciative of everyone.

Don’t shout or scream at them

setting limits and guidelines for behavior

One important thing to avoid is shouting or screaming at your child. Children can sometimes have tantrums, or moments where they really don’t want to calm down or be disciplined.

As a parent, this can be very frustrating, especially if you’re tired because of work or because you were taking care of your family. However, you should remember that your child is not yet in full control of their emotions.

Children are prone to emotional outbursts because they don’t know the best way to express their feelings. So to deal with it, you should try and avoid shouting or screaming, as this just makes things worse, and can even cause your child to feel upset.

If you feel angry or frustrated, take a few moments to calm down before going back to your child. Always talk to them calmly, firmly, and respectfully whenever you’re trying to discipline them. This helps children to calm down and follow orders, and models proper emotion coaching from parents.

Be understanding

Lastly, It is important to be understanding. Children are not always aware of the consequences of their actions. Additionally, children don’t disobey their parents out of spite, or because they are just “bad”.

Try to look deeper and figure out the reason why your child might not be following the boundaries you set. Maybe these need to be adjusted based on their level of development or emotional needs.Whatever it is, try your best to be more understanding of their needs and desires.

What are the benefits of discipline?

setting limits and guidelines for behavior

Setting limits for your child can have a number of benefits. Here are some of them:

  • It teaches them to be more responsible and mindful of their actions.
  • They can learn to abide to rules and regulations in different settings.
  • It teaches them to be respectful of others.
  • It helps them become more independent.
  • Discipline helps with goal-setting, and keeps your child focused on their goals.
  • It also helps children become more emotionally stable.
  • Discipline helps improve motivation.
  • It helps them avoid distractions.

By teaching your child discipline at a young age, you can help them gain these benefits as they grow older.

Key Takeaways

Discipline is very important when it comes to children. Parents need to give their child structure, and teach them the right way to go about things, as well as the right kinds of behavior. This allows children to grow up to be responsible, respectful, and motivated adults.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Expertly reviewed by

Jessica Espanto, LPT, MA, RPsy

Psychology · In Touch Community Services

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jul 28, 2022

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