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Setting Limits for My Child

Discipline promotes a child’s self-control and teaches them that we respect ourselves and others around us. Children learn by exploring their world and people in their environment. They are also curious of how things work.

Parents and Discipline

  • Set limits on behavior with a clear, firm, consistent, and loving voice.
  • Always remain calm.
  • Listening to your child is important.
  • Give babies and toddlers choices that they are able to make every day.
  • Do not threaten to follow through on things if you don’t plan to follow through on them.
  • Try to distract your child with another toy.
  • Gently remove the child from the scene whenever necessary.
  • Save your battles for the bigger issues that keep your child safe.
  • Give alternatives when you say no, like: “You can play here ______________.”
  • Provide a safe play area where your child can freely explore.
  • Put breakables, valuables, and extension cords out of a child’s reach and cover all outlets in the home.
  • Give constant positive and cooperative praises. Always remember to praise the child for just being themselves.
  • Try to catch yourself from getting angry and take five minutes to feel calm and then set limits.
  • Provide verbal warnings then count to three out loud to allow time for your child to stop the behavior on his/her own.

Principles of Limit Setting

  • Reasonable limits help children feel protected by someone who understands the world better. Knowing the rules help the child to relax.
  • Most children do not need an abundance of rules.
  • When making requests make sure to get your child’s attention, then only ask once. If the child does not follow instructions then take him/her with you while you complete the task.
  • Praise any cooperation.
  • It’s best when all caregivers follow the same rules consistently, but your child will adapt to different rules that are used consistently by different people or settings.

Sometimes rules should be enforced flexibility to meet the needs of a special occasion (ex. staying up late for a special event). This is done before your child demands such as change to avoid the appearance that you were manipulated. Instead of weakness it demonstrates a desirable amount of flexibility.


Information on this site is intended for Angel Kids Pediatrics patients only. Always consult your doctor before beginning, modifying, or discontinuing any treatment plan.

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