Rules are a natural part of life, and having guidelines helps kids learn how to manage in different situations. Rules provide the framework for children to understand what is expected of them at home, with friends and at school. While parents know that this kind of structure is important, it is often challenging to establish and maintain rules at home.
Parents may refrain from doing so because they feel guilty, they want to fight the battles that may ensue when kids object or they don’t want to deal with a younger child’s temper tantrums. But children need boundaries and limits to feel safe and secure. Despite what a child might say, these guardrails are good for them. By setting limits, parents teach kids important skills that will help them succeed in all areas of life.
Rules teach children self-discipline and help them learn how to make healthy choices. It’s doubtful that you will get children to admit that they like rules, but you might get them to acknowledge that its helpful to know whats expected of them and how they can ultimately get what they want. At the end of the day, this is about teaching kids what they need to do to succeed and achieve their desired goals.
Jennifer L. Hartstein, PsyD has been writing for U.S. News since 2017, focusing on issues around parenting. Dr. Hartstein is the owner of Hartstein Psychological Services, a group psychotherapy private practice based in New York City that focuses on the treatment of children, adolescents, adults and their