Setting Loving Limits-Parenting with a Purpose

| Ashley Davis LMFT

I would argue that parenting is probably the most difficult job out there.  There isn’t a rule book that has answers to all the specific problems you will face within your specific household with your specific children.  It can be hard at times to know what the “right” course of action is when it comes to our kids, and this can lead many parents to feel inadequate or unsure.

Regardless of your parenting methods, kids respond best to parents who are up-front, age appropriately collaborative, and consistent.  Being up-front with your children means setting up expectations in advance where appropriate, being willing to explain your reasoning behind your expectations when asked, and being willing to own up to and apologize for mistakes when they happen.  Being age appropriately collaborative means being open to feedback from your children about their thoughts and feelings related to your expectations for them, even if that doesn’t necessarily shift the expectations. Being consistent means that your children should know the consequences for not meeting your expectations and that if those expectations or consequences change, they take comfort in knowing that they will be informed.

Kids need to feel safe to express themselves and to know what is going on around them whenever possible.  Our job as parents is to provide them with the tools they need to be able to function in the world when they grow to adulthood, but it is important for us to provide those tools in the most loving way possible.  Your children do not expect perfection from you, and they will learn to accept that adults make mistakes too as long as you are open and honest with them. We are all human, and if you set your limits for your children with love at the forefront you are absolutely doing the best you can for them.

Today's the day to make a change.