Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 19 January |
Saint of the Day: St. Branwalator of Jersey
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Is it possible to raise children with both kindness and firmness?

PARENTING

Shutterstock | Yuganov Konstantin

Edifa - published on 07/21/20

The image of a crib with guard rails can help us understand how these go together.

No one would ever accuse us of being bad parents for placing a child in his or her crib to sleep. Cribs are designed to protect babies and make them feel safe.A baby placed in a large bed alone may feel lost and is at risk of a fall. A crib is has restrictions but it’s also a safe place. We must keep this image in mind, because it clearly demonstrates how much children need safety as they grow up.

Firmness makes children feel safe

The guard rails of a crib prevent babies from falling out.Our children never ask us to install them, nor will they will ever call on us to show firmness as they get older so they can grow up strong and confident. More specifically, it’s the permissions and the prohibitions that let them clearly see the boundaries established for their own good. Children feel reassured when there is a set of simple rules they cannot challenge.

Avoid making empty threats: “Stop fighting in the car or I will leave you both on the side of the road!” These kinds of comments only make you lose your credibility. Abstain from giving multiple “chances”; instead, do what you’ve promised: “If you leave the table now, don’t bother coming back, lunch is over for you.” It’s a shame if they miss out on the dessert, but don’t propose it to them an hour later.

Learning to live with frustrations

Permissions and prohibitions are there for our children to rely on. So, don’t be afraid of being a “bad” parent. When deprived of boundaries, children can get seriously hurt … emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes even fatally. This is why we wait for children to grow before switching them from a crib to a real bed. This allows them to sleep soundly without fearing darkness and emptiness. Don’t be in a hurry to take these props (simple rules and boundaries) away; it takes time for children to learn how to make their own decisions. Confusion can only increase their anxiety.

If children don’t learn how to live within boundaries and deal with frustrations, chances are they will grow to be slaves of their own whims and passions. Calm firmness and clarity are indispensable for any real education and a guarantee of future confidence and happiness.

Inès de Franclieu


Upset Child

Read more:
How do you discipline a child who doesn’t listen?

Tags:
Parenting
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on YouTube for kids with...
2
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
3
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
Reasons Catholics should read the Bible
4
SAINT RITA CASCIA
Bret Thoman, OFS
Traces of miracles remain at the birthplace of St. Rita of Cascia
5
POPE JOHN PAUL II
Philip Kosloski
St. John Paul II's formula for defeating evil in the world
6
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
'An American Blessed': A documentary to thank God in 2021
7
FORGIVING COUPLE
Bret Thoman, OFS
An exorcist teaches 4 steps to forgive
See More