Positive limits can help children manage strong emotions. When children become angry and act destructively, we might think first of negative limits. “Don't talk to me like that!” “Don't hit your brother!” “Don't throw things!” What do we expect our children to do when they are angry? How can we help children express their anger? We might say, When you get angry tell me how you feel--say you're angry!” This limit clearly communicates to children one reasonable way they might express their anger.
❦ Make your limits positive
Positive limits teach our children what to do. Negative limits tell our children what we dislike, but are not instructive. They fail to help a child learn.
❖ JOURNAL 13: Emphasizing the positive
Complete Worksheet #6 Making limits positive. When you are through, describe your experiences with rules in your home relative to whether they were primarily positive or negative. How have these experiences affected your own discipline and limits?
Complete Worksheet #6 “Making your limits positive” in your Responsive Discipline Journal