Creative Child

Creating Connection Through Correction

Enforcing Limits While Remaining Close with Our Kids
by Rebecca Eanes on Oct 22nd, 2015

For the past 6 years, I’ve centered my work around one message: Connection is everything. It’s the key to parenting. It’s the best-kept secret. It’s our ticket to enjoying the journey more, but how can we set boundaries and correct our children without losing that connection? If we confuse “staying connected” with “never upsetting our children,” things begin to get very hazy.

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Early on in my transition to respectful, connected parenting, I made the mistake of confusing the two. Fearful of ruining our bond, I struggled with setting and enforcing limits, and the frustration that resulted almost caused me to go back to my traditional punitive ways. Thankfully, I kept reading and learning, and finally I figured out how to be the positive leader my kids needed. So, if you’re struggling with something similar in your parenting journey, I’d like to share with you what helped me learn to stand firm yet gentle in my position as leader.

Here’s something to remember. A good connection isn’t feeble.

It isn’t going to break because you say no. It isn’t going to crumble when you hold a boundary or even allow a consequence. A temporarily upset child (or parent) doesn’t equal a broken bond. When I was tip-toeing around my kids, afraid of breaking our connection by upsetting them, I felt powerless to change their behavior. When I realized our relationship wasn’t that fragile, I was able to set and enforce limits and correct my children’s off-track behavior with confidence.

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Think of parenting like a balance scale for a moment.

There should be lots of positive, happy, snuggly, smiling moments and fewer negative (correcting, reprimanding, upsetting, frustrating) moments. The positive should outweigh the negative a good deal. When we focus too much on correcting or reprimanding and don’t give enough positive attention, the scale starts to tip in the wrong direction. When the negative outweighs the positive, connections crumble.

Therefore, to keep your connection secure, make sure your scale is favorable. If you’re going through a particularly challenging phase, up the positive attention!

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