The norms of coexistence in the home for children are fundamental to promote positive behavior, avoid negative ones and raise healthy people mentally and physically.
On many occasions our children do not have good behavior at home and we do not know what is the best way to set standards or limits to these actions. Preventing this type of actions can help reduce subsequent risk situations or inappropriate behavior of the child both in childhood and adolescence.
To live in society, you need some rules. The family is considered to be the first social group to which the child belongs and as such in which he begins to live. So it must be responsible for setting standards of behavior to guide the behavior of the child.
Is it important to have a norm of coexistence in the home for children?
Living in a world without rules is unthinkable from a rational point of view, because if they did not exist everything would be chaos and nothing would work correctly. At home, when we live with a minor, we need to establish norms that are known by him and understood.
That is, they have to know which line they can not cross and in case they do it if that bad behavior will have a consequence or not.
A child who grows without rules will not learn to behave properly in the world around him, so parents are responsible for giving him that information.
The norms and limits have a great role in their process of adaptation and the environment, because they help to determine their mode of action in all situations that arise (Beato, 2008).
Benefits of setting standards
But … Does it have any benefit to set standards at home? Next we will expose several:
- They generate a feeling of protection and give security to the child . Something that we must prevent is that the child knows that he has more capacity for decision than his own parents. If we want our son to respect us we must have rules and limits that will result in him feeling safe and protected since he will know that his parents will be guiding him in his learning.
Thanks to the above, your world will be predictable and consequently safe since they have an orientation that guides their behavior.
- They promote respect for others and teach appropriate behaviors. By setting standards the child knows if his behavior is appropriate or not at all times and the consequences that may have to not meet a standard. Setting limits and standards is the way parents have to convey to their children how they should behave.
- It helps them to later maintain good relations with their peers and with the world around them. Although it is true that children like to explore the environment that surrounds them, even if adults tell them, it is something they have to do for themselves. Here is not only the exploration of their environment but also the power that parents have over them. The experience will teach them where the limits are in the family and later in their other socialization environments such as school.
- Means of learning for adult life. We can not forget that they are children and that at the beginning it is normal to find it difficult to follow the guidelines. So, we can not get angry with him / her but keep a calm attitude and show him that he can not do what he wants at all times. Even if you do not believe it, a relaxed attitude is more effective than giving shouts and threats, because we can not forget that this attitude and action is also serving as a model and you can imitate it when you have to solve your own conflicts.
Although at the beginning you will need the rules to be “imposed” over time, the child will learn to put on their own because they will have internalized when a behavior is appropriate or not (Beato, 2008).
How can we apply the rules at home?
The space that is allowed to children is conditioned by two aspects: age and behavior. In the first, the age as they grow the freedom that we provide will be greater. In the second, depending on the behavior they present may or may not expand the freedom we give.
If our children are small, at first the rules and limits will be imposed on them, they will obey them not because they see them as reasonable, but because they are imposed on them. Thanks to this, you will learn that if you meet them then positive reinforcement will come. Although at first they are imposed and obey them because it is so, we must follow the rules and limits of explanations so that little by little he understands them.
It is advisable that you are rewarded as you are obeying the rules although as you integrate them into their behavior should be reduced. Once the child has grown it must try to reach an agreement on the rules not to impose them, they will only be imposed in the event that an agreement is not reached (Lentini and Fox (S / F).
The establishment of standards involves a process that is specified in different steps:
- Maintain emotional control Parents should be calm and calm when it comes to establishing a norm.
- Assess the age and degree of maturity of the children. The rules have to have different characteristics depending on the age. When they are small, it is enough to have authority. The clearer the norm, the more security the child will have in his behavior and in his relationship with the environment.
When our children reach adolescence, the confrontation with the norm will arise and we must be able to argue the reasons and show the need for the norm. In adolescence it is advisable to negotiate accessory rules, this will allow us, on the one hand, to achieve an acceptable degree of compliance, and secondly, to teach our son to make decisions and consider the pros and cons of each option.
- Think of the norm If the parents have already assessed the need for the standard, it is necessary that it be agreed upon. It is convenient for parents to jointly analyze the behavior that they want to implement.
- Communicate the rule. It is important to find an appropriate time to talk with them and explain why it is necessary. In addition to the positive consequences derived from fulfilling them and the negative consequences if they are not respected.
- Start up. We must stand firm in addition to helping to enforce the rules by encouraging the child and highlighting the positive reinforcement.
- Review and evaluation. The assumption of the rules and their compliance by the children requires the granting of a margin of time (Madridsalud (S / F).
Types and characteristics of standards
There are many types of rules that can be established in the family. Next we are going to present those that favor its fulfillment in its womb:
- All the rules that are directed to the minor must be within their reach to fulfill them and according to their age, abilities and maturation.
- If the child does not understand the rules, they will not be able to comply, so they must be understandable and clear from the start.
- Regardless of the state of mind or any other factor, you have to be consistent with the application of the rules.
- The norms or limits that are established must be coherent (Kast-Zahn (2002).
In addition, we can divide the rules into:
- They are norms that are characterized by being very clear and mandatory compliance. For example: do not stick to animals, you have to respect them.
- They are more nuanced than the previous ones and must be numerous and clear. Some aspects can be negotiated. For example: the pick-up time when it has left.
- They are the ones used to regulate daily life in the family, they can also be negotiated. For example: help with household chores every day (Kast-Zahn, 2002).
What to do if some rules are not met?
In some cases, the rules may not be met. To help prevent this from happening it is important that the child knows why he or she has to respect them as well as the meaning of each of them.
In addition to analyzing the reasons that have led to your breach, if these are not reasonable will apply the consequence that is timely by the parents. If we see that with the passage of time, the child continues to violate this rule, we will have to think about hardening the punishment or changing it or on the contrary look for more positive and attractive consequences.
Sometimes we are not aware of our acts as parents or of our reactions when our child has broken the rules. It is important that noncompliance with the rules does not trigger a humiliation or disqualification towards the child, as a result it is important to find a suitable place and time to see the norm that has failed and remember the consequence (proportional and age-matched) that He has broken the rule.
As we have seen, it is important that our children are educated with established norms that last over time, that is, they are not variable.
In the event that they were, this would affect their daily lives living with the anxiety and uncertainty of not knowing what will happen after a certain behavior, and in the long run, it can become a feeling of insecurity.
Establishing clear and well-defined rules and limits will affect your life and your development in a positive way. If this is not fulfilled, they will not know how far to go and that is where the struggle with the norms that govern the organization of the group or family will begin and, as a result, it will often cause behavior problems in the school and rejection by the students. companions.
As parents, mothers and educators, we must be aware of the benefits that standards have in the child’s life and the consequences that would result from not having them. It is also important that we pay attention to how the rules should be implemented because sometimes if we are not persistent we can achieve the opposite effect to the one we want.
Finally, remember that our children will imitate what they see of us, so it is important that we are calm at all times in case you do not respect any of them.