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Parental prohibitions and precepts: how they affect the life of the child

Adults seek to protect children from all dangers and to do so establish their own, sometimes strict, rules of conduct. We talked about the ways how a parent can find a balance between necessary and excessive prohibitions with Ksenia, psychologist and methodologist of «Skazavria» family interactive project


Where do restrictions come from?


The most common reason for taboos is that a child, because of age, is not yet able to know when and when to do something. It’s easier for us to say no than say the same thing every time.

By imposing restrictions, adults want to warn children against mistakes, to guard against unforeseen situations. But there is nothing more valuable than to gain one’s own unique experience and solidify one’s experience in consciousness.

Think of all the good things and bad things that were going to happen in our lives before we thought we were at least partially adults, conscious and experienced.

Don’t forget to ask the children if they want your help or advice. If you were in the middle of something, you probably wouldn’t like someone coming in with unsolicited help or advice.

Often adults want to raise their «convenient» children to obey unconditionally. You have to understand that a child who listens to you, doesn’t argue, doesn’t stand up for himself is a child without an opinion, without a will. Such a person will not survive in society, subsequently subconsciously will be looking for someone to tell him what to do.


How does a parent find the balance so they don’t push the baby and spoil it?


The most important advice is to learn to observe. If, for example, the baby is on a high roller coaster, don’t rush to grab it and take it off, first see what it does. If he had the strength and the coordination to get up somewhere, he’d have the strength to get down. Sometimes kids can’t really calculate their powers and think ahead. Then parents come to the rescue.

If adults set boundaries on a child, such as how to behave on a bus, how to cross a road, it is important to make it clear that this is not your own whim, but the rules of the place where you are.

What does a kid do if he can’t jump and run and scream and he really wants to? It would be better if you offered an alternative: I understand you want to make a noise. You can do it when we are on the street». A parent must help find the right time and place to meet such needs.

Only those acts that are harmful to the physical or mental health of the child or those around them, or that are harmful to the property of other people, should be strictly suppressed.

In turn, excessive taboos can lead to riots to spite parents. Younger children can do this unconsciously and intuitively. They have not yet developed the inner strength to resist their desires and impulses. It is not necessary at all.  Most needs can and must be met and the main thing is to know how to do it.


How does an adult know that his demands on a child are too strict?


Every time parents want to stop or limit some of their children’s actions, it’s worth thinking about what their needs are in that way.

But we often wish to confine ourselves to a clear «It is not allowed». But this phrase is understood only by us as adults. Children do not only cause a lot of questions in the style of “Why not? Who said that you can’t? What if you do the opposite?» but also the desire to check the boundaries:«What happens if...?»

The child’s reaction to the ban would be tears and hysteria. A parent must be serious, firm, confident in their words, yet sensitive and understanding in building boundaries.


Be an authority, and the child will have no doubt that you want what’s best for him, and will have less resistance to restrictions. Always talk about the reason for the ban and explain the rules, children need to know everything. They are extremely curious about nature.

The most important thing to remember is that violation of prohibitions should not result in punishment. Children will begin to deceive or try to hide what they have done to avoid it. Sanctions are another matter. Warn the child of what will happen if he breaks the rule. You can say “I see you’re putting water on the floor on purpose. You can go play with the water in the bath. If you keep pouring water, I’ll have to take the glass”.

The most important thing in relationships with children is to communicate with them and to deal with them as you do with other adults. Do it respectfully. Without judgment and with understanding.

Observance of the rules and respect for other people’s borders will make it possible in the future to build healthy relations with people in all spheres of life. People have to understand that rules are everywhere, that they have to be followed and that non-compliance with rules is followed by restrictions.


At what age should a child be treated as an equal?


Many modern parents are afraid to overreact to the resctriction and try to be friends and socialise on an equal footing for their children. However, a parent and child will never be able to fully communicate as equals, because each has its own important role. But it shouldn’t scare you in any way.

A parent is always the anchor, the authority and the mentor. He’s older, smarter, more experienced, but that doesn’t mean that a child should always be in a dependent position. Your goal as a parent is to teach your children to live independently and independently. They need to become full, fully developed and happy adults.