The Real Differences Between Boundaries, Limits & Consequences For Kids

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When I was a little girl, my mom made rules for me and my sisters. It seemed like there were always new rules, which sometimes led to arguments that ended with us being grounded for a week or more.

When we got older, some of those rules changed and others remained the same—but one thing was certain: our parents always had boundaries in place for us.

As parents ourselves today, we need to do the same thing to help teach our children healthy behaviors from an early age.

Boundaries help you decide how you want other people to act toward you

Boundaries are about what we will and won’t accept. They’re all about what we need in order to feel good, healthy, and whole.

Boundaries help you avoid unhealthy situations with other people (or yourself). For example, let’s say that someone keeps calling you late at night. You don’t like the way that makes you feel so now your boundary is “no calls after 9pm.”

Or maybe someone keeps inviting you to parties where there’s drinking and drugs going on—but those aren’t things that make YOU feel good or healthy, so your boundary is “no more invitations from this person.”

That way if they call or text after 9:00 p.m., or invite you somewhere where there might be drinking or drugs around, then YOU can decide whether or not to get involved in those situations without being forced into them by someone else!

Boundaries can also be used as limits for our children’s behavior because kids need boundaries too! For example: Your daughter always wants dessert even though she has already eaten her dinner; this is annoying because it makes both of us stressed out when we go out to eat together (and maybe even ruins my appetite).

Now I have a new rule—no dessert until AFTER dinner—and I am happy because I no longer feel annoyed when eating at restaurants with my daughter (and sometimes even enjoy myself!)

A limit is a way to encourage a child to follow the boundaries and learn from their mistakes

Limits are not meant to be punitive, but rather a way to encourage children to learn from their mistakes.

To help your child understand the difference between boundaries and limits, use concrete examples. For example: you might say “you can only watch one more show before bedtime” when they ask for two more episodes of Spongebob Squarepants; or “you cannot go outside before breakfast” if they want to play outside before eating their cereal.

These are good boundaries that will help teach your child how far they can push their limits in certain situations. Limits aren’t always about following rules, though—they can also be about encouraging someone to learn from their mistakes.

You might say “I’m sorry that you made a mess with the food coloring and ruined my favorite shirt; next time I’ll let you know where all my markers are so this doesn’t happen again” as a way of showing them how important it is to pay attention when playing with chemicals or sharp objects!

Consequences are the results of not following boundaries or limits

Consequences are the results of not following boundaries or limits. They are intended to teach children that their choices have consequences, which can lead them to make better decisions in the future.

Consequences should never be arbitrary, but rather logical and natural consequences that are age appropriate and realistic for a child’s developmental level.

Consequences should also be immediate—if your child wants ice cream for dinner, don’t allow him to eat it; if he does so anyway, dole out a consequence right away (e.g., removing his dessert privileges).

Like many parents, I don’t always know what to do about some of my kids’ behavior

As a mom of three kids, I know how hard it can be to know what to do with some of their behavior. I often feel like I’m being pulled in two different directions.

On the one hand, I want my children to learn self-control and follow rules; on the other hand, I don’t want them to resent me as they go through life—and maybe even hate me!

But at times when you’ve reached your limit (they’re not just going to stop being annoying), having a firm boundary is essential. It’s also important for kids to understand that there are consequences for breaking rules or behaving badly—even when we don’t want them too!

A consequence is the result or effect of something that happened earlier

Consequences are the result or effect of something that happened earlier. They’re the natural outcome of a choice you made and how it affected others. Consequences don’t have to be bad; they can also be good! Consequences are not punishment, but they can be used as part of your discipline strategy.

If your kids don’t follow rules at home or school, then it’s likely that they’ll face consequences as a result: maybe their friends won’t want to hang out with them anymore or perhaps they’ll get in trouble with their teachers for being late too often.

If you tell your child no for coming home late from school and getting into trouble with teachers because she didn’t follow rules at school (or vice versa), then those consequences will help her understand why following rules is important in life

When kids get into an activity they like, it can be really hard to get them to stop

When kids get into an activity they like, it can be really hard to get them to stop. They might want to do it for as long as possible, or even longer if you let them.

This can be especially true when it comes to screen time, but could also apply to other activities like coloring or playing outside. You may have experienced the scenario where your child has been playing with a toy for hours on end and won’t give up his favorite one just because you say so; he just wants his way and doesn’t care about what you think about it!

It can be frustrating for parents who want their kids to stop doing something that isn’t good for them (or is hurting someone else).

When my daughter was little, she would play games on her tablet until we were almost late leaving the house: I would tell her it was time to go at least five times before finally giving up hope of getting her ready in time and screaming at her while simultaneously running around trying not break things while I put shoes on my son who didn’t understand why his sister wasn’t ready yet either…not good times!

These days though we’ve got better boundaries (limits) set up so now she knows when its ok/safe depending on where she’s sitting in relation with other people around us as well as what kind of game(s) she’s playing – meaning there’s always plenty left over time after bedtime too 🙂

When they’re not discussing their feelings and needs, or not able to yet, how are children supposed to communicate in order to get something they want?

When they’re not discussing their feelings and needs, or not able to yet, how are children supposed to communicate in order to get something they want?

The answer is that they can’t. But they need to learn how. Children are naturally very active and curious (toddlers especially so), and so moving around a lot helps them learn about their environment.

Movement also helps them learn through play: seeing what works, what doesn’t work; whether something light or heavy is better for knocking down a building block tower; what happens when you put your favorite toy car into your brother’s water cup.

All of these experiences help children learn how things work in the world around them — including how people feel when they don’t get what they want or need from another person!

There are many ways kids communicate without words: through facial expressions, gestures (such as pointing at something), body language (such as crossing arms), tone of voice (such as whining), eye contact…there’s even soundless communication between mommy dogs during nursing sessions.”

As much as our children need limits, they also need us to set personal boundaries

Boundaries are a way to tell the world how you want to be treated. Limits are given out of love and encouragement, so that the child can learn from their mistakes without getting hurt or feeling guilty. Consequences follow after boundaries have been broken.

In reality, all three terms are different ways of helping children understand what is acceptable behavior and what is not acceptable behavior in order for them to grow into well-adjusted adults who understand how life works.

Both boundaries and limits are essential to healthy family life

Both boundaries and limits are essential to healthy family life. They help you decide how you want other people to act toward you, what parts of your life are off-limits for them, and how far they can go with certain actions.

Boundaries help children know what’s expected of them in a given situation. For example, if your daughter asks if she can go to a friend’s house after school on Friday afternoon so she can borrow a book from their library, saying yes doesn’t mean that she gets carte blanche permission to go anywhere at any time (unless you decide otherwise). It means that this is one boundary: as long as her homework is done before bedtime each night and she makes her own lunch on Saturday morning so it won’t spoil by lunchtime on Monday when everyone else goes back to school — then yes! She may spend an hour or so at the library with her friend after school before coming home for dinner at 5 p.m..

Limits help children learn from their mistakes and develop better ways of behaving in the future. For example: Your son decides he wants ice cream for breakfast instead of cereal like he usually eats; however he refuses when asked why he doesn’t want cereal today (he usually says something like “it’s too boring!”)

Then later that day while playing catch outside with his dad (who has been working hard all week but still found time today because they both love baseball), he slips while running toward home plate — falls flat onto his face!

He goes inside crying loudly enough that everyone hears him inside even though they’re all upstairs doing laundry or cleaning up around the house; this causes one parent who had been working diligently upstairs packing clothes into boxes downstairs into another room where no sound travels except conversation between two adults…”Why did my son fall down?”


In the end, kids need boundaries and limits. Without them, they can’t learn how to make good choices or regulate their feelings.

But parents also need boundaries to protect themselves from getting overwhelmed by their children’s demands or needs.

When we are clear about our own personal boundaries—a way of saying no that respects both us and our children—we are better able to set limits for them in ways that respect both of our needs.

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