We live in a world of limits. Mathematicians work with limits. Drivers have speed limits. Even our own bodies limit us sometimes. Depending on the situation, we choose whether or not to comply with these limits. Regardless of our acceptance, breaking these limits can and often will result in consequences.
Throughout our lives we will also impose limits on ourselves. For some people this might be limiting intake of food or maybe even alcohol. Others choose to limit their screen time. Parents often choose to set limits for their children. These might include limiting their sugar consumption, time spent playing video games, or how late the child is allowed to stay up. All of these are important practices to create routine and balance in the child’s life, but there comes a point when the child needs to learn to set limits for himself.
My parents taught me to be independent at a young age. I woke myself up in the morning, I did my own laundry and when necessary, I was able to make my own meals. They did not have to force me to do my homework because they trusted me to finish it, and I knew there would be consequences if I fell behind in my school work. These were all incredibly important lessons for me because they established a pattern of independence that I have carried with me throughout adulthood.
I have these important lessons instilled in me because I was allowed to set my own limits in a safe environment where the stakes were lower. This allowed me to learn how to set limits and follow them. If I had to learn this in my adult life, the failure would mean more severe consequences. By teaching your children to be independent and set their own limits, you are establishing healthy and important practices that they will carry out into adulthood.