Benefits of setting limits early on

Watch Video: Benefits of setting limits early on by Kathy Gordon, ...
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Benefits of setting limits early on

The benefits of setting limits early on with our children and helping them keep the limits if they're sort of hitting a wall is that when a child is exhibiting some off-track behavior, this is really their way of communicating that they're feeling very disconnected. Now there's an old way of what I call parenting from a distance, where we give warnings. "Okay. One. Two." But what I advocate is when you first see that off-track behavior is that you come in close and that you set the limit, and then you help the child keep the limit. And this may mean some actual gentle, physical containment so that they bump up against this limit. Then they can experience their upset and you stay present and stay listened with warmth and empathy, and their brain literally gets the message that "I can move through this disappointment and I'm not gonna die." That's really the benefit. We allow our children to feel those tears of futility, move through the disappointment; meanwhile we stay present and connected.

Watch Video: Benefits of setting limits early on by Kathy Gordon, ...


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Kathy Gordon

Parent Educator

Kathy Gordon is the single adoptive mother of a very spirited nine year-old boy, but was not prepared for the challenges of parenting a child whose brain was developed under stress. When her son was three, Kathy had the good fortune of taking parenting classes with Ruth Beaglehole, founding Director of the Center for Nonviolent Education and Parenting, (, and she realized this powerful compassionate method of working with children was something she wanted to teach. She has been a teacher, director and coach most of her adult life. Kathy was certified as a Parent Educator through the Center for Nonviolent Education and Parenting in May of 2008, and will now continue her training by becoming a Certified Hand-in-Hand Parenting Parent Educator. Kathy works with families individually, teaches parenting classes and facilitates trainings for educators and schools communities. Her practice is called Unconditional Connection because we all long for connection, and we long to be unconditionally loved. We live in a society in which we are continually judged by our behavior. Kathy offers research-based information and tools to help people look underneath and beyond the behavior, so that we may be more unconditionally connected thus creating a world of cooperation and peace. 

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