Why setting boundaries for your toddler is a GOOD thing!
Toddlers are in a stage of development where they are learning about the world around them and how to interact with it. As they navigate their way through this new terrain, they are also trying to establish their own sense of identity and independence. However, this newfound freedom can often be overwhelming for young children, and it is important for us parents to establish boundaries to help them feel safe and secure.
Boundaries help our toddlers feel safe by not being the decision maker. When children are given too much freedom without any guidelines, it can be confusing and scary for them. They may feel like they are in control of everything, which can be overwhelming and stressful. This lack of structure can also lead to feelings of anxiety and insecurity, as children are unsure of what is expected of them. Often, these big feelings can result in big meltdowns.
On the other hand, when we as parents set clear boundaries and guidelines, children know what is expected of them. They understand that there are certain behaviours that are acceptable and others that are not. This helps to create a sense of safety and security, as children know what to expect and can feel confident in their ability to navigate their surroundings.
For example, if your toddler is allowed to play with any toys anywhere in the house, they may become overwhelmed by the choices and not know where to start. However, if they are given a designated play area and a selection of toys, they can feel more focused and engaged with their toys. This helps to create a sense of safety and security, as they know where they are supposed to play and what is expected of them.
Boundaries also help to establish routine and consistency, which is important for toddlers. When children have a routine, they know what to expect and are less likely to become anxious or overwhelmed. This routine can also help to create a sense of security and stability, which is important for toddlers who are still learning about the world around them.
In addition to providing a sense of safety and security, boundaries also help to teach children about responsibility and consequences. When children are given clear guidelines, they understand that their actions have consequences. This helps to teach them about responsibility and accountability, which is an important life skill.
When it come to sleep, if a toddler has no boundaries during the day, how can we expect them to understand boundaries like staying in bed at bedtime and through the night, or following the cues of a sleep training clock in the morning? To have success with improving toddler sleep, daytime boundaries are just as important as night time ones!
Boundaries are essential for toddlers as they navigate their way through the world. They provide a sense of safety and security, establish routine and consistency, teach responsibility and accountability, and help to create a sense of stability and security. As parents, it is important for us to set clear boundaries and guidelines for our children, so that they can grow and develop feeling safe in their home environment, rather than overwhelmed as leader of the pack.
Do you struggle with setting boundaries for your toddler around sleep? I can help! You can contact me here.