Three Steps To Setting Good, Effective Limits (Step 1)

Emily and Kathy introduce step one of Hand in Hand’s 3-step strategy for setting limits: Listen, Limit, Listen.

Backtalk and power struggles aren’t fun for anyone.

So it’s easy to get stuck dancing around when and how to set a limit.

What happens when you ask your child to turn off the TV and they don’t?

A second request? A lecture? A criticism that they never listen?

What if your child negotiates for another five minutes. Or tells you their friend watches for hours?

Hmmm. Could you, should you, change your plan?

No wonder lines around limits get blurry.

And boundaries are repeatedly pushed.

In this podcast, Emily and Kathy share Hand in Hand’s simple three-step strategy for setting effective limits. These limits take away second-guessing and indecision.

They actually allow you a pause before setting a limit, and a little space for experimentation.

So that when you do set a limit you aren’t conflicted.

You know the need, boundary and expectation.

Plus, these limits are respectful of parent and child.

Which is why kids do listen to them.  

Ready to stop wondering about when you should set a limit? Or what to do if your limit goes unheard?

Hear how Emily and Kathy explain this simple three-step strategy for setting limits, and get your introduction to the first step: Listen.

 Tune In To Hear:
  • Why taking a minute to tune in gives you vital information before you set your limit.

  • “Sweetie, what’s the plan?” – and other ways to check in with your child without conflict.

  • How to step back from triggering thoughts and responses when your child doesn’t immediately comply.

  • Making use of your pause: Do you want to set a limit and what’s the best way right now?

  • Respecting boundaries on both sides – why setting limits this way puts connection, and your relationship, first.

  • What about when you don’t have time? Emergency measures when you just have to be somewhere or get something done.

  • How to avoid the patient, patient, patient, blow up and lose it pattern.

three steps to setting good, effective limits Hand in Hand Parent Club podcast episode 8
The Hand in Hand Parent Club Podcast
Three Steps To Setting Good, Effective Limits (Step 1)

One Small Thing…


The one small thing Kathy and Emily want you to try this week is to practice the pause. Just before you are about to set a limit, take a breath and pause. What do you notice? How can you check-in? Where are you at and what can you handle? How do you want to proceed?


Mentioned In This Episode:

Feel like your child is being unreasonable? This landmark post explains how  setting limits is a useful way to help a child relieve their stress and return back to a place where they can co-operate. There’s also a brief rundown of the three-step approach to setting limits the Hand in Hand way: Listen, limit, listen. 

Read Setting Limits With Young Children

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