Behavior, limits and educational styles, have you heard of them?

If you are a new mother or father, it is very likely that you have heard of these terms at some point. Today, we tell you a little more about behavior, what limits are, what educational styles exist and the consequences of each of them on your child.

Are children's behaviors learned?

From birth, the child begins to learn all the skills that are necessary to live. Parents, siblings, relatives, friends, teachers, strangers, the street, the media, etc., influence this learning. In most cases, what a child does, feels, and thinks are learned behaviors.

How do they learn them?

Through a process of association in which the behavior and what happens after the behavior intervene. We tend to do what is pleasant and rewarding and move away from what causes discomfort. If a child hits another child and receives laughter from her parents or close relatives, she will experience a pleasant emotion. That is why everything we do in the presence of children is so important, we are their greatest reference and guide on their path to growth. This relationship causes the child to learn to hit/communicate in this way to receive the approval of others. Children's behavior is learned and can be changed if we help them do so, administering social reinforcers (smile, praise, motivation, etc.) and becoming models to imitate and, above all, talking, talking a lot with the little ones even if we think we don't care. they understand,. In this way we will be offering them other ways to resolve conflicts and express emotions.

Let's talk about limits, why do professionals insist on the need for these?

There are no magic formulas in the education and upbringing of our little ones. Every child is different, (important: If each child is different, let's not fall into comparisons), what is good for one person may be negative for another.

Children need to have clear reference points (limits) about what they should or should not do and this need is as vital as feeding themselves. For the child, having clear educational limits is important for three reasons:

  1. Helps you understand and integrate the norms that govern the world in which you live
  2. Helps you feel safe
  3. It helps you to “behave well”, to be a “better person” and, therefore, to have a good concept of yourself (increased self-esteem)

The assimilation of limits is a learning process that is closely related to the different educational stages. Therefore they must be managed differently depending on the development stage:

  • In the first year: The child cries when he needs something, it is his way of communicating with the world, he depends completely on adults, he needs us to take care of him. You have to establish a sleeping and eating routine, it will help you understand the time intervals and regulate your circadian cycle. Eye! At this age he begins with sleep and feeding on demand, which he will gradually regulate).
  • Among 1 and 2 years: Around 18 months he only understands extremely short commands like “no.” But the word “no” without a justification behind it is an empty word. We must also tell him what he is going to face and not just as a denial: “no, because it burns,” “no, because you cut yourself,” etc. (Please, let's not abuse this word, there are many ways to communicate with our children, we will talk about them later. 
  • Between the 2 and 3 years: It is the stage of the dreaded tantrums, aDOSlescence (we love this term). Tantrums are a lack of balance between reason and emotion, our little ones at this age are totally emotional beings, so a trick may be to anticipate them before they explode, or if their tantrum has already started, let them calm down (slowly). will soon find strategies for emotional self-control), encourage him to express his feelings to us and explain what has happened, because it is normal for him to have felt that way. On the other hand, since they can already walk and climb, we must ensure that they can explore their environment without danger to them.
  • Between the 3 and 4 yearsThe limits will be mainly those related to habits. We will teach them what they should do, remind them what we expect of them and repeat the rules as many times as necessary. It is not uncommon for them to have sleep difficulties at this time, such as nightmares, or to go to their parents' bed due to fears typical of their age (darkness, monsters...). First you have to provide security and then set the limit (accompany them to their bed if that is what mom and dad need).

After all this, what educational styles can the family adopt? Here you can see the different educational styles that exist:

Authoritarian, overprotective, Permissive-negligent, Inconsequential and Democratic

It is shown that Parents' behavior decisively influences children's behavior, that's why I would like you to reflect on your parenting style while reading the following lines, let's get started!

  • Authoritarian: That is, with very rigid rules, frequent punishments, being inflexible. The consequences? Children with a tendency to aggressiveness, with little initiative, with low self-esteem and will also be authoritarian.
  • Overprotective: When you try to control your children's lives through affection, limits are not set or they are unclear, they always solve your children's problems. The consequences? Dependent children, without autonomy and little tolerant of accepting frustrations.
  • Permissive-negligent: They do not demand responsibilities, they do not affirm their authority, they do not set standards, they do not guide them to make decisions. The consequences? Irresponsible children, with little self-control, with low self-esteem.
  • Inconsistent: They are those parents who appear unstable in their behavior, are not very coherent, are not capable of doing what they demand of others, and do not have clear or fixed rules. The consequences? Children become anxious, unstable, helpless and distrustful.
  • Democratic: They satisfy their children's emotional needs, accept them as they are, reason and negotiate rules, teach them through their own example, set clear limits, encourage communication and dialogue, and are able to recognize their mistakes and accept them. to improve them. The consequences? Children who are more self-confident, are able to share and accept their responsibilities, are not easily managed, and have good social relationships.

And now that we know which educational styles exist within the family nucleus, which one do you identify with? Which one do you want to reach? Do you feel like you want to be one way but the stress of everyday life leads you to behave differently?
The team of educational psychologists and educators at Happy Way nursery schools accompany and advise families at this stage. If you have any questions, we invite you to leave them in a comment to resolve them. Thanks for reading us 🙂

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