Age Appropriate?

O

kay – it’s time to address a very important misunderstanding that will lead you to permissiveness almost every time. Some things are age appropriate.

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This is true. But age appropriate does not mean “appropriate” and therefore allowing them is permissive. Expect them, yes. Endure them – not at all necessary. For this reason I now use “age expected” instead of age appropriate.
Here’s an example . . . It is age expected for a toddler to hit. This is a way that they express their frustration, disappointment, even glee! And for a pre-verbal little one it makes sense that they would express themselves physically. But this doesn’t mean it’s okay to just let a child hit you. And stopping them isn’t punitive! It’s healthy. It’s good boundaries.
In fact – it’s good parenting to not allow a child to hit you. Developmentally they do not intend to hurt you when they hit. But that is what happens very often. And it’s our responsibility as parents to prevent the natural consequences that our children are not prepared to learn from.
Also, everything we do teaches our children our boundaries – what we will allow them to do; how we will allow them to treat us. As Dr. Phil says, “We teach others how to treat us”. Allowing a child to hit you will teach them to hit you. If that is not what you want them to learn then I encourage you to simply not allow it.

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