Limit setting refers to making specific rules regarding behavior that is deemed unacceptable. When limits are set, parents communicate rules, goals, and standards to their child and take action to enforce the limits. Parenting research has shown that children and adolescents need structure, boundaries, and limits to feel secure while they actively explore their physical and social world. Limit setting benefits children not only during infancy but also during childhood and adolescence. Parents’ limits actually help children understand and internalize the standards, rules, and goals; set limits for themselves; and thus manage their own behavior (i.e., self-discipline and self-regulation), which is critical in developing social competence and avoiding disruptive behaviors. Setting limits is different from punishment because punishment uses force and restrictions with negative ...

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