Setting Limits

HELP: "I've followed all the expert advice and have taken a calm and firm approach with my 4 year old daughter, setting boundaries in a loving way. But she STILL has tantrums and meltdowns." Being four is an exciting time for your daughter. She is growing in confidence and a multitude of abilities every day. Laying loving boundaries down for her will help her flourish. Her need for autonomy and independence will push those boundaries, however. Be there for her in the moments. You might take the following approach with your daughter: "You didn't like what I had to say, did you? I can tell by how loud your voice is and you feel like you need to throw things. When you are ready, I am here for you. I will not let you hurt yourself or anyone or anything else. You are safe with me." If your four year old has lost control of her emotions and body, be there to keep her from hurting herself and others. Removing her firmly but gently and respectfully from the room might help achieve some calm as the environment might be exacerbating her emotional response to the situation. Sit with her, if she wants, until she has calmed down and would like to talk it through. Obviously there's always a myriad of factors at play. Being firm and gentle and respectful is always the go, however. While she is settling down, take that time to determine what factors are at play. What caused the emotional outburst? Is she hungry or tired? Is her emotions tank on empty? Does something seem unjust to her? Does she crave autonomy and independence? How can you help her achieve that within the boundaries you have already laid down? etc. Don't pester with questions. Just quietly look for clues that might help you understand her response to your limits. Cradle 2 Kindy Parenting Solutions​ is here to help you on your parenting journey. We know you want to be the best parent you can be with your children, raising emotionally healthy and resilient young people. We are here to help you do that. Get in touch today or visit

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