Tools For Learning

Inspiration for Parents & Educators

Create a Flexible Structure for Kids

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Flexible Structure??? Oxymoron??? Not Quite!!!

Kids of all ages need structure daily. Rules give kids limits in a limitless world. In turn these rules supply the emotional security that they need everyday also. The key is to be structured without ever being rigid, and feeling protected while being spontaneous. Being flexible assures kids’ expression of individuality. Life becomes dependable when boundaries and expectations are clear. It’s important to both parents and kids to be on the “same page” with family rules! Remember though, that being flexible will benefit your parent/child relationship in many positive ways.

Do you remember the first time you were on your own, and that great feeling of freedom, and the knowledge that mom or dad were close by but not too close? It’s that balance of independence and security we are seeking when we, as parents, create a flexible structure for our kids. A strong, happy, and livable home gives your young ones a safe and consistent base, so that they can travel from home and come back again feeling rooted and secure.

Make no mistake about it! This important structure that we create for our kids will be tested, stressed, and sometimes even shaken. Thats why it must be flexible. For children to be resilient the family system has to be predictable yet pliable for them to be able to move back and forth with life’s success, failures, disappointments, joys, and even surprises. It is a parents’ honor to create a flexible structure for kids, one that is allowed to bend and move with your family’s needs and the changes that are surely to come.

Structure and flexibility are partners in great parenting. Structure is the foundation of your kids’ environment. Rules ensure the guidelines for staying within the framework. Flexibility assures your acceptance of your kids’ feelings, ideas, intuition, intellect, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, and comfort level too. You are truly validating them with a structured but flexible home life.

Finding the perfect blend of structure and flexibility is not easy! Kids keep developing and life keeps changing. The best way to know if things are going in a positive direction is to listen to your kids and observe their behavior. Ask them how they feel, and keep a watchful eye as they play, work, study, and daydream. The realization that their answers may sometimes upset your established routine may be daunting. My advice to you is to: ASK ANYWAY!  In the long run the entire family will be glad that you did! Many blessings along the way.

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