Freedom and Limitations in Children
The way we raise our children, the structure of our family, and even our characters as parents affect their behavior, reactions and personalities in society. What we expect from our child is actually limited to what we give him. Especially the freedoms we offer to our children or the limitations we impose will affect their relationships and behaviors both in the family and in the society.
Looking at the family structures, 5 different tables emerge. These different types of families differ from each other in terms of the disciplinary attitudes of parents towards their children.
1. Authoritarian attitude based on excessive pressure.
2. Child-centered attitude based on excessive permissiveness.
3. Unbalanced, inconsistent and irresponsible attitude.
4. Overprotective and protective attitude.
5. Loving, reassuring, tolerant attitude.
In an environment of extreme repression, restrictions are placed on every move of children when parents are oppressive. When it comes to ‘discipline’, most parents perceive it as ‘to discipline with beatings and punishments, to set clear boundaries for children’. The purpose of this attitude, in which punishment and beating are used abundantly; It is raising a child who knows his limits, obeys the word, obeys the rules, fulfills the assigned duties. However, in families where there are extreme limitations and these limits are tried to be taught to the child through pressure, children who are afraid of making mistakes, who do not trust themselves, who are either withdrawn or have an aggressive personality emerge.
On the other hand, the opposite understanding is seen in families based on extreme freedom and freedom, where there are no limitations, or where the parents leave the boundaries to the child. Generally, these families with one child are dominated by the child. Family members unconditionally fulfill the child’s wishes. After all, excessive love and attention makes the child an unruly, insatiable person. In these families, children appear in front of families with a personality whose uncontrollability increases, especially during adolescence. During adolescence, every child naturally distances himself from the family and tries to prove himself in the social environment. Errors and trials are seen in this period. Adolescents who have the feeling of “nothing will happen to me” may exhibit many irresponsible actions one after the other at the expense of proving himself. In these situations, it is not expected that the adolescent, who is fond of his freedom and has held his freedom since childhood, knows no boundaries. For example, families that give a child the freedom to play outside whenever he wants, and to take lessons whenever he wants, do this with the thought that the child will draw his own boundaries for his own character. However, when the child who has this freedom turns 16, when the parents are looking for their son or daughter outside in the middle of the night, they also get scolded from their children, saying, “What are you getting into?” Because it has never been interfered with.
Sometimes, parents can exhibit unbalanced and inconsistent attitudes. This is usually the case in extended families or families in which both parents work. In families that do not have a common form of education between parents and family elders, and everyone approaches the child differently, children cannot learn what is right and what is wrong. Children are given different freedoms by everyone, different limitations are brought. While the mother has set a limit for her child not to mix kitchen supplies, this limit can become a freedom for the child when grandparents come. Sometimes the mother or father contradicts themselves. For example, when the father is tired from work, the child’s singing and playing disturbs him, and this freedom is taken away from the child, and often a penalty is added to the loss of this freedom from the child. At other times, the father may offer the child the freedom to sing when the child does not expect it. In such approaches, the child gets confused, and he tries to set his own limits or starts to fight for freedoms, thinking that some limitations can be lifted at any time.
Today, we see that a family style or parental attitude that emerges as a result of frightening social problems, especially in big cities, is an over-protective and protective style. This style is now well suited to the traditional family model. Parents take all responsibility for the child. Parents decide what is right and wrong for the child. From the hairstyle to the dress she wears, the choice of the parents is in question. Although not seen as a limitation, this approach becomes a situation where freedoms are taken away from the child. The child, on the other hand, gets used to this situation and, as an individual who refuses to take responsibility, needs to hide behind the ideas of the parents for life. Since the boundaries are created under the name of love and protection, the child is not disturbed or rigid in appearance, but its negative effects on personality development begin to be noticeable from year to year. When it’s time to get out of the golden cage, our bird is no longer able to fly alone, and it struggles. Overprotective children often have school problems because they feel emotionally hot when they let go of their mother’s skirts. Inadequacies are observed in social relations; They do not know how to share and cooperate. There are problem solving difficulties in life; Since they are not accustomed to the free thought environment, they fall short when asked to express their ideas by being freed.
Therefore, the negative effects of the attitudes we have listed above are clearly visible. Although it has been determined how the limitations or freedoms should not be, it is also necessary to mention how they should be. The character traits and behavior patterns we expect from our child in the long run are mostly loving, sensitive, obeying the rules of society, controlling his behavior, self-confident and having a sense of responsibility. A child can learn the feelings of love, compassion, cooperation, loyalty, cooperation, responsibility and trust only by living in the family. Especially in the first 6 years, the effects of the environment in which the child lives shape his character throughout his life. Because every aspect of the child’s development takes place in the first 6 years. In this stage, the child gets to know his environment and himself. In this recognition process, freedom should be given to the child at various points, and boundaries should be drawn when necessary. For example, the child, who is pressured not to approach a hot stove, always has the desire to know this stove, but the slight burning of the child’s hand with a not very harmful and controlled attitude causes him to learn this behavior by experiencing it and without any emotional effects afterwards. Another example is in social relationships. While children learn to share, they also experience not sharing; Instead of getting angry, shouting and setting limits on our child’s friendship relations, it would be better to show him the right behavior as an example and leave him free to find his own ways.