Limit setting is one of the top challenges for parents. Often, parents obeyed as children more than their kids are obeying them now. This comparison to their childhood usually causes upset feelings and thoughts about their kids which leads to ineffective language and actions.
This Limit Setting Skill Level Quiz consists of common thoughts, feelings, words, and actions during limit setting. If you score high on the frequency rating, it doesn’t mean you are a “bad” parent. It just means that you could create greater cooperation by learning more effective limit setting parenting skills.
Put a 0, 1, 2, or 3 in the # column to designate your frequency.
Never – 0
Rarely – 1
Sometimes – 2
Often – 3
Hopefully, you’ll be able to be compassionate with yourself as you figure out your Limit Setting Skill Level. It’s not too late to become a skilled limit setter through effective new knowledge and practice.
|#||Your Thoughts While Setting Limits|
|___||If I give in to their pleading, hopefully they will be more cooperative when I finally say, “enough.”|
|___||My child is so stubborn, uncooperative, lazy, selfish, thoughtless, etc. Why can’t she just …….|
|___||My child will have a tantrum if I don’t give her what she wants. Keeping the peace is best or else the whole evening (day) will be ruined.|
|___||I never would have gotten away with acting so disrespectful when I was a child.|
|___||My child’s behavior is intolerable and must stop.|
|Your Feelings While Setting Limits Ineffectively|
|___||Stuck and confused|
|Your Language While Setting Limits – Phrase examples|
|___||I start with “you” such as, “You should have”, You’re supposed to.”|
|___||I start with “I” such as, “I need you to”, “I want you to”.|
|___||I threaten such as, “If you don’t ….. then ….. will happen to you.“|
|___||I say, “How many times do I have to ……..?”|
|___||I start with “You are so inconsiderate, etc.” when they don’t listen.|
|Your Actions While Setting Limits|
|___||I give directions from a distance or while doing something else.|
|___||I get into a power struggle and then a yelling match.|
|___||I repeat directions more than three times without good results.|
|___||I state my request calmly at first but end up feeling frustrated because I’m ignored or challenged. Then yelling seems to be the only way to get “results”, if I’m lucky.|
|___||I end up bribing, using rewards, or taking things away to try to get compliance.|
|___||TOTAL # in all sections|
My Limit Setting Skill Level
Your score ______
0 – 5: Congratulations! You could be a Limit Setting Teacher.
6 – 15: Successful Limit Setter. You win cooperation most of the time. You feel good about your parent-child interactions and your children.
16 – 30: Hit-or-Miss Limit Setter. You’ve learned that winging it without a strategy doesn’t work. You and your family would be much happier if you learned effective limit setting skills. The sooner the better.
©2015 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 25 year-old children. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 679.8138 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.