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The Rules of Parenting, 2nd Edition by Richard Templar

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RULE 31

Know the value of boundaries

I watched a neighbour of mine once as her 4-year-old jumped up onto the wall surrounding their front garden and ran along it. This might not sound so bad, but on the other side of the wall was a 15-foot drop to a concrete parking area. I must have looked horrified because she clocked my reaction and said, ‘I know. I’ve told him not to but he just ignores me. What can you do?’ Well, I was so speechless I didn’t actually answer her. (Besides, if I’d told her she’d just have ignored me.)

You know as well as I do that the answer to her question was, ‘Say no and mean it.’ It was a particularly graphic example of how children need boundaries – in this case for the poor little chap’s personal safety. Actually, ...

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