Oct. 31, 2022

Ask Margaret: My Kid Loves to Push the Limits

Is your kid great at finding loopholes in the rules you set? Like, "Law and Order" good? A listener wrote in to ask about her child's wise guy streak.

Is the phrase "Well, you didn't say NOT to" a common refrain in your house? Some kids love to find ways around the rules and regulations parents or teachers set down.

A listener wrote in to say:

"How do you get your middle schooler to focus his incredible power of finding loopholes in all things from pointless ideas to more proactive agendas?

He’s smart, witty, loves attention, and can argue with a brick wall. How do I help him channel that to good? Or how do I survive until he is mature enough to do it naturally? "

Margaret explains that boundary-seeking behavior is natural in kids and that parenting is more about "benevolent dictatorship" than constant policing.

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