In The Hamlet, we have been discussing the development of obedience in children, through the proper application of the Catholic Montessori principle of Freedom Within Limits. It is our job as the parents to correctly structure the limits and then allow our children to act freely within those limits. Why is it so critical to correctly structure those limits?
Limits that are too constricting do not provide the child with the opportunity to practice making good decisions, while limits that are too indulgent do not provide necessary guidance as to what a good decision is.
Think of it as pouring batter into a cake pan. The cake pan you choose determines the final shape of the cake. You could choose a tall, narrow panettone pan or a rectangular 9×12. The pan can be a bundt shape or even that of a fancy rose. You choose the limits of your cake, and the batter will flow into every crevice.
The extreme of not providing any limits at all to our children would be the equivalent of pouring the batter directly on to the floor – not into any container at all. The disaster that would be, for both a baker and a parent, is not hard to picture.
Once you have determined that child raising is a task to be considered very seriously, I invite you to ponder about the cake pan you will choose.