Boundaries for Children Rules Research Paper

Pages: 10 (2905 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Children

A well know study published in the Journal of Family Psychology found that families with healthy boundaries and routines experience greater emotional health, contain children with stronger sense of selves, and enable parents to enjoy happier marriages (Hokemeyer, P., web).

Importance of Boundaries for Children in Educaitonal Environment

Society constitutes an entity of people who join together. Social order occurs by its individual members of the network (i.e. people as a whole) individually working together in a concerted or agreed upon manner of conduct so that the entire culminates in an orderly fashion. Hiatus or disruption of that concerted agreement results in disorderly behavior. In fact, social change occurs by a break in this cooperative manner of behavior and with one or more individuals resistant to it and insisting upon a shift in conduct

For that reason, children thrive on consistency and become confused if any one of the rules is broken and its lapse ignored. A government needs a clear and consistent manifesto of rules in order to maintain well-being and constructive growth in its specific region. A teacher governs her classroom. She needs to maintain order for the well-being, satisfaction, and growth of her students. A parent does likewise. For that reason, both parents and teachers need clear, concise, and consistent boundaries in order to direct their charges.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
for $19.77

Research Paper on Boundaries for Children Rules and Assignment

The fact that children need boundaries in order to thrive was demonstrated (Barrish, Saunders, & Wolf, 1969) in a regular fourth-grade classroom where out-of-seat and talking-out behaviors were controlled after baseline rates of the inappropriate behaviors were obtained and children divided into two teams "to play a game." Each out-of seat and talking-out response by the child resulted in a mark placed on the blackboard and loss of privileges. Privileges included loss of recess, first to line up for lunch, time for special projects, and stars. The experimental group reversed the study with students being ignored for their disruptive behavior. Authors discovered that the game significantly modified the disruptive out-of-seat and talking-out behavior of the students, whilst in the reversal situation, disruptive behavior not only continued but also increased. Most importantly, children in the boundary-setting group observed that they liked the game because "I can read better when it is quiet" and "because "it helps keep people quiet so we can work." (Barrish, Saunders, & Wolf, 1969, p.123). Remarks such as these indicated that children welcome boundaries recognizing that it provides them with structure and order in their lives and that this order is necessary for their success. There were some who disagreed with the game, and even here their comments were surprising. These included: "I didn't like it because you didn't make good rules" and "It's not fair because we have the guys that talk a lot" (p.123). These comments, too, indicate the fact that children realize that they need certain rules and welcome these boundaries.

Boundaries and Reinforcement

On the other hand, research discovered that rules together with positive reinforcement can have the greatest effect on behavior changing as opposed to rules alone. The two conditions need to be integrated: children need boundaries but these boundaries need to be applied in a manner that liberally uses reinforcement.

tested this assumption by selecting two children with a high frequency of problem behavior in each class in a public elementa4ry school. Behavioral categories were used as instrument for testing the children at baseline, and teachers were trained in application of behavior principles that they would introduce in their class. Results were then assessed in order to ascertain whether the employed discipline principles had any impact on behavioral conduct of the difficult children (in other words, whether their behavior improved as a result of the employed teachings). The training occurred for 2 weeks, the targeted children were observed for 20 minutes per day, three days a week. Experimental conditions consisted of (a) ignoring negative conduct (i.e. elimination of rules), (b) discipline (i.e. implementation of rules) followed by approval when kept.

Teachers were told to introduce a list of five or six explicit and relevant rules in a conspicuous location in the classroom. They were told to repeat these rules approximately three or four times having the class repeat them back; make the rules short and succinct; phrase the rules in a positive manner; occasionally remind the class of the rules; and present the rules at appropriate times.

Researchers found that introducing the rules in the classroom and then ignoring in appropriate behavior not only increased the problematic conduct of the difficult children but also aggravated the behavior of the class as a whole. A class that had been initially orderly and content, now demonstrated chaotic, discontent conduct, and teachers found this phase of the experiment unpleasant. When rules were introduced, there was a marked progress in improvement of behavior. However, the greatest effectiveness was demonstrated when teachers integrated rules with approval (i.e. praising appropriate behavior). This not only accorded children the necessary boundaries, but also reinforced their positive behavior and showed them they were treading in the correct direction (Madsen, Becker, & Thomas, 1968).).

Similarly, Kagan, Kyle, and Scott (Charles, 2005) recommend showing appreciation for the student, showing him or her positive ways of receiving attention, and working on building self-validation and self-esteem skills. Providing approval integrated with setting boundaries is, they asserted, the optimal educational approach.


In short, it has been repeatedly discovered that chidlren, regardless of age, need a clear idea of what the rules entail, and crave stability (Charles, 2005). According to Strocschien et al., (2008), the most effective parenting style is that which is characterized by emotional support with firm boundaries. Rules and norms are an expected way of social living. They are predictable and part of our lives, and, therefore, we rarely stop to question their roots. We accept them as part of our routine, as demonstrative of our progressiveness as a nation, and are comfortable in their security. When children don't have boundaries, their lives take a much different turn than parents ever plan. Even if parents don't start out setting boundaries for children, it is never too late to start. The older the child the harder it gets, but the importance of setting boundaries never declines. Setting boundaries for children is important for all who come into contact with them from educators to child care givers to parents, of course, themselves. And setting boundaries needs to be accompanied with positive reinforcement for it to be most effective.

In a review of the skills that constituted effective parenting when a single parent, Horowitz (in Hanson, 1994, Chapter 3) found that the conceptualization of expert parenting was not tied to or contingent on any particular family structure, type, socio-economic background, personality, and so forth. Rather "task, roles, rules, communion, resources, and relationships" all entered into the equation. Parenting was defined as the scenario of "ferrying children form conception and birth through developmental challenges and life events to adulthood" (Hanson, 1994, p.52) and Horowitz concluded that for this ferrying to be achieved and accomplished most effectively, rules are needed not only to transmit the culture but also to provide a sense of safety, meet the child's needs, assist the child to reach his or her developmental milestones, model problem-solving and coping strategies, teach skills necessary for survival, encourage a sense of personal value, and meaning in life, and by giving the child these boundaries, rules also promote a sense of self-esteem and positive identity (Hanson, 1994)


Baumrind, D. (1996). Parenting style and adolescent development . In J. Brooks-Gunn (ed.) The encyclopedia of adolescence (pp. 746-758). NY: Garland.

Barrish, H., Saunders, M. & Wolf, M. (1969) Good behavior game.. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 2, 119-124.

Charles, C. (2005). Building classroom discipline. USA: Pearson Pub.

Darling, N. & Steinberg, L. (1993). Parenting style as context, Psyc. Bulletin, 113, 487-496

Hanson, S. (1994). Single parent families: diversity, myths, and realties Psychology Press, NY.

Madsen, C., Becker, W., & Thomas, D (1968). Rules, praise and ignoring: elements of elementary classroom control, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1, 139-150

Miller, Haffernen, & Hall, (2005). How Communities Can Better Support Parents: Findings from an Effective Parenting Expo In: Social Change in the 21st Century Conference, 28 October 2005, QUT… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

Two Ordering Options:

Which Option Should I Choose?
1.  Buy full paper (10 pages)Download Microsoft Word File

Download the perfectly formatted MS Word file!

- or -

2.  Write a NEW paper for me!✍🏻

We'll follow your exact instructions!
Chat with the writer 24/7.

Child Abuse You Are an Experienced Protective Essay

Boundaries With Teens Research Proposal

Children Counselling as a Counsellor Essay

Child Abuse Research Paper

Family Therapy Research Proposal

View 200+ other related papers  >>

How to Cite "Boundaries for Children Rules" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Boundaries for Children Rules.  (2011, October 3).  Retrieved September 21, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Boundaries for Children Rules."  3 October 2011.  Web.  21 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Boundaries for Children Rules."  October 3, 2011.  Accessed September 21, 2020.