One of the best pieces of advice I got as a new parent was: “children and pets both require sturdy fences.” Meaning, in order for them to understand their limitations, you must establish clear and consistent rules (or “fences”) for them to thrive within.

A few years later, I attended a parenting lecture on discipline, hosted by a local mother’s group, where I heard this mantra repeated. The speaker was Lynne Griffin, author of a popular parenting book, Negotiation Generation, and a firm believer in the power of “fences” for children. The wisdom Lynne espoused in her lecture inspired me enough to purchase her book and interested my husband enough to read it when I was done.

At the time, we were living in a well-heeled Boston suburb, where we regularly encountered children with sprawling kingdoms but few fences defining their boundaries. In quite a few cases we observed late-in-life parents, who doted on their children so excessively, who met their every wish so frequently, that the children were completely out of control. According to Griffin, enforcing just a few, consistent rules and erecting some fences could put these kids back in place. The book and Griffin’s message spoke to us. (more…)

Kyla P'an (USA)

Kyla was born in suburban Philadelphia but tried not to let that stifle her deep desire to see the world. Her travels have included: three months on the European rails, three years studying and working in Japan, and nine months taking the slow road back from Japan to the US when she was done. Kyla took all of her Japanese knowledge and language ability and threw it right out the window when she met her Chinese-American husband in 2000. In addition to her work as Managing Editor of World Moms Bog, Kyla is a freelance writer, copy editor, triathlete and blogger. She and her husband reside outside of Boston, Massachusetts, where they are raising two spunky kids (ages 8 and 5), two frisky cats, a snail, a fish and a snake. You can read more about Kyla’s outlook on the world and motherhood on her personal blog, Growing Muses.

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