Children do best when they are given structure as well as clear and specific guidelines about what is expected and appropriate behavior from them. Boundaries give your children a sense of security and well being. Often times, especially during periods of stress, it is easier to give in than it is to say no and stand your ground. Children, even very young ones, learn how to get things to go in their favor. They are very insistent and become keen negotiators. However, if they know they can get you to cave in eventually, you are teaching them to repeat the offending behavior.
It is okay for your child to test limits. It is their job and how they learn. As a parent, it is our job to provide the boundaries within those limits to be tested. Parental follow through is a critical component of our role. This follow through teaches your child that some things are not negotiable and no does mean no. They realize that they will survive and are safe to continue to explore the world around them knowing you will always love them and safely guide them through the journey called childhood.