Sixty-four Japanese mothers of 3- to 6-year-olds were interviewed concerning their conceptions of children's areas of personal control. Mothers granted children choices regarding recreational activities, clothes, and friends to foster autonomy and competence, but they set limits around daily routines, recreational activities, and interpersonal confrontation based on moral, conventional, and prudential concerns. Mothers believed in reaffirming children's personal boundaries when children failed to follow through with their initial decisions. Mothers experienced conflict with children around daily routines and recreational activities and used various resolution strategies. Mothers perceived child resistance as egocentric whereas fewer considered it as establishing personal boundaries. Some age and gender differences were observed. Results supported the heterogeneity of social judgments and practices of individuals within cultures.