When it comes to boundaries, most of us are not good at setting them and keeping to them. I would say we are probably good at setting them but not keeping to them. We let people cross our boundaries all the time.
When it comes to our children, do we set boundaries and keep to them? Great question?
From a very early age, children are set boundaries whether you do it on purpose or whether you do it unconsciously.
- Don’t touch that
- Don’t hit your sibling
- Brush your teeth before bed
- Eat your vegetables LOL
Some parents start the boundaries at sleep training, and some start when the child becomes mobile, either crawling or walking. We limit where they can go and what they can get into to protect them and keep them safe. When they start school, we have another set of boundaries about making sure they are on time, not to miss the bus or the pickup, and getting homework done. However, do we stick to these boundaries we have set for our children to keep them safe and protected?
The answer is NO….
We get busy being busy, work, other children, running the household, and everything else life throws at us. Then one day, we wake up, and our child is failing grades, being disrespectful, and getting into all sorts of distractions, some of which are not safe and not protecting them. What can be done now – change – then you have resistance and non-compliance.
I would suggest some ideas you may want to consider.
- Start setting boundaries as early in childhood as possible
- Follow through on these boundaries at all times
- An exemption to these boundaries – explain it is a one-time thing, and the boundaries are still in place.
- As a family, agree to the boundaries, so everyone is on board and understands the boundaries’ reason.
- Review the limitations often especially with the change of age
Remember, each child is different; based on personality and character, each of your children may not have the exact boundaries. Be sure to explain the difference and the reason for each decision because they might not quite understand depending on their age.
Children thrive on boundaries and knowing what they can and cannot do; the rewards are for both Parent and child. The parent has less stress about their child’s growth; it builds character, focus, and happiness in the child; therefore, it is a win-win for all.
We all love happy children and happy families; setting boundaries and consistently following through helps you on that journey.
There is no one size fits all, and some families are co-parenting or having generational families living together. That’s when you set boundaries for the adults also. That is a whole other story and for another post.