Sometimes, the word “boundaries” inspires a negative connotation. But they don’t exist to make your life worse – as a matter of fact, they make your life infinitely better.
It takes practice and determination to set boundaries with your children, but don’t give up. Setting boundaries benefits everyone involved. Establish them early on to set an important precedent for your parenting style, help prepare your children for real-world consequences, and show them they have the power to take care of themselves.
1. Model Boundaries for Your Kids
If you don’t model the boundaries you expect your kids to follow, there’s a good chance they won’t model them either. Demonstrate waiting to speak with someone until their phone call has ended, knock before entering a room, and ask to borrow an item before taking it. Clean up after yourself, especially when someone else will use a space after you.
2. Make Boundaries and Consequences Clear
Before you can expect obedience, ensure children understand what the boundaries and potential consequences will be. Ask younger children to repeat your expectations back to you, and ask older children for a written explanation. Leave a space for their signature to emphasize how important this is.
3. Plan Ahead
Don’t make decisions in the heat of the moment. Rather, prepare by anticipating where problems may arise – such as mealtime or preparing for bed – and know your limits.
4. Stay Confident
When your child ignores a boundary, confront them. Avoid weak language and modifiers such as “okay?” at the end of sentences; these make you appear uncertain. Don’t discount your own authority. Stay warm, firm, and confident. Stick to your decisions, even when your child is upset, and be consistent with rules and consequences.
5. Why Boundaries?
Understanding your personal limits and knowing the power of “no” is an essential component of any healthy lifestyle or relationship. By including these in your relationship with your children, you show them that you value yourself, while also preparing them to be an adult who values themselves, sets up their own boundaries, and respects others’ boundaries as well.
For more tips on communication, education, and fun activities for your whole family, check out our Orlando private school blog.