Do you say "yes" to too many things? Yep, me too! Learning to set boundaries is hard to teach when most adults struggle to have boundaries themselves.
Part of my parenting journey has been learning while teaching. Most of us did not grow up with a "Modern Parenting" approach. Did you grow up getting spanked? Sit at the dinner table until you eat all your food? Yep, me too!
Our parents did not know better, but we do! So much has happened in the parenting space since we were little kids. One of my favorite quotes is from Maya Angelou, "When you know better, you do better."
So, let's learn how to set boundaries….
- Let's make a change
- You can't set a boundary until you know what needs to be different. Does something feel bad? Have them think about something they don't want to happen anymore.
- Clear Communication
- Setting boundaries is about clear communication with someone, letting them know what you want and don't want. It is essential to be clear and firm.
- Consistency is key
- This can be hard to maintain boundaries. Just because you communicated clearly, does not mean the other person will respect the boundary you have set. It's important to let them know it's not ok every time.
- Kindness is your superpower
- Helping kids understand boundaries starts with modeling. If they want others to respect their boundaries, they need to respect others. The boundary setting is a two-way street!
- No means NO
- Everyone can set boundaries, but sometimes a child doesn't understand the boundary. Just because it's not a big deal to them doesn't mean it's not an issue for someone else. Teaching kids to respect other boundaries is an important skill for people of all ages. This will create lasting, long relationships.
Here are some examples you can practice walking through with your kids.
- Another kid is hitting or pushing
- Playing rough
- Playing too close to a pool
- Not wanting to hug a person or relative