Not So Spooky Boundaries

Fall is here and Halloween is just around the corner which mean spooky and creepy things are everywhere! However, not everything as to be spooky or creepy like these simple and fun boundary tips. Everyone talks about his or her needs boundaries or how you pushed their boundaries, but what does this word really mean? As an adult you might set boundaries for the office, your spouse, and children and most of time these boundaries work. However, as we all know children push boundaries every day to see just what they can get away with. Pushing boundaries is not always a bad thing it’s part of their nature as children to push these limits and learn from them. As parents we sometimes cross boundaries ourselves with our children in order to try and make things easier for them. Of course, you love your child and want to help them in any way you can, but it is also important to separate from your children in order to help grow into healthy adults.

“Think of boundaries as the line you draw around yourself to define where you end and where your child begins”. You might be wondering how do I know when my child is pushing boundaries. Take a look at these examples:

  1. Your teen tells you how to run your life after your divorce.
  2. Your young child tells you what to do and throws tantrums if you don’t do what they say.
  3. Your 10 year old interrupts your conversation with other adults without saying, “excuse me” or waiting politely for a chance to get your attention.

You may feel anxious, angry, and resentful if boundaries are crossed. So, what do you do after boundaries have been crossed, and you are ready to put an end to the madness? Here are four simple tips:

  1. Define your boundaries clearly.
  2. Make your expectations know.
  3. Get your focus on yourself instead of your child.
  4. Let your child feel the impact of a crossed boundary.

Be compassionate with yourself as you learn how to parent with boundaries. Just like children need time and space to learn a new concept so do you. Give yourself space to mess up and praise when you practice boundaries. Practice those same concepts with your children while they learn how to understand and practice boundaries.