What went through your mind when you saw the title of this article? Many will say they felt frustration. Boundaries can be frustrating, and yet they don’t have to be.
Are boundaries challenging in your home? I have three tips that just might help:
Tip #1: Boundaries are for teaching and guiding. So many times we use them for punishment and control. However, if you do that, you will find yourself in a load of trouble in the teen years, and beyond. Be conscious of how you are using boundaries with your children. Come from love and a heart of understanding.
Tip #2: Choose your battles wisely. If you create fort knox and die on every hill … well, you can see the problem. Figure out what is important to you as a parent in the area of boundaries, and set the most important ones first. Not running out in front of a car is an important boundary – safety issue. Not stopping to look at flowers or bugs is usually a convenience and time issue. Do you allow time for your children to be curious, or do you find that you say no often?
Tip #3: If your children are rebelling, take a few moments to see if your boundaries are more about control or guidance. Are you boxing your children in, or allowing them to explore … within parameters? If you squash their spirit when they are little, that spirit will come out with a vengeance when they get older … and it will be angry.
Conscious parenting is about being aware of what you are doing with your children, and how they are responding. If you are not getting the results you want, something needs to be adjusted. It may be on their side; it may be on yours. It is important that you look at this frequently. Problems may appear to go away, but they might just be festering. Take the time to pay attention.
Have a fabulous last few days and weeks of summer!