I often work with extremely honest children. I ask questions that maybe parents aren’t able to ask and being neutral they are not afraid to hurt me with honesty. Boundaries come up either in the child coyly, with a smirk admitting to pushing the boundaries or identify the lack of boundaries and the issues the child experiences because of this. So I work with families to address this because boundaries maybe more important than you think – How do you set yours? These are some guidelines you can think about and put into place yourself. These apply not only to children – adults can benefit from setting boundaries with their peers too.
1. Setting healthy boundaries teaches children their limits, their capabilities and levels of safety.
2. Healthy boundaries, once in place are flexible.
3. Boundaries meet with the most resistance during periods of transition, e.g. nursery to full time school, infants to juniors, juniors to secondary, house move, death of someone close, puberty, etc.
4. Kids do not love boundaries but they miss them when they are not there, what do they use to test their own sense of risk, personal safety, relationship boundaries, etc?
5. A lack of healthy boundaries can make a child feel unsafe, unloved, not cared for and unimportant.
6. Setting clear boundaries helps your child learn how to set their own boundaries so people are less able to take advantage. They help them demonstrate their worth to.others without telling them. It’s a life skill and a relationship skill.
7. They will push against boundaries at all ages and then you know it’a time to re-evaluate and adapt.
8. They play a huge part in the development of their moral compass.
9. Personal safety is not only avoiding physical or verbal attack but also emotional safety, you know what it’s like to be going somewhere and you get lost, the sat nav has no signal, there are no road signs and you are stuck on some busy road with nowhere to turn around or stop and panic sets in. That unsafe, nervous feeling is what children can feel with no clear, healthy boundaries. Their behaviour will reflect this unsafe feeling and they will be as if not more so confused than you
In my experience, parent guilt plays a huge part in struggling with setting healthy boundaries, we can’t do right for doing wrong! If you are struggling with setting healthy boundaries for whatever reason get in touch – we can do a one off boundary setting session or parenting support for your family.
Self knowledge is a super power.#kidsneedboundaries