Setting Boundaries with Kids
Your children are your top priority. You will do everything in your power to ensure they are safe. While it's essential to keep your children motivated, it's equally important to keep their behaviors in check.
Setting boundaries with your children will help enforce healthy behaviors and help them grow up in a safe and happy environment. However, some parents assume the best approach to parenting is allowing their kids to do what they want.
However, many times children rebel in a permissive environment. They become angry at their parents for providing no lack of limits and guidelines. And such children may grow up to be angry adults as well.
So it's essential to set rules for your children. If you have several children, you may have to put a different boundary up for each of your children.
What are some things to keep in mind as you set boundaries for your children? Try these:
- Let your children understand the "why." They should know the reasons for the limits and boundaries that you set for them.
- For example, you might say that you don't want to take them to the mall on a Friday evening. The reason is because you might have to wait in a long line, and your children should know this reason.
- When a child knows you have a reason for setting certain boundaries, they are more likely to respect them.
- Set boundaries for yourself. You might set certain hours during which you aren't available to your children and need to take time for yourself.
- Sometimes a parent sets boundaries to protect himself when he feels overwhelmed by the kids. Other times, a parent sets a boundary for themselves, such as limiting themselves to one hour on social media per day.
- When a child sees that his parent limits himself to an hour of social media every day and sticks to it, he'll learn that it's essential to set limits for himself as well.
- Become someone they can trust. Every child needs to know he can trust his parents. He needs to know you love him and that you'll always be there for him. When you set healthy boundaries for your family, it shows them that you're present in their lives.
- Not many children have parents that become their best friends, but you can be one by giving them your full attention.
- And when you back your words with action, you can show them that you always walk the talk. When you make a promise, it's essential to keep it.
- Set boundaries with the correct body language. Researchers consistently point out that verbal communication accounts for only a fraction of what your child picks up from you. The way you communicate through your body is extremely important.
- You need to walk tall, stand straight, and look him in the eye when you talk to him. And when you set rules for him, you must speak firmly.
- Setting boundaries with the wrong body language will cause your kid to think you aren't serious about the rules, so be sure to emphasize your credibility with your voice and your body.
- Become your kid's role model. As a parent, your child looks up to you. He knows that you'll do whatever's best for him. That's why your behavior around the house must be a model for your child.
- If you consistently set firm boundaries and follow through with your rules, your child will grow up to do the same. Your children will set limits of their own one day. But until that point, model the behavior you want to see in them.
Set boundaries for your children to help them grow up healthy. If you want to raise an emotionally stable, intelligent, and confident adult, you must set rules for them. You won't teach them how to be responsible or handle things well if you don't consistently enforce limits.
Want additional help, tools and strategies from a former school counselor, therapist and life coach?
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- Annie M Henderson
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