Setting boundaries with your children is one of the best ways to show them love. Children crave a secure environment, with clear and defined limitations on how they should behave. Believe it or not, they actually want the rules enforced! As a parent, you are the caretaker who is responsible for creating a safe environment for them, where they can grow and develop into a fully functioning member of society, which they can’t do without a guideline! This is why setting boundaries is one of the most important pieces of parenting. At the same time, it’s also one of the most challenging aspects. Here are a few ways you can establish clear boundaries for your children.
Avoid labeling. Labeling a child bad, or terrible is a quick way to create a lot of self image issues. Both children and adults behave in ways that are sometimes acceptable and sometimes not. Instead, use kindness and respect to convey your feelings on their behavior and guide them in a better direction.
Build trust and follow through. Your children need to know without a shadow of a doubt that they can count on you. When you fail to execute on consequences you’ve placed for poor behavior or actions, your threats will no longer have meaning in their eyes. In order to build trust, make sure follow through with the things you say.
Be clear. A positive environment is not built off of poor communication. When you speak with your children, make sure that they’ve understood by having them repeat the instructions back to you.
Never talk bad about another parent. Parent’s must have a united front in everything related to raising their children. It’s just another way to be consistent.
Get everyone on board. Have a family meeting and let your kids know that you’re implementing some boundaries in the household. Make sure they know its up to everyone to follow the guidelines. This will make your children feel like they share ownership of the rules.
Draw up a paper contract. Review it with the family. Have everyone sign it. This will hold everyone in your family accountable to the new rules. Post the new contract somewhere everyone can see it so it serves as a reminder.
Recognize the changes that occur. Pat your kids on the back for doing a good job. Positive reinforcement and maybe even rewards will encourage your children to continue the good behavior.
Raising children can be incredibly difficult. If you feel like you need some help, try working with a therapist online. A licensed therapist is best suited to help give you some techniques and strategies you can use to help make the job a little easier! Don’t try to do it alone, learn more here.