Healthy Boundaries

Establishing Clear Boundaries for Children

By Constance Ndeleko

Boundaries are mostly considered typical in the society because people agree that they are reasonable ways to like. Boundaries are social rules that establishes a bottom-line about what is acceptable and what is not.

Not all boundaries are good and children should be taught on importance of boundaries and setting their own boundaries accordingly. When children understand more about boundaries then they will be more elaborate in their own accounts as well as understand other people as well.

As caregivers, we are responsible of ensuring children rights are protected and promoted at all cost. This as well calls for us to teach our children in the society about healthy boundaries.

Children are inquisitive in nature and they would want to test and understand their own environment by exploring. As they grow they are always pushing their own boundaries e.g. when they attempt to sit, crawl and walk. They keep falling but they push through until they finally win the race victoriously.

In this regard, we choose to accept their journey as we have no choice into their own growth and development as they become independent. Repeatedly, children will make mistakes and we will be there to guide them respectfully on how to test their limits. We are not meant to get angry and violent with them but to correct and show them the right paths they should walk in.

Children learn from their environments and we should all be cognizant of the fact that they mirror what the society/people around them. Thus, it is upon us to instill good values that will help them navigate through their adulthood.

Children need boundaries to keep them safe and secure. They need to be protect from danger and harm. When you teach them not to touch fire then they will stay safe, they will not cross the roads without supervision, they should not allow other people to touch their private parts then that’s the road map towards setting healthy boundaries.

Setting boundaries doesn’t mean challenging children’s ability but setting pace for health grounds which are meaningful to them and others. They should know that as much as they get a lot of attention they are not also to be dominant and demand everything that they want. Career gives should establish a healthy talk to ensure that children understand why they can and cannot have certain things at some point.

Lack of boundaries slopes a child’s sense of themselves. There is a clear difference between good self-esteem and self-absorption. Not having limits sows the seeds of narcissism and entitlement. It also cheers a child to think about the people and things around them as things that exist to meet their needs and give them what they want. Children without boundaries or discipline will get a rude awakening when they don’t always get what they want.

Setting boundaries reduces chances of conflict and arguments as it positions children to a certain understanding where when one crosses the other it becomes a violation which could be punishable. When they know of the consequences that follow when they bend the rules then they also learn to live righteously with others.

Chances are, when children are learning from us they will also try to implement the same in their own space. Give or take, we have all been in a point where our children, brothers or sisters want their own space and we could do nothing but to allow them to be themselves. Same applies to setting boundaries. We can always allow them to set reasonable boundaries that are healthy and when it is not accordingly, we can correctly explain why the boundary won’t work and that they can revise the terms.

Here are a few tips on establishing healthy boundaries:

Setting family rules: Go through the set of rules with your children and let them know you’re open to listen and hear them out if they think they are unfair. There could be negotiations and sometimes there couldn’t.

Need for Effective communication: Show you children the right steps to communication and reassure them that they can voice their opinions and needs in a respectful manner so that other people can also understand them. This applies to them being disciplined and polite.

Instructions should be brief: This will allow easy understanding of the set rules and requirements. This will also allow them to absorb and remember the rules next time.

Consistency is key: Don’t keep changing the rules every now and then. If their bed time is at eight then let it be. This will enable them to fall through with the plan as they are still growing.

Exercise patience: As children grow and develop they also need to be understood. This will enhance their adaptability to things and their environment. Grace yourself with patience to allow them to make the mistakes and patiently correct them as you move forward. Don’t shout or beat up children when they don’t understand. Revise the rules, wordings, use actions and other relatable examples to ensure you’re all on the same page.

Healthy boundaries are paramount to a child’s growth and development for them to realize their full potential.

Photo: Courtesy

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