Tag Archives: boundaries

Healthy Boundaries are Necessary to Set Good Limits
Family Discussion

Boundaries refer to the separation of responsibilities between me and my child. Limits refer to what behaviors I am ok with and what I am not. To have appropriate limits, it is essential to establish healthy boundaries.

Your child’s thoughts, emotions and behavior are NOT your responsibility. 

Your thoughts, emotions and behavior are your responsibility, never your child’s.

You are not responsible for your child’s happiness. You are 100% responsible for everything you say and do.

This principle of responsibility underlies the effective and successful application of any and all of your parenting. This is a strong boundary.

But do you look at your children’s behavior as a reflection of your parenting? Do you see acting out behavior as a sign of your inadequacy? Do you feel resentful when you do so much and get so little appreciation? If yes, your boundaries need some shoring up.

Healthy Boundaries 

A boundary is the dividing line between me and my child (or anyone). On my side of the boundary, I know what my problems, emotions, behavior, and responsibilities are. And I do

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What Are the Secrets that Make Children Successful?
Confident Kid

As far as I can tell, most parents want to raise successful children to reach launch-age fully capable of conducting their lives with responsibility and respect. When they leave the safety of their nests feeling self-confident, competent, resilient, and have the drive to contribute positively to the world, they are ready to greet whatever comes at them. We want our children to go out into the world capable of finding success yet able to weather the bumps and storms with a strong sense of self. But, what are the secrets that make children successful?

We do not want our kids to launch with the attitude that the world owes them, they are separate from the rules others must follow, and they shouldn’t have to work hard for what they want. We want them to create interdependent relationships with others and not use their individual power to push others out of their way.

Most of all we want our children to feel inspired and fulfilled in their lives, doing what they love, satisfied with most of their choices and in mutually

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Gratitude from Your Child’s Perspective
mom and infant

“My child is so ungrateful.” 

“Why can’t he ever appreciate anything?”

“She has no consideration for anyone but herself.”

Gratitude isn’t something to be taught but to be experienced. I’m coming to understand that gratitude is hard to come by without love. It’s hard to feel gratitude or consideration for others when one feels unloved or unlovable. As Mr. Rogers said, “All anyone wants is to feel loved and know they are capable of loving.”

Love must involve feeling unconditionally accepted for who you are. That is the work for all parents. Once you can accept your child for who he is—that means not sending the message you wish he were different, she was more like her sister, he can’t meet up to your expectations, there’s something wrong with her—you never need worry about whether this child will be grateful or considerate of others. It doesn’t mean accepting behavior. It does mean accepting that this child at this moment in time is behaving this way because she can’t help it—because she is having a problem. 

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It’s Okay To Parent Differently
Two Parents with Son

Q. My husband and I see the world—and parenting—differently. He is a type B personality (always looking for his keys), and my son and I are type A personalities (we never misplace anything because there’s a place or “home” for everything and everything in its place. How do we raise our son with two different and most times opposing parenting styles? Do we go by Mom’s style when Dad’s at work and Dad’s way when Mom’s at work. I figure that our son is learning to be flexible and learning that different rules apply at different homes or with different people. My husband, on the other hand, thinks we’re confusing him. He and my son seem to butt heads more often than our son and I do. When this happens, my husband thinks we are ganging up on him.

A. I know of no families where mom and dad have exactly the same parenting styles. And most are very different. What you describe here are different personalities—inborn temperament styles. You are different people with different blueprints and will parent your

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How To Get Your Kids to Listen-The First Time
Kid Not Listening

How to get your kids to listen (the first time you ask!), without the frustration of yelling, nagging, or asking the same question again and again and again, takes connecting with them-before you start asking.

Q. My kids don’t listen to me—ever. I end up shouting till I’m hoarse, even when I’m in the same room. I didn’t bargain for having to go through this every time I need them to come to a meal, get ready for school or even go for a playdate or something else they love. I would have been grounded and spanked if I didn’t become a yes-man to my parents with everything they said. I don’t do that, but I do expect at least some respect and cooperation. They seem to think they can be anyway they want with me.

A. Next time you have that mental reaction of “They never listen”, intentionally switch your focus and think about what they’re doing. Are they engaged in something (whether or not you approve) that is holding their attention?

When children are focused on something the

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How To Ask A Controlling Grandparent to Back Off
Indulgant Grandmother

Q. I am the mother of two kids, 6 and 8. My mother’s overprotectiveness and interfering nature drives me nuts. She is a fixer for sure and has even called my boss when I shared problems I was having at work. It’s like she is my children’s parent, and I am the nanny. She tells me what to do and what they need. My parents are hugely helpful as my husband and I work from home and the kids are with them 4 days a week. But they give the kids way too much sugar and buy them things without consulting us. I don’t feel like I can tell them not to because they do so much for us. My husband thinks they don’t trust him to look after us. They are always dropping off things they think we will need. I feel angry and guilty and don’t know what to do. 

A. I hope that grandparenting will one day become as popular a topic as parenting has become. Grandparenting is not parenting—unless the grandparent has had to assume that

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The Difference Between Limits and Boundaries and Why It’s so Important
Parents listening

If you want your children to become respectful, responsible people, you must model that behavior. With poor boundaries, this is hard to do.

Contrary to popular opinion, boundaries and limits are very different from one another, although many use the words interchangeably. The word boundary is often used to refer to setting limits. Kids “push boundaries” or they won’t “listen to the boundaries”. It is the rare parent who understands the true meaning of boundaries. And it’s no wonder. Many of us were not brought up with them.

When we say someone doesn’t have good boundaries, we are talking about a dividing line between two people and their personal space and responsibilities. 

When people blame others or situations for how they feel or for their life circumstances, they have crossed that line, taking no responsibility for themselves. They have poor boundaries. 

Good boundaries are essential for a family to work cooperatively as a team.

Limits

Limits are what you impose to keep your children safe and behaving appropriately. Limits are parameters you set around your children’s behavior using your parental

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Teaching Your Children Self-Control

You come home at the end of the day. Maybe you’ve picked up one child from daycare and another from a playdate. Your tired, you don’t have anything prepared for dinner, and you long for some space.

And your kids go at it. Even if its loud fun screaming, it’s draining. But if it’s fighting or demanding, you just don’t have any dealing power. You end up shouting for them to be quiet, to just get along and stop bothering you. Of course you know that won’t work. They will come at you harder. But you can’t even think straight. You need quiet and time.

You know that, but your kids don’t. This is why parenting is the hardest job on the planet. You must continually twist your perspective to understand what your kids understand. Not many parents do that. You tell them what to do—or else….

The expectations on your kids, the messages they hear is they should know better, they should be more considerate of your needs, they listen and do what you say.

What you are

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Why Building Connection Early Can Save Battles with Teens
Mom and Son

 

I often read Meghan Leahy’s advice in her column On Parenting for The Washington Post. I saw this headline, How do I connect with my teen son while respecting his independence, and had to read what she would say to this mom. After all, this is totally my wheelhouse. She said it so well that I wanted to share it with you. I hope that parents of little children read it as well. Focus on connection shouldn’t wait for the teen years. 

I work with so many parents of teens who were able to get them to do what they were told as younger children. These parents thought they were doing the right thing, but controlling, coercive methods of parenting—like time outs, threats, removing favorite things, grounding—tend to backfire when the child reaches the age of realization that they don’t have to do what they’re told anymore. They can even switch their allegiance from annoying parents to peer groups.

To be the parent your kids still look to for support and guidance, connection and problem solving rather than threats, blame

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How to Stop Reacting in the Heat of the Moment
Mom's On The Phone!

We all know what it’s like to get our buttons pushed. It feels like an attack and a flooding of emotion. We tend to retaliate automatically—it’s that fight, flight or freeze reaction. Typically, we lay blame on our children for doing the pushing or ourselves for being inadequate. But seldom do we do anything to change this often damaging dynamic because it feels beyond control.

You’ve tried everything, right? Everything to get your children to change. But those buttons are our responsibility, not our children’s. They wouldn’t be pushing them if there were no button to push. Some parents, for instance, have an immediate reaction to being called “stupid”. Others do not. Why? Because it has to do with your individual past. Yes, your child needs to be accountable for her behavior, but if your button is pushed, you will react, teaching her the power of what did the pushing—calling you “stupid”, talking back, resisting, not listening, whatever triggers you. And so it continues.

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