Parents frequently ask me to work on setting boundaries to their children and I definitely offer many tools on how to do that. Although one important aspect we need to explore first is how do I put boundaries TO MYSELF?
  • Do I ignore my own boundaries in order to please other people?

  • How much am I able to say “no” to my children and still contain their anger / sadness / frustration?

  • How much am I in tune with my own needs, even basic needs like sleeping or eating?

  • Do I practice self-care?

Children will not learn to respect OUR boundaries, if we OURSELVES don’t respect our boundaries! Moreover, if we are going to show them that love is about SAYING YES ALL THE TIME, TO EVERYTHING, there is a huge probability that at least one of our children will grow into an adult that also ignore his own boundaries, and will please other people, sometimes even up to dangerous situations, or abuse….

The first step in setting clear boundaries to our children is TO MODEL PERSONAL BOUNDARIES.

A few practical examples:

  • Don’t drop anything you are doing in order to get your child water / food / a toy – It’s ok to say: “no, I can’t right now”, or “I’ll finish my coffee and will be right there”…

  • Share, talk about, and model to your children how you practice self-care: go out with a friend, practice sports or a hobby, nap, treat yourself with something tasty.

  • If your child asks you to play with her, it’s ok to say “I don’t feel like playing right now” or “No, I don’t really enjoy this game”.

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