Boundaries do not need to be complicated or hard to understand.
When a child goes to school, starts to play with other children or befriends other children they will often come back and ask you all kinds of questions. Boundaries are an important part of childhood and good communication skills are all part of having healthy boundaries, especially at home. You can begin teaching your child healthy boundaries from the day they were born.
I'm a mother of a son who is now in his early twenties, but I taught him boundaries way before his teenage years. I never talked to him in terms of discipline, but only explained what was different or right and wrong with each situation as we went along. He learned his limits pretty early on in life!
You can teach your kids the importance of boundaries, too—before they learn it on their own the hard way.
So what are boundaries?
Boundaries are the limits of behaviour we will tolerate from others. So they define the behaviour we’re okay with, and that we will not allow. Our boundaries are set for us by early experiences of parenting. They reflect our need for protection and our strivings to be independent, accomplished, or appreciated. Most of all, they reflect our desire for love and respect.
Healthy boundaries help us to:
- choose between things that matter to us and those that don’t
- experience positive relationships with others
- stop being rused, used, or abused by people in our lives
- say "no" when needed
- and feel good about who we are
Boundaries are an important part of our identity. They define the way in which we are comfortable being treated by others. They dictate where you begin and end, the places you will interact with others. If you don’t have boundaries, you leave yourself open to people who will take advantage of your own good heart.
And now for the good news.....
This approach to healthy boundaries will translate into healthy romantic relationships, as your children transition to the teenager years, and on into young adulthood. Having healthy boundaries will help your child to make better decisions in their relationships with others.
Boundaries are essential in maintaining a healthy relationship. The problem is most of us never learn about boundaries growing up and that can lead to unhealthy relationships as adults. Creating healthy boundaries can begin at any age. They take practice and commitment.