“Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom.” – Henry Cloud

 

Getting your children to set boundaries on themselves is one of the most important roles you need to teach as a parent. Not only teaching children how to think independently, but you are also teaching them how to treat themselves and others.

Setting boundaries for yourself is important so that children do not take the wrong action in adulthood. In fact, many young people today are falling into bad relationships. One of the factors that cause this to happen is the lack of education among young people today regarding the constraints that have been applied since they were young.

It seems a little too late to try to teach adolescence to respect boundaries. Therefore, from an early age child, they must know and respect the boundaries that need to be applied to themselves and their environment.

Here are seven ways parents can teach children about boundaries.

Set a Good Example

Like many other lessons passed on from parents to children, teaching children about healthy boundaries will become easier when parents first set an example in their daily lives. Start by asking yourself the following questions. Do you apply your boundaries consistently? Are the boundaries you set healthy, rigid, or messy? When you must enforce your boundaries with children, do you discuss with them why you do it?

Check yourself regularly about the state of your personal boundaries before you teach your child about boundaries. Keep your boundaries healthy, so that your children have strong role models to follow as they grow up.

Start Setting Boundaries That Apply to Everyone

To help children understand and set limits for themselves, start by setting some basic boundaries that apply to everyone. The core principle that applies to everyone is the boundaries that need to be taught.

You may begin to introduce your child to the boundaries of safety or respect that apply to everyone. For example, speaking politely to an older person. Also, be friendly to everyone. Another example is not easy to believe in strangers.

When children see and respect other people’s boundaries, they are able to set clear boundaries for themselves better.

Teach about Physical Boundaries

These limits belong to the “safety” and “respect” categories. When it comes to physical contact, everyone has their own comfort zone and level. Regardless of age, everyone has the right to protect their body, including children. You need to teach children how important it is to maintain physical boundaries for themselves and others.

Teach them that we should not be arbitrarily towards other people’s physical activities, especially for ourselves. We need to teach that the body is one’s own right. For example, if your 3-year-old child does not want to be hugged by your friend, they have the right to say no and hopes that that wish is respected. Forcing or making children ignore their own feelings can create confusion and self-doubt. This will lead to a lack of self-respect in the future.

Currently, there have been many cases of child abuse. Therefore, learn to respect your child’s feelings, they may feel uncomfortable in a hug or being touched by certain adults because they are uncomfortable. If they are forced to have physical contact with someone they do not like, they may feel they have no choice and may not want to report.

Building Emotional Barriers

Building these boundaries will help your child learn to accept responsibility for their own actions and feelings. The emotional boundaries also will protect them from placing too much importance on feelings and situations that your child has no control over.

While it is important to be able to separate from other people’s feelings, it is also important to be empathetic, considerate, thoughtful, and respectful according to the circumstances. When someone crosses one of your emotional boundaries, it is okay to tell them what happened.

For example, if children feel constantly being bullied by their friends while studying at school, you need to teach them that it is necessary to express their feelings to their friends. For example, a child says, “What you said hurts my feelings. I try not to hurt your feelings and I hope you will pay attention to my feelings too.”

Teach children to express their displeasure. Some parents believe that when children speak up their opinions, they are rude but that is not always the case. Allow them to express themselves and strengthen their boundaries with good communication. After expressing that, children are not responsible for the emotions their friend feels.

Teach Children to Speak Up and Have Choices

Take your time to discuss with children. Give them opportunities to share their successes, failures, questions, and concerns. Children who tend to have the opportunity to express opinions and choices are more likely to follow the rules and obey the restrictions imposed in various places.

Show children that their opinions matter. Teach them to consider their perspectives carefully and explaining why they ultimately make the final decisions about their limits.

Teaching Diversity

Another important part of setting boundaries is making sure children know that everyone is different. We need to teach this because sometimes it is difficult for children to understand how other people feel. After all, they are only focused on themselves.

One thing that can teach children to accept the differences in their environment is to provide activities that give children the opportunity to play with children from different backgrounds, races, and physical abilities who share the same interests.

Teaching Consequences

Make sure children are aware of the consequences ahead of time if they choose not to respect the boundaries. When choosing to make the consequences of certain behavior, let the children make the consequences. Guide them to make the consequences consistent with the statements directly related to the offense.

In addition, make sure the consequences that your child makes are age-appropriate and closely related to the things that they do wrong. This will teach children how to set their own boundaries and predict possible outcomes and consequences in the future.

May 10, 2021

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