Creating space for boundaries is a huge, but extremely
important job in the conscious parenting realm. Many people think that when you
are conscious and mindful in raising your beautiful children that the
boundaries are not as important or necessary.
Setting healthy boundaries for our children is important in setting the stage for not only today but also for the future, in raising an adult. Many of my clients come to me needing some support in not only creating healthy boundaries but understanding what a boundary is. Children have a very difficult time growing up in an environment where boundaries are unclear, not expressed or non-existent.
Creating boundaries allows parents to connect with their
values: what is truly important to them for their unique family. The actual
enforcing of boundaries forms conscious limits for children, while also
teaching them responsibility, respect, and perhaps even safety grounded in compassion.
You might be asking yourself right now “what is a boundary?” So, let’s begin there. A boundary is a distinctly clear line that we create about an action or a behavior.
People are always talking about boundaries, but not all of
us have a clear definition of what this word even means. It can be something we
create for our children, or for us. One way I like to think of a boundary is
with a clear line between us and our children. Our children are not extensions
of us. Boundaries, in this case, are important to draw a line where you end and
your child begins. We need boundaries just as much as our children need them.
As parents, we might tend to want to fix things for our children, even the tiniest of things. This is where it is crucial to allow yourself to see this boundary clearly, to see your child as a separate human being and offer your child the opportunity and space to fix or solve their own challenges. While this depends on the age and stage of the child, it is still important to keep in mind at all ages. But even with the youngest of children, we might forget that they can crawl to get the toy themselves as opposed to us grabbing it for them.
Setting boundaries in the classic sense of the word is really about tapping into your own values for your family. It is not about what the Jones or Smiths are doing next door or those in your child’s class. It is not about repeating your childhood conditioning or what you were taught to believe, but listening to your own voice.
It is truly about getting quiet and thinking about what is most important to you as you raise your children.
Define clearly what is important to you and why you believe it
Values change as our children grow. You do not need to stay stagnant in these boundaries. More importantly, reflect regularly on how they are working for you and your family, keeping in mind that, for your own benefit and the benefit of your child, clarity is crucial.
Kids are affected by what we say and what we do; we are
their models. It is so important to practice what you preach.