The Need and Necessity of Setting Boundaries for Yourself and Your Children

 

Today we are continuing our conversation around boundaries building further on a previous blog post, the necessity of instilling boundaries for yourself and your children. We discussed some of the many benefits of those boundaries for your children directly.  Many parents don’t have boundaries for their kids because they don’t have them for themselves either. The benefits to you as the parent are as follows:

  • Alone time for yourself during the day.
  • Time to get work done whether we’re talking housework or business.
  • Time for your personal devotional life.
Building boundaries begins when children are still in infancy. Click To TweetBabies learn very quickly that when they cry, mom comes. Babies have different cries for different things and its up to mom to discern what those cries are and respond appropriate. Some cries mean a dirty diaper, others mean hunger, others mean discomfort as as the clothing all bunched up in the wrong places, others need something to suck on and lost the soother and are not thumb suckers, others lose the stuffy they’ve already become attached to. BUT. . . some babies have to be taught to nurse now, not every 10 minutes because they happen to like cuddle time. Grazing babies hurt mom’s milk-generation abilities. Mom needs to set down set feeding times when this happens so that she has enough milk to give baby and to teach baby to eat when the milk is available. Normally baby’s needs dictate mom’s lactation, but not in this circumstance, and it’s frequent enough for consultants to teach moms regularly how to set boundaries for baby’s nursing. The problems that mom can experience around this problem alone can have dire consequences to both mom and baby in the breastfeeding months.

But if baby learns they can bring mom running at every beck and call, this will carry through into the toddler years. Baby will deliberately toss the stuffy and then cry to make mom come to retrieve it so baby and mommy are sharing time together. Baby will refuse to nurse in the middle of the night but make mom think she wants to nurse just to have midnight cuddle time. Mom should make sure all needs are met prior to bedtime and then pay attention to typical diaper soiling times, typical nursing times, and not engage baby at night unless those needs are genuinely present. Put baby in another room so baby learns independence, quietness, and learns to sleep on their own. Mom needs her own space at night, especially as a single mother, and the bedroom should be the one place in the house mom can go where the kids are not allowed in when the door is shut. Click To Tweet

Moments of RestAs baby grows, toddler will amplify the lessons learned during babyhood, so if mom did not set down boundaries during babyhood, toddler will become very entitled and become what we often call “bratty”, particularly if they are an only child. To prevent or address bratty behaviour, don’t respond to tantrums in ways that make the child feel appeased or that they got what they were demanding. If they get whinny, demanding, begging, make such behaviour an automatic and unequivocal “NO!” Teach your children from the time they are small that manipulative behaviour will always result in NOT getting what they wanted, but polite, respectful behaviour will result in yes’s more frequently as time and money permit. You will go through periods where you can’t say yes because the budget doesn’t allow for it, or the schedule doesn’t allow for it. This is actually a good thing. Your children need to know that they can’t get what they want in life all the time, and to learn to be ok with that. By the time your child is in school, being ok with mommy having alone time, and being ok with not getting their way should be common place.

grocery shoppingHowever, if you have been the type of mother who gives in when the kids whine and complain and beg and plead, you’ve told them you don’t have a backbone, you can be controlled and manipulated, and if they put up enough of a fuss long enough, you can be swayed and worn down to give them what they want. This behaviour often manifests most prevalently in public places. Here, you need to stand your ground and make sure you verbally state to your child, for the benefit of those around you, that tantrums don’t get what they want and the answer will remain “no”, or remain “we are going now”. In fact, if their tantrum means slowing you down when you should have been taking them somewhere on their after-school schedule, let it pass too and once the child has calmed down, explain that their tantrum not only made the child look bad in public, but also cost them such and such event they were supposedly looking forward to earlier. Explain that tantrums don’t get rewarded and now they’ve missed out again.

Eventually the child will realize their acting out is working against them. But in the meantime, you as the mother need to stand your ground. In fact, the more tired you get of their behaviour, the less likely their demands should be met at all. You don’t want to raise an entitled child. The current global climate is full of entitled young adults who are tearing their world to shreds because they are offended by anything and everything, looking for fights, and rioting when they don’t get their way. They have not been taught to cope with negativity nor cope with things not going their way and this is due to how so-called experts told the parents to raise these adults back when they were toddlers. Schools handed out participation awards and the idea of teaching desired behaviour became a suggestion instead of an imperative. Lack of boundaries has caused a world of trouble for us, but your family doesn’t need to follow suit. You can be part of an army of moms raising their children to understand boundaries, understand limits, understand disappointment and how to cope with it, understand that they won’t always get their way or get what they want when they want it.

By extension, you will gain peace of mind, peace of heart, and have a calmer home in which to retreat while the world goes mad around you. Boundaries are your friend and they are your children’s friend as well.

How are you teaching your children to handle disappointment? How are you taking steps to ensure they never suffer from entitlement? Tell me in the comments.

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