Set Boundaries & Stick to them


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Children like to know where the boundaries are, even sometimes when they complain about them. Boundaries make them feel safe. Your child is going to test the boundaries/rules. If you set realistic boundaries and stick to them, things usually work out pretty well. Don't be too quick to set boundaries to which you cannot or will not adhere. Suggestions and encouragement are a great source of motivation. However, sometimes it's necessary to set clear boundaries, do so, and don't deviate from the boundaries you have set.


When I was a kid we used to camp a lot when on vacation. This took teamwork and everybody knew their part. And looking back on it, even though there were hardships involved sometimes, it was the best bonding and learning experience ever. My folks were instilling tough love in us, helping us understand cooperation, teamwork, and patience among other things. Sometimes we'd skip camping and as a special treat, we'd stay at a motel or hotel with a pool. We were excited about that. One time my dad announced we were going to have a motel night. By this time my brother and I were pretty tired of each other and restless and teasing went on for hours. My dad and mom asked us to quit fighting several times but we had had it and weren't listening in. Finally, my dad laid down the boundaries. If we didn't mellow out and shape up he'd keep right on driving through the night to our destination. We calmed down but didn't believe him. He gave us one last warning but we didn't listen. True to his word he kept driving right past the hotel and drove the rest of the night a part of the next day to our destination. It was a rough night and one I didn't forget. Needless to say, we got the point. On the return trip, we were well behaved and shaped up when he asked us to because we knew he'd stick to his boundaries. And, we got to stay in some great motels and had a blast swimming and sleeping more comfortably.

 

DECIDE IF THE BOUNDARIES YOU'VE CURRENTLY SET FOR YOUR CHILD OR CHILDREN ARE REALISTIC. IF THEY AREN'T, ADJUST THEM. MAKE SURE THAT EVERYONE IN THE HOUSE KNOWS WHAT THE RULES ARE AND WHAT THE CONSEQUENCES ARE FOR BREAKING THEM. BE FIRM BUT FAIR.

-Sifu Dan Timlin

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