Feeling powerless has got to be one of the worst feelings, but knowing that it could’ve been avoided, feels even worse. Don’t let this happen to you. Here are 5 Boundaries You Should Set for Yourself and Your Kids so you can take back your power and get exactly what you want out of life.
As I get older, I find that I spend more time in retrospection than I ever have before. Reminiscing about when my kids were younger or even more so when I was. Ah, the “good ‘ole days”.
Back before my boobs started sagging and my elbows started drooping to form their own little skin caves. When my stomach was flat and the only crow’s feet I saw were the ones on birds.
I also think a lot about what-ifs…
Mostly around my kids and my parenting.
What if I hadn’t gone back to work when my youngest was 7. What if I wasn’t such a pushover. What if I hadn’t been a yeller, this one still bugs me. Most importantly though, what if I had set guidelines for me and my kids.
Ya know, boundaries.
Like, hey kids, when mommy and daddy are talking to each other, please don’t interrupt us. Instead, say excuse me and wait until we acknowledge you. Or if I ask you to pick up your things, please do so in a timely manner, then come check in with me when you’re done. Or better yet, don’t get out every toy you own at one time, instead, put away the one you have out before getting out another.
These would have saved us so much yelling and heavy sighing and frustration and tears.
So when I look back on my life so far and wonder, “Do I have any regrets?” The answer is always the same, “I wish I’d set firm and clear boundaries with my kids.”
But I refuse to dwell on it. The past is the past. We cannot change it. All we can do is learn from it.
And I have.
My kids are grown now, mostly, so for us that ship has sailed, but maybe for you, there’s still time to make a change. A change that will allow you to say no without guilt. A change that will give you more time for yourself so you have the energy and patience to give them the best of you every time.
Are you ready to make that change?
Here’s what boundaries can do for you:
- Help everyone feel respected
- Free up more time for what really matters
- Make your relationships better
- Ease resentment
- Stop the fighting and tantrums
- Allow you alone time(them too) so you can take care of yourself
- Help your kids to understand that you are more than their mom, you have needs too
- Help you feel heard and understood
Now, let’s talk about 5 Boundaries You Should Set for Yourself and Your Kids.
- Having a right to your privacy. The best way to show them you respect their boundary in this area is to knock on their bedroom door then ask if you can enter and expect the same from them. Too many parents think they have a right to just barge in on their kids at any time, but seriously, if you want them to respect your right to privacy, teach them by example. You wouldn’t want them bursting in on you in the bedroom without knocking either. Obviously, if you have younger children, this probably won’t be an issue since I doubt they will have their doors closed in the first place.
- To have time to yourself. Everyone needs some time to themselves every once in a while for introspection and to restore their energy. A great way to do this is to schedule alone time into your routines. Give them activities they can do alone in their rooms, maybe put things in a tote for this purpose. Then, when it’s time, everyone goes into separate spaces and spends that time alone. You can make this as short or as long as you want, but you should start short, maybe 15 minutes, then slowly increase the time until you reach the desired amount. Set a timer and make a rule that no one comes out until the timer goes off.
- To be able to change your mind. Don’t force your kids to follow through with things that don’t really matter that much without at the very least talking it through with them. I realize that if Johnny wanted to sign up for soccer and you paid $150 for him to do so, but last minute he’s trying to back out, you’re probably not gonna want to let him. Instead of demanding he still does it, first try to find out why he’s changed his mind. Through discussion, you may discover the reason can be worked out. If it’s more like he said he wanted to go with you shopping, but changes his mind, let him.
- To be able to communicate openly. Try to keep the lines of communication going with your kids. A good way to do this is to approach conversations without judgment and keep your thoughts to yourself, especially if they are negative. Another good practice is to ask questions regularly. “How was your day?”, “What’s something new you’ve been doing?”, or “Anything new or interesting happening that you’d like to share?”. These will help them feel like you are genuinely interested in them, which of course, you should be.
- Right to your own opinion. Just because someone is in a relationship with you, even when they are your kids, doesn’t mean they have to share your opinions. Again, the best way to show you respect this boundary is by having open discussions about their opinions and yours. Talk about why you have yours and allow them to share their reasons for theirs. Never tell them they are wrong for believing in something. This will just alienate them and make them not want to be around you.
Hopefully, now you can see the benefits of setting boundaries with your kids. Boundaries help everyone to feel respected and heard. If you don’t already have clear boundaries set up in your relationships now is the time to get some. Trust me, you won’t regret it, but you may if you don’t do it.
Start simple by choosing one or two of these 5 boundaries to begin with. Let your kids know what they are and why you are setting them. Be sure to explain each one clearly, it may even be a good idea to write them down and put them up somewhere they can easily see them. Don’t get upset with them when they cross a new boundary at first, they need time to adjust to the change. Just give them a reminder and ask them to try to do better next time.
Happy boundary setting!
Want to learn even more about boundaries and how to set them up? Check out my Setting Boundaries Workshop! You can learn more about it here.
Check out all our workshops over our store.