Creating Boundaries out of Love!

 Boundaries always seem like a taboo word when parenting or when working with children. Boundaries are often thought of as limiting our children from fully expressing themselves and is seen as something very restrictive. Sometimes we think that perhaps our children are young and do not require boundaries. But we often forget that boundaries created actually come from a place of love and care for our children.

Boundaries are loving limits that we set for the children to keep them safe, helping them to understand safe ways to deal with their big emotions, a learning curve in problem solving and guiding them to communicate their thoughts and emotions into words. Our focus is always to connect with your child’s emotions rather than behaviour. For example, “It’s ok to feel angry, but it’s not ok to hit.” Thus, it is never too young to create boundaries for our children. However, boundaries do differ from age to age and needs to be appropriate. For example, a child that just started walking will need boundaries while exploring the place. However, at that young age we try using one/two words or very short phrases to get our point across. Whereas, a child from around playgroup will be able to express himself/herself better and the boundaries created can be more specific. For example, “I can see that you are frustrated, but I do not like it when you scream. You can say ‘please help me’!”.

Phrases we could use to create boundaries:

“I can see that you need your own space now. When you are ready I will be here waiting for you.”

“It sounds like you are having a tough time. What can we do to make it better?”

“If you make a mess, you have to clean it up.”

“I hear that you are feeling upset now. However, it is not ok for you to hit me. How about we try using your words to talk instead?”

“Could you bring your voice down a little so that I can better understand you.”

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