Parents hardly ever have it easy when it comes to being the ideal parent. Setting boundaries are essential in life and also with parenting. Boundaries teaches respect, self-discipline and builds good character. A lot of times when it comes to parents and discipline, they are either too strict or not strict enough. As a result, it can be a challenge to find a healthy middle ground. Here are a few tips with setting and enforcing boundaries:
1. Include your kids in the boundary setting process
Come to an agreement with your children on boundaries and consequences; this helps to minimize rebellion, lets them feel heard and makes it easier for them to take accountability. I have asked my kids to tell me what they feel are fair consequences with real life scenarios that are applicable to them. We then work together to create the boundary, discuss accountability to adhering to the boundary, and then agree on reasonable consequences. It’s important to ensure that the consequences of the set boundaries are effective on your children. For example, if your children becomes too engulfed with gaming, and they start to fall behind on their homework and assignments, and you decide to take their phone away as the consequence, this may not affect them because they may have other alternatives for cellphone such as laptops, iPad, etc. Set the consequences to be much more impactful, such as taking the entire gaming system away.
2. Be consistent
Consistency is key if you want these boundaries to work. Yes, in order to keep boundaries you have to enforce and stick to what was agreed upon, even when your children try to get you to cave in. Be strong! Lol. Our kids are smart and they sometimes will try us. It will take some time for your child to understand all the downsides and challenges that come when boundaries are not followed. It’s definitely not the simplest thing that they can deal with, but the results from being consistent with enforcing boundaries will be worth the effort and will help them to learn how to enforce boundaries in their lives as well.
3. Adjust boundaries accordingly from time to time
In order to evolve with your children’s growth and learning, I recommend you revisit and adjust the boundaries accordingly from time to time. When you see that your children makes an effort to abide by the boundaries, share positive words of affirmation and let them know how proud of them you are for respecting and adhering to the boundaries. Your positive feedback will be a motivator for them to keep up the good work.
If you are a parent who needs some help with setting and enforcing boundaries for your children, I would love to help you. Feel free to contact me.