This week, I was delighted to hold a training class called ‘How to Safeguard Your Child Against Frenemies, Tricky People and Meanies’ for 80 parents. I love it when parents are open to learning and really embracing a brighter future for their kids. If you missed it, you can still sign up for the replay here.
I was really surprised to learn this week that children aren’t being raised with healthy boundaries – and this is a HUGE problem. Without boundaries we leave ourselves wide open to controlling and manipulative relationships.
If you don’t have boundaries, your child won’t have them either and so they are at risk.
Another surprise: people also don’t really understand what boundaries are – they are not hard rules, punishments or enforced consequences. They are not ways of cutting people off or keeping distance.
Children need boundaries to keep them safe. By setting a boundary, you’re helping your child become familiar with the discomfort and frustration of being told no and learn how to manage this frustration in a healthy and productive way. Children with boundaries also have less anxiety and are able to regulate their feelings better than those that don’t.
Signs that you don’t have healthy boundaries:
+ you say I don’t mind and let others decide for you
+ you punish, threaten or bribe as part of your parenting toolkit
+ you’re unable to say no
+ saying no makes you feel stressed or you turn aggressive
+ you are more concerned with how other people feel
+ you allow others’ moods to affect your mood (including your child)
+ you say sorry a lot, sometimes when it’s not even your fault or to keep the peace
+ you do things for your child that they could do for themselves or when they’ve asked you not to
+ you feel resentful for ‘all you have done’
I then took to Instagram stories (come follow me if you’re not already) to ask people why they found it so hard to say no.
Here are 6 of the common reasons:
- I don’t want to disappoint or let people down (people pleaser)
- I’m afraid people won’t like me (rejection)
- I don’t want people to see me in a negative way (judgement)
- I might lose my friend (abandonment)
- I don’t want to make a fuss (peace keeper)
- I’m scared the other person will get angry (feels responsible for other’s feelings)
Can you see yourself in there?
If you struggle, you might also like to check out my blog post 5 Steps To Setting Boundaries or deep dive into my No More Power Struggles Learning Pack which is a practical step by step guide to setting boundaries in both your personal life and as a parent. It’s life changing.
It’s starts with you!
You learn to set boundaries by connecting to your feelings and working out what feels right for you. It’s different for all of us.
If you continue to live your life without boundaries, you will have unhealthy relationships with imbalanced power. Without boundaries, people will never really know the real you – just the one you pretend to be. You can’t have true intimacy or real love like this.
When you have boundaries, life gets easier, relationships get healthier and your self worth grows. In turn you will pass on all that loveliness to your child.