Boundaries, why are they needed? - by Derek Randel & Gail Randel M.D.
Imagine a child
who lacks ownership of his own life, has no self-control & lacks respect for others. If these were the qualities of your son, how would you feel for his future wives?
Yes, wives is plural, this is one major reason we need to set boundaries for our children – their future. One study showed that children
born recently on average will have more spouses than kids.
Here are a few examples
of children who lack boundaries:
1. Little Johnny
walks right into his parent’s bedroom whenever he wants. It doesn't matter if the door was open or closed.
2. 12 year-old
Steve changes the channel on the television whenever he wants. It doesn't matter if anyone was watching a show or not.
3. Susie blames others for her mistakes. It always seems to be her teacher’s fault, brother’s fault, or a friend’s fault when something doesn't go right.
4. Marie is uncomfortable with how her boyfriend treats her & pressures her for sex. She keeps dating him because she questions who else would want to date her.
boundaries children will have problems in relationships, school & life. Many
times addictive behavior can be traced to lack of boundaries.
Here are a few results
that can occur:
1. Children can have controlling behavior
2. Children can
be motivated by guilt or anger.
3. Without firm
boundaries children are more likely to follow their peer group. For example, making unwise
choices on sex, drinking, or driving.
4. Children don’t
own their own behavior or consequences, which can lead to a life of turmoil.
5. Children may
allow others to think for them.
6. They may allow
someone else to define what his or her abilities will be. This denies their maximum potential.
7. When someone
has weak boundaries they pick up other’s feelings.
8. Weak boundaries may make it hard to tell where we end & another person begins.
is a parent to do? Many times we hinder the child from developing boundaries. Here
are a few suggestions to help you set boundaries:
Recognize & respect the child’s boundaries. For example, knock on their closed bedroom door instead of
just walking in.
2. Set our own
boundaries & have consequences for crossing them.
3. Avoid controlling the child.
4. Give two choices;
this helps our children learn decision-making skills.
5. Realize we must
teach our children boundaries; they're not born with them.
6. When you recognize that boundaries need to be set. Do it clearly, do it without anger & use as few words as possible.
7. We need to say what hurts us & what feels good.
8. It may be difficult
to set a boundary. You may feel afraid, ashamed, or nervous, that’s okay, do it anyways.
Another way to work with boundaries & children is to model these for our children.
1. Recognize your physical boundaries.
2. You have the
right to request proper treatment, i.e., poorly prepared meals in a restaurant should be sent back, ask others to smoke away
from your space & ask that loud music be turned down.
3. Share your opinions with your children. Allow your children their opinions. Opinions aren't right or wrong. This will help them think for themselves.
4. Teach them how
you decide on the choices you make.
5. Lets own what
we do & what we don’t do. Take responsibility for when things go wrong.
6. Accept your
thoughts, it's who you are.
7. Discover what
your limits are, emotional & physical.
Setting boundaries is
all about taking care of ourselves. This is the first guideline we teach in our workshops. Other benefits include:
1. We'll learn to value, trust & listen to ourselves.
2. Boundaries are also the key to having a loving relationship.
3. Boundaries will help us with our personal growth.
4. We'll learn
to listen to ourselves (trusting our intuition). We also will learn to respect & care for others & ourselves.
5. Boundaries will aid us in the workplace.
Boundaries are all about
freedom & recognizing when these freedoms have been crossed. Boundaries give us a framework in which to negotiate life events. Recognizing & acting when our boundaries have been crossed will protect our freedom.
to winning relationships for both parties. By building foundations based on mutual trust, love & respect we can expect our children to grow up more tolerant & with a mature character. Simply put, boundaries
Building Self Confidence In Children-Excellent Approach to Kids Self Confidence
by Raymond Teh
This article describes building self confidence in children. Children are very sensitive for encouragement and
learning progress. They need the support from adults or guardians from their environment to grow up well balanced. Therefore,
it is very important to know that the adults or parents play an important role for building self confidence in children.
Provide children self confidence. It is important that children developed a positive image of their
own. A positive image means that they are self confident, that they know their own limits and trusts their own abilities.
People who are having a positive image have more fun in life. They can handle themselves in tough situations. So, it is the
same situation for children, in order to start building self confidence in children, adults and parents should bring out the confidence
in their kids. This feeling is not congenital. It¡¯s created by the environment of the kid. True verbal and not verbal messages
are very important to give many kinds of great of signals to the child. He or she sets this in to feelings of being accepting
new things and activities in their lives. These messages are some sorts of important and useful signal that been created and
stored in the children subconscious mind.
Give the children the value that they deserved. The most important thing
is that we accept them for the person that they are. Whatever the children done right, we shall provide them with great compliments
and celebration as an encouragement to continue their successes. If the children done something that are not really appropriate,
then we have to give them great advices with right manner without yelling at them. We have let them to know that they are
in the progress of learning and every mistake that they made eventually created another value for them for leaning another
new thing. This will help for building self confidence in children.
Let children to be independent. Even it takes
longer or if they making a mess, kids actually learn a lot more by trying out for them self¡¯s. Patience and confidence can
do a lot. Give kids the time and space to tryout something new and learn from their mistakes. Provide them with helping and
cares if they need it, and be proud if they achieved their goal. Our progress for building self confidence in children will
be worthy if the kids get more learning possibilities. Kids learn this way to become more confident. Some example exercises
that we can try are letting children to solve their puzzle games by themselves.
Always encourage kids to try out new
things. By giving kids positive thoughts and advices they learn to improve their skills and behavior. They learn to expand
beyond their limits higher that we cannot ever imagine. When the children facing failure and feeling down, please step by
their sides, bring them up again to solve the problems that they are facing. Let them understand that they are actually on
stepping stone to success and they are the one who have the wills and powers to overcome the problems. Playing strategy boards
games and scrabbles will provide them the opportunity to try on their own abilities. Hence, building self confidence in children
can be a fun and learning process.
Give them the perfect role model. Kids learn a lot from adults. The way we and other
adults deal with them will influence them a lot. We have to act as a role model to give them the right example.
can start building self confidence in children now to start building their path to success.
Life Without Limits - There Are No Restrictions - Everything is Endless and Abundant
by Cindy L. Herb
How many people believe they have limits? On a physical level,
perhaps that has been the case. However, are you really limited from achieving anything, despite what you may currently believe?
do you believe you are limited?
Why are most children so joyous? Could it be that they do not see danger and
live without limits? What changed? Do you remember, as a child, your parent stopping you from touching fire or putting your
finger in an electrical socket? They did not want you to burn or shock yourself. Am I right? As you grew, encountering things
that others perceived as harmful, this pattern repeated itself. Although this training was necessary at the time, it also
had a residual effect. Over time, you learned that, without some form of limit, you might cause yourself harm.
at this pattern from another standpoint, can you concede that by listening to what others tell you that you are putting yourself
in an inferior position to them? Believing you are either inferior or superior to another is a state of judgment. Therefore,
although not anyone's fault, you began living in a state of judgment. In addition, since judgment causes one to feel separate
and not equal, it will give you the illusion that you are incomplete, further exacerbating the feeling of restrictions.
is the solution?
Consider that you are equal. How can you achieve such a concept? Contemplate performing
a scientific experiment. When undergoing such a test, you observe with a complete, whole model as your measure. You accept
all the parts. Therefore, everything is part of the whole, and nothing is separate. Everything is equal. Only when everything
is part of the whole, do you have access to everything. You are complete.
Think about the statement, "The
spirit of God is everywhere." Does this not mean that He is whole and encompasses everything, without limit, including
you and me? If the spirit is inside of us, then we also are whole, without any restrictions. Therefore, under these circumstances,
you will not have limits, as everything is endless and abundant. When you allow yourself this realization of equality, you
can erase limiting patterns.
was written by Cindy L. Herb and may be reproduced on any related website provided the text is not changed in any form and
this copyright statement is displayed unedited in its entirety at the foot of the article and you use the exact same HTML
code to ensure a clickable link back to the author's site. Further articles are also available. Contact the author for more
information. Copyright 2009 Cindy L. Herb, http://www.cherbchronicles.com. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Cindy L. Herb, author of Awakening the Spirit: The Open Wide Like a
Floozy Chronicles, specializes in Mind, Body, and Spirit healing, and Physical/Sexual Abuse Recovery. As an inspirational
speaker, Cindy L. Herb offers others an alternative approach to healing from any trauma, allowing people to view life's tribulations
as an opportunity for spiritual growth. http://www.cherbchronicles.com. To download your FREE report, Some Helpful Steps to Healing, please visit the author's
Yes Virginia, There are Functional Families!
by Lynne Namka Ed. D.
Virginia Satir, pioneer in family therapy, was the first to
describe a healthy, happy family and the poor coping strategies
of families caught in dysfunction. Nowadays everyone seems to come from a dysfunctional family that dealt with the hard knocks
of life by creating more confusion and pain. Satir taught congruence and straight communication skills as a way of stopping the unhappiness that some families create
down through the generations. I remember the day she charged us to go forth into the world and bring functionality to our
families and to the business world.
So what is a functional family? Is there such a thing as a functional family?
watched my daughter and her husband and their nine month old son during the Christmas visit. I observed as Kathy, radiant
and loving as a new mother, played with Michael setting firm limits and telling him no when necessary . She allowed the baby
to freely explore and experience his new world as only a determined baby who has just learned to crawl can do. When Michael
got stuck between the couch and a post, Kathy watched patiently as he cried, struggled and worked his way out. When he cried,
no one shushed him or rushed over to save him. Jim, the proud father, sat on the floor with them laughing and playing with
the baby and occasionally reaching over to give Kathy a hug or a kiss. Jim rough housed with the baby teaching him to enjoy
the rough and tumble of life; Michael squealed with delight. I saw how the parents disagreed over things and worked their
differences through. Jim’s parents died when he was young and he was raised by his older brothers and sisters. He said
that this was the best Christmas of his life. Seeing the look of loving and being loved on his face and my daughter’s
joy, I was honored to be a part of their first Christmas with the baby.
This is a functional family I thought. Love,
self expression, necessary limits. Allowing feelings even the not-so- comfortable ones. Negotiation of conflict not avoiding
it or escalating it into aggression. Compromise, meeting each other’s needs while keeping one’s own self constant.
The constancy of firm discipline both for the parents and children. The seeing the best in others, viewing the glass half
full instead of empty. Staying true to the family’s needs for honesty and integrity.
what Satir talked about--what I had been so hungry for coming from a family that did not know how to handle conflict without
isolating, blaming, giving in or manipulating. Which I had allowed in my own children’s lives when they were young,
because it was all I knew how to do. Then I met Virginia Satir, took her training and slowly started to clean up my act. The
determination to be direct and straight in all my relationships had paid off not only in my life but in my children’s.
Probably the best investment in life that I had ever made was those dollars spent for training with Virginia Satir. She taught
me techniques to heal my own long-held-hurts from my own family pain and to deal straight with others. My children learned
through my directness what they had not been taught earlier on. Now the payoffs in good mental health continue through the
Then I thought about what breaks into a functional family system. What stressors cause husband and
wife to pull apart, distance and slowly erode the love that they had pledged? The external stressors are job loss, financial
strain, illness and too busy schedules resulting in not taking time for each other. Extensive job demands and workaholism
can result in family pressures and strain pulling parents away from the needs of the children. Telling children that the negative
feelings they have aren’t real.
But it’s the adaptations to the stressors that define functionality. It’s
the way we cope with stress and conflict not what happens to us. The inspirational literature is full of examples of people
with severe adversity in their life who make it against the odds. The difference between winners and losers seems to be how
we cope with failure, with betrayal, with trauma and with those aspects in those we love that are so irritating. It’s
the inner demons that create dysfunctional families.
The internal strains come from fear and unmet needs deep in the
psyche that create giving in too much and giving up one’s self or conversely, selfishness, egocentricity and refusal
to see problems from the other person’s point of view. The demons not addressed slay the integrity of the self. Not
having a way to negotiate conflict and fight in healthy ways sets the stage for below-the-belt-fighting. Refusal to know one’s
own anger results in expressing it sideways in manipulation or aggression. Denial of one’s problems--not owning up and
dealing with addictive needs create the most severe forms of dysfunction in families. Alcohol and substance abuse, reacting
to physical attractions to people outsideYes. No person is so lucky to go through life without hard knocks. But help is available
for the asking to help families gain strategies and skills for dealing with tough times.
All families have their challenges.
Aversity happens. Trials and tribulations can create character. They send family members into anger, depression or refusal
to take responsibility. Those tantalizing demons of fear, addictive urges, denial and defensiveness create havoc in families.
It’s what we do with adversity that creates the life well lived or one of despair.
So I got to thinking about
what we need to teach children to prepare them for times when life does knock them around? What tools and techniques do children
need to prepare themselves for the difficult times in life? As we move into this new century, what is the best that we can
teach our children so that they will be self reliant? What is it to be really fully human living free and expressive? Why
don’t we teach children the truth of what they are--a beautiful expression of love?
So in response to these
poignant questions which have to do not only with our creating inner peace, but also peace in our world, I wrote a tribute
to what Virginia Satir taught. . .
What if every child were taught that . . .
....feelings, especially bad
ones, are just that--feelings come and go and can be watched and called by their name and released. That uncomfortable feelings
can be self soothed by rubbing your body and breathing deeply when upset or hurt. That feelings of anger, disappointment and
sadness can be talked about in safe ways with people who help you understand them. That fears are mice with nervous stomachs
....scrapes and small fixes can be gotten out of by using the old noggin to problem solve. That you
are responsible for the consequences of actions and to think before speaking or acting. That learning sometimes involves making
errors. That it’s okay to make a mistake with the choice to learn from it. That taking responsibility and making amends
for what you did wrong is one of the biggest boosters to self esteem. That constructive criticism can be listened to use as a challenge
to do better next time. That you can choose love people who are problem solvers and do not sweep issues under the rug.
is part of life and the determination to get up and try again is a handy tool to deal with it. That the negative dialogue
with oneself after failing can be stopped. That you fail only when you give up and let failure get you down by defining yourself
as a failure. That the world can be seen through the lens of optimism. That there are some things that you can change and
some things that just need to be accepted.
....grownups are responsible for handling their own pain. Children need
not take in the negative feelings of others. Kids should be kids. Kids should not expected to take care of adults who are
hurting or choose to remain caught in addictions. That good help is available for those who want it.
those in the world who don’t feel good about themselves who might use put downs and bad labels. Unkind words can be
refused and deflected rather than internalized.
....conflict is inevitable. That confrontation and threat can be met
with techniques of fair fighting and conflict resolution. That denial of anger is a defense that sets up an unhappy life.
That anger is a normal human emotion that can be expressed appropriately.
....the darker aspects of yourself are part
of being human and are to be understood and transformed rather than be denied or railed against. And conversely, to learn
to be empathetic with the darker aspects of others while holding them responsible for their cruel deeds.
exciting high feelings of addiction that come from doing something unhealthy or dangerous are a trap for an unsatisfying life.
That the addictive highs should not be used to distract from or medicate pain. That there are feel good solutions--healthy
addictions to help alleviate stress and conflict.
.... you don’t always get your way and that’s okay. That
the feeling good that comes from trying to gain power over or hurting others is a pseudo self-esteem. Feelings of power gained at the loss of someone else are only
temporary and destructive to both involved. That personal power brings about more joy than power over others. True self esteem comes from satisfaction of living according to the Higher Self.
are all brothers and sisters of one big family and that skin color and individual differences are to be celebrated. That life
is precious in every form and is to be respected.
......you are truly a child of the Universe created in love to love
and be loved. To get love from those who can give it and stop trying to get it from those of stone. That love is your Original
Birthright. That no matter what the confusion or question, love is always the answer.
Flash! Flash! To Teach Children
These Skills You Must Use Them Yourself!
What Tools Have You Used From Your Mental Health Tool Box This Week?
Watched bad feelings as they came up. Called them by name. Interrupted them by Thought Stoppage.
* Used techniques
of self soothing. Sought input from friends or wrote about the bad feelings.
* Problem solved difficulties and issues.
Looked for self defeating beliefs under chronic issues.
* Accepted consequences for your actions. Thought before speaking
* Analyzed errors. Made a plan to do things differently next time.
* Made amends to anyone you hurt.
Remembered love is being big enough to say you are sorry.
* Listened to constructive criticism. Increased self esteem by learning something useful.
* Interrupted your self defeating
thoughts. Broke into self pity using the learned optimism process.
* Observed yourself giving up and broke into the
failure mode. Thought optimistic thoughts about self.
* Observed how you take on the pain of others. Stepped back from
rescuing and enabling others.
* Let others take responsibility for their problems. Dealt with guilt and needing to
* Refused to take on the put downs of others. Asserted self and set appropriate boundaries.
your angry feelings and expressed them in safe, appropriate ways.
* Looked at a shadow part of self. Owned your projections
of anger at others.
* Caught stress build up that preceded addictions use.
* Felt the highs of addiction and
called it by name. Observed how addictive behavior was rationalized.
* Stayed with uncomfortable feelings to understand
them instead of using a substance or activity to
deaden pain. Chose healthy addictions to alleviate stress and conflict.
* Used stress management techniques of deep breathing, meditation, progressive relaxation, etc . . .
self judging and criticizing others. Broke into control issues and looked at own problems.
* Felt good about achieving
self growth and personal power rather than trying to fix others.
* Focused on respecting others. Enjoyed or accepted
differences rather than judging them.
* Felt universal connection with others. Felt lovable and expressed that love
* When confused, turned to the Higher Self or prayer for answers.
REMEMBER, NO MATTER WHAT THE CONFUSION,
LOVE IS ALWAYS THE ANSWER.
It's in the news....
Read more about boundaries at our site - the layer down under!
Chocolate and Boundaries (It's Not What You Think)
by Susie Arnett
Last night, my children and I were chatting at bedtime and
the topic of boundaries came up. "Do you know what a boundary is?" I asked my 6-year-old son. He answered that it was like
a fence and people can't touch you when you don't want them to. I thought that sounded pretty good for a kindergartner.
I asked him, "What are daddy's boundaries?" He knew immediately. He said, "Don't touch the guitars in his studio because they
will explode." His dad is a composer and has a recording studio filled with musical instruments and equipment and he is very
clear that nobody is allowed to touch anything in there. I am assuming Ely added the bit about the explosion.
about mommy, what are my boundaries?" I continued. He thought for a minute and his answer was, "Nothing."
I don't have very clear boundaries with my children. In the process of becoming a mother, I had given them full reign over
my life. It's a pattern that goes way, way back and I know I'm in good company but I couldn't believe it was so clear to him.
I realized this was one of those moments of pure information. As always with the truth, it was deeply unsettling.
How can I teach my children to have clear and healthy boundaries if I don't have them? It 's time for some new ways of loving
them completely, I thought.
Turning to my daughter, I asked her what her boundaries were and her perfectly 5-year-old
answer was, "Chocolate."
The Art of "No"
Setting healthy boundaries is a skill every parent needs!
familiar scenario unfolded at my playschool program, Magical Child. Josie wanted to go outside in her new shoes and her mama
said, “No, it’s wet and muddy outside. You need to wear your boots.”
“No.” repeated Mama. Josie asked again and Mama replied the same. Josie began to cry. Mama felt
embarrassed and relented, and Josie went outside in her new shoes, which of course got all muddy. Mama got mad and yelled,
“Those are brand new shoes and they are ruined!” End result: two unhappy people.
One of the hardest jobs
on a parent’s docket is saying “no” in a benevolent way and sticking to it. I have worked and played with
children for almost 30 years and during these years I’ve seen it get harder for parents to say NO in a healthy way.
So often once parents say the NO word, they don’t follow through, then they need to say it again and again and again—and
wonder what’s wrong with their children. "No" needs a follow-through, a consequence. In the case of Josie and her mom,
it’s highly likely that if her mother had set a limit, Josie still would have cried or screamed. But I guarantee that
sooner or later Josie would have stopped. The shoes wouldn’t be ruined and Mama’s nerves might still be intact.
I would like to walk you through how to set a clear, healthy boundary: Imagine that your child is drawing with markers
on a piece of paper at the kitchen table. He decides to draw on the table. Maybe he is experimenting with the marker; maybe
it was an accident and he then liked how the colors looked on the wood…but you want him to draw on the paper and not
on the table.
Here’s a basic formula you can follow before you set a limit:
1. Tell your child what he
2. Tell your child what he CAN do.
Calmly walk over to him (don’t yell from across the room—all
communication works better in close proximity) and say: “You can’t draw on the table. You can draw on the paper.”
You have spoken in a clear, kind fashion, said exactly what you didn’t want, and then what you did want. You
clearly communicated what he can’t do—draw on the table—and clearly redirected him to where you want him
to draw—on the paper. You’ve said what you want him to do last because that is what you both want to focus on.
Your child draws on the paper. Great! Acknowledge his good behavior: “Hey, you drew on the paper! Thanks!” You
think, “Hey, that was easy” and feel proud of your new skill.
Your child is, well, a child…and in
a few minutes you notice that he is drawing on the kitchen table again. Now you are going to repeat what you just did, but
this time you add a limit, a consequence: “You CAN’T draw on the table. You CAN draw on the paper. If you draw
on the table again, I will take the markers away and you can have them another time.” Say all this with as much calm
and ease as you can muster! Stay calm, because, as with many new experiences, things can get worse before they get better!
Wouldn’t you know it? Your child is young, he is inexperienced, he doesn’t know that you are going to
follow through (you never have before!)—so he draws on the table again! Listen up, cuz this is the super-important part:
You need to do what you said you would do!
I know it is hard. He might cry—and then you will feel bad about yourself.
Don’t go there! Set a limit! Give the consequence of taking the markers away! Why? Because you told him twice that he
could draw on the paper and he drew on the table instead. You said you would take the markers away if he drew on the table
again. Setting a limit means that you want your child to know what the boundaries are and also that, when you say something,
you will follow through.
You bravely take the markers away, and all hullaballoo breaks loose. He cries and throws
a blessed fit. This isn’t really so bad. All people, including children, cry when they are upset and don’t get
what they want! Crying is natural and normal.
Take some deep breaths to ground yourself. Stay close, offer comfort, even
stop and offer your lap—but whatever you do, DO NOT give him back the markers yet. He needs to experience what happens
if he doesn’t do what you ask. If you give him back the markers now, you will teach him that when you cry, you can get
me to give you what you want. Instead, empathize: “You are sad that I took those markers away. This is hard for you.”
Everyone needs skills, including kids. We hope they will learn such useful tools as patience, and a willingness to
negotiate and compromise, rather than learning to cry, scream or sulk more and more to get what they want. As parents, we
need skills in setting clear limits with reasonable consequences. If your child can predict that when you set a clear limit
you mean what you say, this will make life so much easier for everyone.
The next time he is drawing and you kindly
communicate to draw on the paper or you will take the markers away, chances are he will love drawing on that piece of paper.
It doesn’t guarantee that your table will stay spotless, but then again, who needs a spotless table? You definitely
will have one when your children have left your nest.
Author's Bio Harmony Rose West is a proud mother of three adult children
and grandmother to one dar’lin two-year-old boy. Teaching is her life’s work-she operates Magical Child Playschool,
which she founded in 1993. Harmony is an early childhood educator, family coach and circle facilitator. She is the author
of the Bless You Mom-Conscious Thoughts for the Mothering Journey affirmation deck-2008 gold recipient of the Mom’s
Choice Awards. blessyoumom.com