Here are four (4) great ways to help your child set boundaries:
- Make sure your child understands that he/she is their “own person”, which means that they have their own opinion, that their body belongs to them (and no one else), and that it is okay to be YOURSELF.
- Make sure that you, as a parent, have healthy boundaries yourself; the child copies what it sees.
- Allow them to label their feelings, and understand that their feelings are important; acknowledge their opinion even if you do not agree with it.
- Teach your child they have a right to say NO.
A child growing up with healthy boundaries knows what they will and will not do, knows what is appropriate to share and not to share, are able to respect other people’s privacy and boundaries, and they respect other people’s personal space.
To help your child understand the importance of boundaries it is important for you to point out to them when he/she has crossed someone else’s boundary, and teach them how to apologize. If they overstep one of your boundaries, make sure you tell them and follow through with the consequence(s) you have set.
When a child grows up with loose boundaries, they have a feeling of “There’s NO ME”. When the boundaries are so strict they feel that they are like little soldiers, and oftentimes they can have a feeling of discomfort — that they always have to be ready to protect themselves.