I bet more often than you wish, you have asked yourself:
Why? Why is it that the boundaries I set don’t work?
Let me share with you some of the most common why’s.
1. Because you are scared your child will love you less.
We all have this very reasonable fear that when someone hears “no”, they will get upset at us and love us less. It is very true that no one enjoys being told “no”, but when that “no” comes in the right tone of voice and accompanied by a “yes”, love is untouched.
2. Because you are scared of hurting your child.
We tend to have this misconception that hearing “no” hurts a person’s feelings. No one honestly likes to hear “no”, yet when done right, we accept it and our feelings are not hurt. Try saying “no” assertively, yet lovingly, offering a what “yes” to do next to it. When done like this, no feelings are hurt.
3. Because you are not sure if that limit is really necessary.
If your child were about to do something REALLY dangerous, you would not doubt doing whatever it takes to prevent that from happening. If you think about it, the times you’ve failed, you were not uber convinced that that boundary needed to be set.
4. Because you are asking a question instead of setting a boundary.
In our desire to be nice to our kids, we add question marks to the boundaries we set (“I need you to take your shoes off of the couch, ok?”) and guess what? When we put a question mark at the end of a sentence, we are actually inviting the recipient to give us a “no” for an answer. Be assertive and loving, without question marks.
For our boundaries to actually work, we need to mean what we say, in a lovingly AND assertive way, saying “no”, and also what “yes” instead.
Try these suggestions at home and feel free to reach out if you have any questions or feel that you’ve tried, but there’s something else, preventing your boundaries from doing their job. And if you enjoyed reading this and would love to read more, make sure to like, follow and subscribe!