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,
and 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
does not matter if the door was open or closed.
2. Twelve year-old Steve changes the channel on the television whenever he wants.
It does not 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 does not go right.
4. Marie is uncomfortable with how her boyfriend treats her and pressures her
for sex. She keeps dating him because she questions who else would want to date
Without boundaries children will have problems in relationships, school, and
life. Many times addictive behavior can be traced to lack of boundaries. Her 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 and another person begins.
What is a parent to do? Many times we hinder the child from developing boundaries.
Here are a few suggestions to help you set boundaries:
1. Recognize and respect the child?s boundaries. For example, knock on their
closed bedroom door instead of just walking in.
2. Set our own boundaries and 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 are not born with them.
6. When you recognize that boundaries need to be set. Do it clearly, do it without
anger, and use as few words as possible.
7. We need to say what hurts us and 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 and children is to model these for our children.
1. Recognize your physical boundaries.
2. You have the right to request proper treatment, for example, poorly prepared
meals in a restaurant should be sent back, ask others to smoke away from your space,
and ask that loud music be turned down.
3. Share your opinions with your children. Allow your children their opinions.
Opinions are not 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 and what we don?t do. Take responsibility for when things
6. Accept your thoughts, it is who you are.
7. Discover what your limits are, emotional and 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 will learn to value, trust, and 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 will learn to listen to ourselves (trusting our intuition). We also will
learn to respect and care for others and ourselves.
5. Boundaries will aid us in the workplace.
Boundaries are all about freedom and recognizing when these freedoms have been
crossed. Boundaries give us a framework in which to negotiate life events. Recognizing
and acting when our boundaries have been crossed will protect our freedom. Boundaries
lead to winning relationships for both parties. By building foundations based on
mutual trust, love, and respect we can expect our children to grow up more tolerant
and with a mature character. Simply put, boundaries simplify life.
Derek and Gail Randel have customized
programs for corporations, schools, and parent groups for putting the fun back into
parenting so you can enjoy your children. They can be reached at Parent Smart from
the Heart 1-866-89-SMART, www.parentsmartfromtheheart.com
We also have a free monthly newsletter for parents.
Behavior Problems: Helping The Whole Family - By J. Bailey Molineux
I`m about to give away a trade secret about my professional work. It may mean
that some parents who might have consulted with me about problems with their children
won`t now do so. But it could also mean that those parents who do come to me will
have a better chance of helping their children.
My secret? I assume the problems are with the parents, especially in their marriage
or post-divorce relationship, and not with the child. A child`s psychological problems
are in most cases a reflection of the parents` problems.
I was director of a family counseling agency in Helena for about three and one
half years. We counseled parents who were having discipline problems with their
children. About half of the families we saw were divorced, never married or stepfamilies.
In the intact families, most parents displayed chronic, unresolved marital problems
that were reflected in the child`s acting out behavior.
I remember one case of a chronically strained marriage in which the parents could
not even agree on a bedtime for the child. One said 8 P.M., while the other insisted
on 9 P.M., and I could not get them to compromise on an 8:30 bedtime. If they couldn`t
agree on rules and consequences for the child, couldn`t present a united front,
there was no way that discipline would be effective with their child.
But there`s something deeper going on when a child`s behavior problems are a
reflection of the parents` problems, something I suspect is unconscious to the child.
The mental health of the parents, and the state of their relationship, whether married
or divorced, sets the tone for how the family functions. These factors provide emotional
security for the children. If Mom and Dad are unhappy or fighting too much, their
children will worry about them.
That worry will then translate into misbehavior. Kids can`t talk about their
emotions the way adults can, so they act them out in misbehavior. And the behavior
usually sends this message: "Help! My parents are hurting."
Children will also draw attention to themselves by misbehaving to stop their
parents` fighting. Again I don`t believe kids do this consciously, but it is as
if they say to their parents, "Quit fighting and pay attention to me."
Drs. Robert Hemfelt and Paul Warren express my treatment philosophy very nicely
in their book, Kids Who Carry Our Pain, which I would like to paraphrase. Parents`
priorities when they bring their children for counseling are:
Fix the kid who has a problem.
Well, OK, if you want to tinker around with our relationship a little, we suppose
it won`t hurt. Might do some good.
Fix us? We don`t need fixing. It`s the kid.
And absolutely without exception, according to Hemfelt and Warren, the reverse
is the correct order of priorities:
Parents, heal yourselves.
Work on your relationship with each other.
Now help your children resolve their own problems without pressure from above.
There are exceptions, of course. Some children are hyperactive for biological
reasons or difficult to raise because of inborn temperament. Others have been abused
or traumatized outside the family.
But for most of us, our children serve as a barometer of how we`re doing. If
they`re acting out, they`re asking for help for themselves and for us. If we pay
attention to that message and do something about it, they could be doing us a favor
by pushing us towards greater mental health.
Children articles index
- Brains on Fire: The Multimodality of Gifted Thinkers - By Brock Eide
- laying Baby Computer Games ? The New Parent-Child Tradition? - By Emma
- Book Excerpt: Einstein Never Used Flash Cards - By Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph
- Putting Fun Into Parenting - By David Stoepker, Psy.D., & Erin Brown Con
- Preparing Your Child for a High-Tech Future - By Sue Sato
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - Predominantly Inattentive
- Abandonment - By Sonya Green
- Explaining Suicide to Children - by Tracy Pierson
- Our Children`s Needs - by Robert Elias Najemy
- How to Develop Self-Esteem in Children - By J. Bailey Molineux, Ph.D.
- Helping Children Overcome Stress and Fear - By Debbie Milam
- Do you Shout at YOUR children? - By James Middleton
- Book Excerpt: Helping Children with Autism Learn - By Bryna Siegel,
- SPEED SPELLING: Another way to use speed reading skills for "schoolwork&q
- Children and Stress - By Laura Silva Quesada
- Boundaries- Why Are They Needed? - by Derek Randel & Gail Randel M.D.
- Juggling Home
- Explaining World tragedy to Children - By Chick Moorman and Thomas Ha
- Children and Pessimism - By Carol Tuttle
- Loving Yourself, Loving Your Children - By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
- Social Manners for Children - By Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach
- The Sexual Abuse of Children - By J. Bailey Molineux
- A Few Simple Truths About ADHD and Stimulant Drugs - By Steve Edelman1,
- DYSLEXICS and A.D.D. KIDS BECOME GIFTED SPEED READERS - by George Stanc
- Using Feng Shui for Better Behaved Children - By Kathryn Weber
- Book Excerpt: Helping Children with Autism Learn - By Bryna Siegel,
- Five Keys to Raising Nonviolent Children - By Tammy Cox, LMSW
- The Best Way to Reduce Stress: Start Young - By Zach Brull
- Your Child?s Self-Esteem is in The Cards - By Susan Howson
- Calming Tips for Hyperactive Children - By Jeannine Virtue
- What is ADHD? - By Jeannine Virtue
- Talking to Your Children About Sex - By Jan Andersen
- How Our Children Really Learn And Why They Need To Play More And Memo
- HOW DO WE PROTECT OUR CHILDREN FROM PREDATORS? - By Linda J Alexander,
- Teach Children Positive Self-Image Through Fitness - By Lynn Bode
- No Invitation Needed -- Part 3 of 3 Sacred Children Series - By Skye T
- Helping Our Children Feel Good About Themselves - By Dr.Barbara Becker Hol
- Unidentified Stepfamily Zones - Discoveries Made at a Stepfamily Confer
- Divorce and Children: Things To Consider When You`re Staying Married
- Six facts you should know to empower your teaching. - By Emmanuel
- Are You in an Abusive Situation? - by Colin Gabriel Hatcher & Randall
- The Divorce Revolution Has Failed - By J. Bailey Molineux
- Is Your Child Well-Mannered? - By Mary Jesse
- Jesus` Birthday -- Part 2 of 3 Sacred Children Series - By Skye T
- Empty Nesters: What Should You Do Once the Children Leave? - By Mary Guar
- We should celebrate the diversity of children and adults - By Robyn M
- How to Cope with Back to School Stress - By Debbie Mandel
- HIS KIDS: BECOMING A W.O.W. STEPMOTHER - by Julie Donner Andersen
- ADD / ADHD Children : Being Your Child`s Best Friend - By Kate Hufst