Updated: May 10, 2020
Boundaries are good.
When you set clear, boundaries, everyone in your family, including yourself, will be happier and more secure. Think of boundaries as being like the chain-links in the fence around your backyard. They keep your family safe while allowing for fun and flexibility within their confines.
People are proven to be happier and more secure in an environment with clear limits.
Hopefully, your fence allows for some healthy risk-taking within its limits, too. The ultimate goal is to develop enough SELF-control to go out in the world at some point and be responsible, hopefully without having to give up fun.
Here are 3 things you can do, starting today, to make your boundaries clear and easy to understand.
Use "I" messages. You really need to tell people what you want if you want to have any chance in the world of getting it. I would recommend starting your requests with the word "I" or the word "when". For example, "I want a clean kitchen to cook in. When the dishes, counters and sink are clean, then I'll start cooking."
Own up to your feelings but notice the complete lack of judgement and guilt in the above statement. When people don't feel guilty or judged, they're much more likely to comply.
When you feel your best, you can set better boundaries without backtracking or second-guessing yourself.
Use this free guide I developed for you to make it easier to feel good and confident every day.
THREE "Fun is good"
Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss)
f you don't get your "fun quota" in every single day, you'll end up feeling powerless, bitter and unable to successfully rule your roost with the grace and passion of a benevolent dictator. Yes, that's right, someone has to be in charge and why not you? As long as you rule with love and understanding, you'll do OK.
People, in general, learn by example so ask yourself this, "Do you want to teach your children to have a good time within reasonable limits and to have fun pursuing their dreams?"
When you take care of your SELF, you take better care of others!
Want to learn more about boundary setting and the tools you can use to help not feel guilty about it?
Want to talk to someone who understands and will support YOU to be YOUR best SELF?
Nanci J. Bradley (60) is a child and family educator, author, family aerobics instructor and all-around fun-loving person. She believes in the power of sleep, lifelong learning, healthy eating, fun, and more than anything else, PLAY! She studied early childhood education at Triton College and received her BA in education from Northern Illinois University in 1986. She received her MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in 2011. She lives and teaches in Madison, WI.
Nanci J Bradley is an author/teacher/consultant and child and family educator who believes in the power of sleep, boundaries, learning and more than anything else, play!