If you have children or are considering having children then one thing you will be surely doing in the future is creating boundaries for your child. This is something that every parent will do at some point in their life. It could be simply telling them to turn out the lights and go to sleep, pick their clothes up off the floor of the bedroom or not to hit their sister.
If you’ve been in this position you will relate to how tiring this might be. Every day as a parent of two 12 year olds (yeh twins) I have to create a boundary, guide them and establish protocols for living in a house together.
- Taj, please take your dirty plate and put it in the dishwasher.
- Lauren, can you please put the iPad away and do your homework.
- Kids, could you please turn volume down on the TV?
This is simple day to day process that’s required so that a group of people may live together happily, lovingly and efficiently.
But what if it’s something much bigger than these day to day chores? These small requests don’t attract a huge emotional response or resistance from the child. But sometimes discipline can take on a whole new perspective. Sometimes we have to establish boundaries for our children where they don’t want them and they will try everything to get their way. This creates a lot of friction.
This is a challenging process in our home because I promote the idea that they push boundaries. I want to inspire them to explore, to question life, to challenge authority AND belief systems. I feel it’s my duty as a parent that I inspire my children to be free thinkers and to tap into their own inner knower that will help them to soar and reach their fullest potential.
This can involve anything from jumping off the 10 meter high cliff into Sydney Harbour, exploring abandoned buildings that have NO ENTRY on the front gate, to questioning politics, religion and social constructs.
And yet this can get confusing for them when I insist that there are certain things they aren’t allowed to do that they want to. What ensues can be a battle of determination between us. Yep….it can get intense as these little free thinkers start to push up against the boundaries where we as parents have put them in place. Tears will flow and yep, they will sulk.
However whenever the dust has settled, the tears have stopped and they emerge from the sulk, we always conclude with the same conversation. I ask them:
“Why did I create that boundary?”
To which they now know the answer.
“Because you love me Dad.”
“Yes…I love you like crazy. I love you more than you could ever possibly imagine. And when I tell you off, when I create boundaries, when I discipline you, it’s always coming from love. It’s not because you’re bad, it’s not because I want to punish you, it’s not because I don’t love you. It’s because I see your potential, I see your greatness and I love you so much.”
Then we hug, and we never look back at that experience. It’s past. What flows from that moment is lightness and happiness. And it’s back to doing something fun and crazy again!
Reaffirming your love for your child after those intense moments of conflict is a very powerful way to continually inspire lightness and harmony in your home. Children are very soft and malleable, and love is the most nourishing of foods for them.
Do you have any other tips for parenting and creating boundaries for children? I’m always learning as a parent, so I’d love to hear your suggestions below. And if you have some young children they might like to read Missy Moo Meditates. This book takes you on a journey with Missy Moo and her sister Boo as they discover meditation. You will also receive a bonus guided meditation that you can listen to with your children….it has had huge results in helping children relax! Click below to receive your copy 🙂