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5 Healthy Boundaries you need

Parent's Guide to creating  healthy boundaries 

struggled to set healthy boundaries, here are 5 healthy ones to set for your family

Welcome to the Child Behaviour Blog.

Very often, throughout my life, I struggled to set healthy boundaries in my personal and professional relationships. I constantly said "yes" to others' requests, even if it meant sacrificing my needs, time, and energy. I think you might relate.

As a result, I often suffered from burnout, stress, strained relationships, and even mental health issues. It took me a long time to realise that my lack of boundaries was the root cause of many problems.

I have learned the importance of setting and maintaining healthy boundaries the hard way. I found that I need to make my own boundaries; otherwise, people will make them for me and take advantage of my good nature.

In this blog, I look at five different types of boundaries we need to model and teach our children so they grow up equipped to look after themselves. 

Teaching our children how to set and maintain healthy boundaries is an essential life skill that we often overlook. We may struggle with boundaries as adults, and teaching our children their importance is challenging. However, failing to teach children about boundaries can leave them vulnerable to unhealthy relationships and dangerous situations.

Children who learn to establish healthy boundaries feel more in control of their environment, leading to greater confidence, self-assurance, self-respect, and self-love. 

Healthy boundaries help children develop empathy and respect for others so they build stronger, more harmonious relationships both now and in the future. 

Ultimately, teaching children about healthy boundaries lays the foundation for a happy and fulfilling life.

Here are five essential boundaries you need: Emotional - Material - Physical - Time - Mental  

5 HEALTHY boundaries you need

Emotional Boundaries 

Our children are susceptible to emotional abuse if they don't have emotional boundaries. Emotional boundaries prevent them from being manipulated or controlled by another person, emotionally hurt by them and leaving them powerless and vulnerable. 

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that involves manipulating another person's perception of reality. 

Children who are being gaslit may experience a range of behaviours, including being constantly told that their feelings are wrong or invalid, being made to doubt their memory or perception of events, being blamed for things that are not their fault, being told that they are crazy or that something is wrong with them, and being made to feel guilty for expressing their needs or desires. Gaslighting can seriously affect mental health and well-being.

Other examples of emotional abuse include being overly critical, controlling, and overbearing, making us feel stifled, using threats and intimidation, withholding affection, blaming and shaming, and isolating. It is crucial to teach our children the importance of emotional boundaries and to recognise the signs of emotional abuse to protect them from potential harm.

Material Boundaries 

Material boundaries are the limits we set for our possessions. It's ok to have boundaries around what we're willing to share and how our items are treated. If we lend something to someone, we can set expectations around how we want it returned. 

It's also ok to have things we don't like to share. So if siblings have a favourite toy they don't like to share, teach them this is ok. If we find ourselves with friends who take our things without asking or don't return them in the same condition they received, it's ok to set boundaries and say no. 

Physical Boundaries 

Physical boundaries are the limits we set around our bodies. Children need to learn they have control over their bodies and can say no when someone tries to inappropriately touch or harm them. 

We need to be mindful of what we are teaching our children and consider that when we use violence to discipline our children, such as hitting our children with a belt or smacking them, we teach our children that the people they love and trust the most in the world are allowed to hurt them. We normalise this and send our children the wrong message. Children don't stop loving their parents because of this; they stop loving themselves.

Time Boundaries 

Time boundaries are the limits we set around our schedules and how we spend our time. 

We must teach our children that it's ok to say no sometimes when they don't want to do something or don't have the time to do it. We need to show them that we respect other people's time and should not expect too much from them.  With no time boundaries, we can be taken advantage of and do favours, change plans, offer free labour, etc., when we don't want to or have time.

Before we know it, resentment has set in, negatively impacting our relationships.  Sometimes we can resolve this by setting healthy time limits or specific days that we can help others.

Mental Boundaries 

Dr Nicole LePara describes the importance of healthy mental boundaries to protect our mental health and well-being. Recognising and respecting the diversity of individuals' thoughts, values, opinions, and beliefs is also essential.

Having differing thoughts, values, opinions, and beliefs is a natural part of the human experience, making us unique and individual. It is essential to remember that we all have different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives that shape our worldviews.

By acknowledging and embracing diversity, we can learn from each other and gain new insights that help us grow and expand our minds. It is okay to have differing thoughts, values, opinions, and beliefs as long as we respect and accept others' viewpoints without judgment or discrimination.

Setting healthy mental boundaries means not allowing others' opinions or beliefs to impact our mental health or well-being negatively. Still, it does not mean that we should try to impose our beliefs or views on others.

We all have different thoughts, values, opinions, and beliefs, which is normal and should be celebrated, as it makes us unique and helps us learn from each other. By setting healthy mental boundaries, we can protect our mental health and create healthy, authentic relationships.

Take a step back and consider your boundaries and what you teach your children.

Boundaries are an essential part of  positive parenting, healthy relationships and independence. As parents, we must teach our children about boundaries and setting them. The best way to teach them is by modelling healthy boundaries in our lives and teaching our children to respect other people's boundaries too. Doing so can create a safe and healthy environment for ourselves and our children.

We can only model boundaries if we are sure how to enforce them. The parents that I work with are usually struggling to implement healthy boundaries, and I am sure every parent has at some point. We work together to create a step-by-step plan of action that is right for their family, with healthy boundaries to create a happier home.

You can, too, by signing up for the Parenting Masterclass below.

All the best, 


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