How To Use Boundaries To Create a Strong, Healthy Family
What helps to keep you safe, connects you with your own resiliency and clearly tells you when things around you are not aligning with what you believe?
Your boundaries! Those often ambiguous lines that you draw in the sand telling people what you will and will not tolerate in life.
Awakening to this part of yourself, can help you realign with your purpose, release habits that are holding you back and become more highly attuned to your inner wisdom.
We all have boundaries, but sometimes we forget to be thoughtful about creating them or even sharing them with others.
Our boundaries define us, they tell us where we end and another person begins. They give us an idea of what’s important to us, what things really rub us the wrong way and can often shine a light on those areas we need to grow in.
When you are feeling disrespected, unheard, taken for granted or pushed around, it’s typically because a boundary is being disrespected. The problem is, if this is a rather new topic to you and you have been living life on autopilot, then you might not even be aware that this is what is going on.
Knowing how to create, recognize and enforce boundaries is very important to feeling vibrant in any relationship, and you can use this information to help you lead groups, create a strong work place, coach a team, build strong relationships with significant people in your life and, of course, be a great parent.
Raising your kids to be aware of boundaries and, most importantly helping them understand why they are in place, sets them up with critical life skills that they can use to create their own family in later years. It also provides them with a foundation for making those important choices in their teens. That’s not to say, they won’t make any decisions that you disapprove of…just that they’ll have a better foundation to base those choices on.
So today’s show is guiding you to switch off autopilot and give conscious thought to why you do what you do; to tune into whether what you are doing resonates with who you are and who you are becoming; and to give some thought to what you want your kids to learn about keeping themselves safe in this world.
What’s a boundary?
As I already mentioned, boundaries determine where we end and another person begins. In fact, unhealthy relationships such as; co-dependency, hyper parenting or even obsessions (think stalker), are all connected in some way to fuzzy boundaries.
Boundaries determine how you treat and look after yourself – said another way, how much self-respect you have - which is why it can feel so awful when you promise yourself something – like I’m not going to do this, or I am going to do that - and then break that promise.
In a nutshell, boundaries identify the bottom line…the thing that should not be crossed in any group; whether it’s your family, community, school, country…
When your boundaries are strong, you feel safer…clear about what you’re enforcing and why. This allows you to give off a more confident, resilient vibe which in turn sets you up to be treated more respectfully by others.
Boundaries are also meant to be fluid, changing with you as you grow, not usually in big sweeping ways – although that can happen - but more typically in small and subtle ways.
Not sure what this means? Listen to the podcast for an example of how a boundary about the importance of education might work in a family.
Well thought out boundaries will help you to set rules, to become aware of what you’re willing to ‘fight’ for and to set clear and consistent consequences.
When you consciously create and enforce your boundaries in a healthy, consistent way, you will feel, look and sound vibrant and powerful.
Personal Boundaries – where it all begins…
When a child is born his personal boundaries are almost non-existent; he depends on others to feed him, change him, put him to bed, etc. As he matures his ability for self-care grows and with it his ownership of his boundaries. At least that's the way it is intended to work.
There are definitely situations where this model is not followed, sometimes because the child has something getting in the way of his ability to take ownership for himself, but other times it’s because a parent is simply not willing to give up the illusion of control.
Listen infor an explanation of the illusion of control along with ways boundaries can help you raise kids that are living to their full potential.
Personal boundaries are extremely important in future relationships and in our own self-care. These are the boundaries that allow us to insist on being treated respectfully; allow us to say what can and cannot be done to our body; they influence how we treat and look after ourselves and determine how healthy our future intimate relationships will be.
How do you raise a child with healthy personal boundaries?
Allow him to make simple choices about things that affect him (food, sleep, clothing, toys) from early on. Remember, living an awakened life is about making choices that bring you closer to your truth… help your child start practicing making good choices right from young.
Use mistakes and ‘bumps in life’ as moments to highlight the learning in a positive way – watch out for your ego's desire to blame/shame/ridicule when the bumps seem intentional to you. Call in your higher self to help when these moments arise.
Establish and respect privacy rules for yourself and your child that respect everybody… i.e. a closed bedroom door means knock and wait for an answer before going in; purses, backpacks, cell phones, bedrooms are all part of this category.
Trust - Giving choices is meaningless if you keep nagging, reminding, saving, fixing, correcting and covering up for your child. Give them a choice, make sure they are making an informed decision and trust them to survive.
Be clear about the boundaries in your home, explain why they are in place and then set up rules and consequences that you can consistently enforce.
Tune in to the show to hear my personal examples of boundary setting and to get my 3 quick steps to creating, adapting and reviewing boundaries in your home.
Only you know what you need most in life…get clear on it, share it and enforce it…you won’t regret it.
If boundaries are an issue for you or if you still don’t fully understand what they are, sign up for a complimentary callwith me. Together we will uncover your boundaries and brainstorm ideas to make sure they are working for you.