Hello, my friends. Thank you for joining me today. We are going to talk about the benefits of boundaries. I felt like it would be a good idea to do a podcast on the benefits of boundaries to give all of you out there, fighting that good fight with your kids, some encouragement. I wanted to help you understand more of the benefits of creating these boundaries so that you realize that it is so worth it.
I had mentioned earlier that one of the main reasons you want to have those boundaries is so that eventually you do you have more peace and happiness and enjoyment in your home. And just know that this will happen, but there are so many other benefits to having boundaries with your kids also and setting those limits. Your kids will grow in their maturity and their respect for you and others, in their feelings of security, and also be able to delay their gratification and tolerate frustration in life without it throwing them off too much.
I wanted to focus on three main reasons that I feel are huge benefits of having boundaries of children; huge things that children are learning by giving them those limits.
Your kids will learn how to have a great sense of themselves. This means they will know that their thoughts and their choices and their feelings are theirs, and they’ll learn how to take responsibility for themselves. They will learn to know where they end and where others begin. Essentially saying, they will understand that the world doesn’t revolve just around them. But yet we also want to make sure we’re not raising over-compliant or unassertive children whose only concern is pleasing their parents, because this can often cause struggle in their future relationships.
We want our kids to have their own minds while obeying and following the house rules. So believe it or not, boundaries actually help children become more of who they are. It sounds like an oxymoron, but household boundaries are somewhat freeing. For example, if one of your boundaries that you set is that everyone is to treat each other with respect. So they are to treat not only their parents but also their siblings with respect. There’s no name-calling, no put downs, or physical altercations of any kind. All of a sudden, the home becomes a safe place to express themselves and be comfortable with exactly who they are and who they want to be. So little shy Sally can now put on a puppet show for the family and express herself fully without the fear of being made fun of. Without these boundaries Sally might be too afraid to discover who she really is or truly to express herself, and then she just stays within herself and never feels comfortable enough to really become who she is. So boundaries really give kids this great sense of themselves when you’re able to create that safe environment.
My second benefit of boundaries that I wanted to talk about is self-control. Children are just impulsive by nature, and not just young children, but teenagers too. By teaching boundaries, you’re helping your kids to control their impulses and focus on what needs to get done. So if you set the boundary of homework and chores need to get done in your home before play happens, and the expectation is clear and consistent, then this will help them focus their energy on important tasks that teach responsibility instead of running around the house driving everyone crazy all day. After the homework and chores are done, that only leaves half of the day to run around and drive everyone crazy.
Teaching self-control is so important, because you won’t always be around to protect your kids and make sure that they are making good decisions. Think about your 17-year-old who has just gotten his license, and he’s driving around town on his own and he’s asked to stay within certain speed limits and traffic rules. A 17-year-old who has been taught limits and boundaries at home, and has been expected to follow those, will probably go out driving no problem following all the rules and making sure he’s making really good decisions, because he respects the rules and he understands why they’re there. But then what about the 17-year-old who wasn’t taught boundaries, or the parents tried to teach boundaries but he always ended up getting his way most of the time anyway. He’s probably going to be less likely to follow every rule, feeling like it doesn’t really have to apply to him. And that, to me, is just a little scary when I think about it that way. So boundaries do you teach self-control and that’s really important when we’re not around.
And the last little encouragement I want to give you today about creating those boundaries is that it will help your child to create great relationships in their lives. Kids need to know how to surround themselves with good friends, and the right kids, and how to say no when that kid is unhealthy and toxic for them. Boundaries help your kids know how to play appropriately and respect their friends and expect respect in return. And this is also where that good sense of self comes in…Maybe your fifth grader, on the playground, has been hanging out with some kids who cuss a lot and it’s just kind of hurting their soul. If they really understand the boundaries, they also understand that they can set those for themselves, too. And either ask the kids to stop cussing around them, or decide to just leave that group of friends for a time and find something else to do.
Boundaries will help them create the relationships they want throughout their lives; even in their adult lives. I was at the hair salon the other day and the cutest young hairdresser working on the lady next to me was sharing her story of her recent break-up with her boyfriend. And he hadn’t been treating her very well lately and she decided that she was just done and didn’t want to be treated that way anymore. And I sat there and I admired her strength and her great sense of self; her ability to just say, “Enough is enough. You have crossed my boundary I’ve set for myself and how I want to be treated.” And I couldn’t help but think she must have had parents who had boundaries in their home of how maybe kids should be treating each other in their home and how they were treating their parents. And this must’ve translated into her adult life so when she was in a situation where she wasn’t being treated how she had been taught, it was time for her to say no to that type of person in her life.
You setting boundaries for your child helps them understand that they also get to set boundaries for others. I love Brené Brown’s quote, she said, “When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated.” We want our kids to understand that they never need to feel this way, and that’s exactly why you want boundaries for them in your home also.
Boundaries are the key to make any relationship work. It helps us all to love and live better.
I hope this helps give you the encouragement that you need to keep fighting that good fight because it is so worth it.
Thanks again for joining me today and I will talk to you next week.