Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm not your friend - I'm your mother

Parenting is a tough job! We want our children to feel loved, encouraged, and successful, and there are so many ideas about how to successfully accomplish this. Maybe you've found yourself asking one of these questions-How young is too young to understand the concept of "no"? Will boundaries make my child see me as an ogre instead of a loving parent? If I challenge my child to do things even when they are difficult, will I hurt their self-confidence?

In an article by Barbara Minton about the importance of boundaries, she states, "Image you are standing on the roof deck of a skyscraper. There are no railings, the wind is blowing and the building sways. Where would you be? You would probably be in the center where you could gather some feeling of security. Now imagine there are high sturdy railings around the edge of the roof deck. You walk over to the railing, push on it a few times to make sure it is sturdy and will hold. Now you feel secure and free to stand by the edge, maybe even look down or out into the beyond." I found this to be a great word picture on the importance of boundaries. Your child needs the security of a loving parent who will guide and support them as they learn about the world around them. They require someone to teach them right from wrong. My wise grandmother used to say that the misbehavior of children was an subconscious cry to be reminded of the boundaries. They wanted someone to care enough to tell them "no", and the sooner you start working on that the better. Here are a few things to consider:
  • Always clearly and consistently enforce your boundaries.
  • Lead by example, because your children are watching.
  • Boundaries as an expression of your loving care for your child, not a means of control over them.
  • Your child wants a parent not just another friend.
Until next time...
Mrs. Aimee

1 comment:

brandi'slife said...

You always write exactly what I need. I have been struggling with exactly this and appreciate your insight! Thank you so much!