June 16

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How to Set Boundaries – 3 Tips To Set Clear Limits

One of the hardest things I hear from parents I consult with  is that they aren’t enjoying parenting. They’ve reached a place where nothing they do works, they are tired of the battle and they feel hopeless. The reason parents aren’t enjoying their kids or parenting, is often because they lack clear limits. It’s hard to know how to set boundaries and this is where parents struggle.  Setting boundaries is not intuitive, loving your kids is. Learning how to set limits and boundaries is a learned skill. Once you learn how to set boundaries and clear limits you will have easier, more enjoyable days with your kids all battle free!

Parents struggle with boundaries – 3 tips to set clear limits

As parents you want your kids to be happy. I totally understand this, being a mom of two boys. No one likes to see their kids upset. But, there is a fine line between trying to make or keep your kids happy and having set limits and boundaries. Setting clear limits can be much easier with the right information. If you can learn the skills to set fair, firm and consistent boundaries, you will be able to develop the mutual respect relationship with your kids you’ve always desired.

Your child goes from zero to sixty

Do you feel like you walk around on eggshells as you try avoid epic tantrums? Your kids are often set off by the littlest things and you don’t know what to say or how to say so your kids will listen and cooperate without blowing up?  You’re at your wits end and don’t have the energy to deal with another full blown outburst? 

Does this all sound familiar, but you just don’t know how to set boundaries? 

One thing you must consider before expecting your child to follow your new boundaries is, SLEEP. When your child lacks quality and quantity sleep, they are destined to misbehave. Make sure you parent proactively by ensuring your child gets adequate sleep and avoid the need to parent reactively.

Does your child battle you on sleep? Create an easy bedtime in two weeks or less with a gentle and supportive plan and avoid 90% of unwanted behaviors – CLICK HERE

Having set limits and boundaries puts your child at ease

As much as parents struggle with setting boundaries because they just want their kids to be happy, boundaries actually give your child a sense of security. When your child knows your limits, they also know how to please you and meet your expectations. This is a huge part of your child’s behavior needs roadmap. In order to avoid unwanted behaviors you need to check off your child’s behavior needs roadmap daily. By setting clear and firm limits you help your child to feel a real sense of accomplishment.

Here are things you need to know about boundaries: 

  • Your kids are begging for you to set them (hint: this is why you see negative behavior)
  • Boundaries need to be concrete, clear and consistent (3C’s boundaries)
  • They give your child a sense of ease
  • Decrease anxiety 
  • Clearly show kids how to please you
  • Helps your child easily meet your expectations
  • Helps avoid unwanted behavior

3 tips to set clear limits

I know how hard setting clear limits can be, but once you start shifting your approach, it just takes a little practice and time to become a seasoned boundary setter! Follow these 3 tips to help set clear limits easily and stop your struggle with boundaries.

  1. Set your limits in advance
  2. Teach your child up front
  3. Follow through

Real life boundaries

I want all of your boundaries to be concrete, clear and consistent (3 C’s boundaries). This means you are black and white with each limit. If you are not 3 C with your boundaries, then you enter what I call the grey zone, which is where your child is unaware how to please you or meet your expectations. Here is where you see more tantrums, whining and push back.

Grey zone boundaries = power struggles

Black and white boundaries = easy parenting 

Example 1: mealtime

Your child continues to get down from the table. You’re tired of asking them over and over to sit down and every meal ends in a power struggle. Your child continues to get down and engage in this struggle because it’s working for them. Ezch time they get down you pick up your end of the rope and struggle with them. Asking them over and over to sit down is giving them negative attention and power.

Instead, follow the 3 tips to set limits and set up your 3 C’s boundary in advance, teach up front (practice, role model and talk about the new plans) and follow through.

“Okay, from now on, we are going to have a new mealtime rule. When it’s time to eat, your bum needs to stay in your chair while you eat. If you get down, then you are telling me that you’re not hungry and I will take your food and throw it away. You can eat again at the next set meal or snack time. Can you please tell me what our new plan is?” 

Once your child repeats back, then you know, that they know, the plan. At this point it is your job to follow through so that your child can build trust in you and the new set limits.

NOTE: Don’t forget the very important step of practicing and role modeling in advance to be sure your child understands your expectations!

Example 2:  screen time

Your child won’t turn off their device. It feels like they’re obsessed and it’s all they want to do. It’s making you crazy and filling you with guilt. It’s a huge yelling match each time you ask them to turn off their screens.

Instead, set up your clear boundary in advance, teach up front (practice, role model and talk about the new plans) and follow through.

“Okay, from now 0n we are going to have a new boundary around screen time. When it’s your designated screen time we will set a timer. When the timer goes off, then you must turn off your device. If you don’t turn off the device when the timer goes off, then you’re telling me that you don’t want to use your device tomorrow. Can you please tell me what our new plan is?”

Once your child repeats back, then you know, that they know, the plan. At this point it is your job to follow through so that your child can build trust in you and the new set limits.

Keep in mind

If you are tired of the daily battles and want a solution – BOOK your free discovery call – Let’s talk!

Want more DIY parenting tools? Instantly download all of my tools in my Parenting Solutions Handbook

PS. Read my Bites and Tips on boundaries when I was interviewed by Hacking Sophia

 


Tags

behavior, boundaries, Child Behavior, Consequences, fair boundaries, limits, parenting, power struggles


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