The 2nd C of How Boundaries WorkNov 02, 2021
Today, we want to teach you the second C of how boundaries work.
C - Communicate clearly
We’ll break this down into 3 tips.
- Communicate a boundary just once.
- Verbally tell your kids ONE time what your boundaries are. After this first verbal communication, they will just experience a natural consequence for crossing your boundary. That consequence will do the talking WAY more effectively than repeating yourself.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you are on the phone and your child comes in and interrupts. You can say one time, “I can’t talk to you when I'm on the phone”. When they interrupt you again, you can either ignore them or walk away or say, “What did I say?”
Notice that you did not repeat stating the boundary.
- Communicate your boundaries in a way that honors you and the other person.
- It is important that we be assertive about our boundaries without attacking the other person. It’s also equally important that we don’t allow the other person to disrespect us.
Say that your child says something that disrespects you. You wouldn’t say “Hey, you little s#*@, what's your problem? You need to stop that or I'm gonna smack you.”
We also wouldn’t want you to be silent, allowing them to treat you disrespectfully.
Instead, we want you to be confident and assertive about your boundaries without attacking. That could sound something like this:
“I am happy to listen to you when you talk to me respectfully.”
- Be simple in your communication.
- This is especially important the younger your child is. We don’t need to over explain. We don't need to say all the reasons why we need to be talked to respectfully because then our kids would start to tune us out.
Instead we state the boundary simply:
“I listen to those with sweet voices.”
“I will not be hit.”
“Chores need to be completed by Saturday.”
“I’m happy to help with homework from 5:00-5:30 pm and I help those who are kind and focused.”
This may be basic but it takes a lot of conscious effort. If you are not used to this kind of communication structure at home, there may be a steep learning curve. Even so, all it takes is consistency and you’ll eventually work your way through it.
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