The 3rd C of How Boundaries Work

defiance defiant parenting parenting myths parenting styles strong-willed kids warmth Nov 08, 2021
The 3rd C of How Boundaries Work

We’ve discussed the first two C’s of boundaries: Create Boundaries and Communicate Clearly.  Today, let’s talk about the third C.

C - Carry them out consistently

This is probably the hardest of them all. As a mom that gets tired or nervous to give a boundary, this is what I often struggle with.

Remember: A boundary ceases to be a boundary when it’s optional or temporary. 

Think about gambling. Have you thought of why it can be addictive to an individual? The reason is that from time to time, somebody will win. So people will go and gamble thinking, “I could be lucky this time so I’m gonna test this out and see if this is the time where I come out as the winner.

The reason why gambling is so powerful is that it uses the strongest kind of reinforcement--- “intermittent reinforcement”: A chance that something just might happen from time to time.  This keeps our brain wanting to test it out to see if it will work.

The same thing happens with boundaries, our kids will test and test to see if the boundary is going to be consistent. If they can cross the boundary from time to time, that is intermittent reinforcement. It tells the child’s brain, “I should just keep on testing the boundary because from time to time I can get away from this.”

This is why carrying out your boundary consistently is important.

Are you someone who struggles with this? Don’t worry. You are not alone in this. Begin with just a handful of non-negotiable boundaries and be consistent with those.

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