When, we have an issue with our partner’s behaviour we know we need to work on our relationship, but often when we are disturbed by our children’s behaviour our cultural conditioning dictates that we set firmer “Boundaries” or “Limits”. We try to stop the behaviour, rather than working with our child to find out what is happening for them. We forget, to invest time and energy in connecting with our children and resort to filling the relationship gap, with Boundaries or Limits and then wonder why they are “Playing up“. Sometimes, we need a behaviour to stop in the moment to keep everyone safe and then we might say we are setting a “Boundary” or we may say, we are helping our child to understand how to be in the world. Language seems important.
The word BOUNDARY makes me think of separateness and LIMITS…do we actually want to “Limit” our children?
How does it feel when someone limits us, limits our expression of feelings or needs?
It is possible to say “No” with kindness. We can be authentic with our children about how we feel about their behaviour, as long as we do not shame or blame them.
I have come to accept that, all I can do is try my best to be a role model for my children, showing them how to express themselves clearly and calmly rather than getting angry.
I am also trying to accept that, it does not always work this way and often our home sounds like a bunch of gangsters from the streets of “Down Town” New York have moved in….I am practising my accent. (Are there gangsters in “Downtown” New York?). This is life, relationships are constantly a work in progress.
Rather, than trying to stop conflict by setting boundaries and limits, we could see it as an opportunity to grow and learn more about the people we share our lives with.