Establishing Boundaries With Your Children

Parents, what are the things you hold most valuable in your life? I would suspect that at the top of that list are your children. We are nurturers, boo-boo kissers, and wisdom-givers. We want to see our children thrive, grow, become successful at whatever vocation they choose. And if all of this is true, why is it that so many of us struggle to establish strong boundaries for our children? 

Establishing boundaries with our children means we love them enough to do so. It means we want to give them every opportunity to succeed and that includes obeying and adhering to rules we’ve established in our homes. Boundaries protect our children and they need strong boundaries to thrive. Think about it. There will never be a time in your child’s life, when they won’t have to adhere to boundaries in school, college, and on their career path. Let’s teach them the value of boundaries early. (And no matter what age they are, you can start considering boundaries. Even teenagers feel safe with boundaries, whether they admit it or not.) 

When determining boundaries in your home, here are some things to consider: 

  1. What type of character do I want my children to develop as they age?  

  2. What are the things that work best for my family? 

  3. What weekend and weekday routines help me and my children function at our best? 

  4. What are the non-negotiables of my home? What are the things that are negotiable? 

  5. Do I have firm consequences established for breaking the rules? 

  6. Are there times when I can administer grace, when a child breaks a rule? 

  7. Do I have devoted family time, where no phone calls or social media is present, on a regular basis? 

  8. Is family meal time a protected time for our family? Is that important to me?  

  9. Do my children think I’m a pushover? Do I find it difficult to get my children to adhere to the rules?  

  10. Have I been clear in my expectations for my home? 

Jennifer Maggio is a mom to three, wife to Jeff, and founder of the national nonprofit, The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She is author to four books, including The Church and the Single Mom. She was named one of the Top 10 Most Influential People in America by Dr. John Maxwell in 2017 and 2015 and has appeared in hundreds of media venues, including The New York Times, Family Talk Radio with Dr. James Dobson, Joni and Friends, and many others. 

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