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Boundaries - The Essential Parenting Skill

Are you struggling to maintain clear, consistent boundaries?


The reason could be because your boundaries don’t take into account their emotional age, anxiety or self-regulation skills.


I strongly believe that practicing and modeling healthy boundaries is a crucial skill for parents and caregivers.


Boundaries done well:

  • help kids feel safe 

  • help them understand what is OK and what is not OK when it comes to behavior.

  • support and strengthen emotional regulation skills

  • build autonomy and self-esteem. 


Boundaries done well will align your actions with your values.


I have created a boundary skills checklist to support you. Notice how you understand it now, and then again after reading the rest of this post. 


Boundary Skills Checklist

  • Is my intention to create safety?

  • Am I taking steps to be regulated and in a calm state?

  • Am I coming from love or fear?

  • Have I taken into account my child’s emotional age?

  • Am I creating a container for my child with connection or isolation?

  • Do I have space inside me for their big feelings?

  • Am I practicing the skill of validation?

  • Am I modeling empathy?


When it comes to the essential parenting skill of boundaries, it’s all about how you get there, not if you get there.


Keep reading for a deeper dive…


The traditional approach says that the way to create effective, healthy boundaries is through control - i.e. to stick to what you say no matter what nightmare you go through.


That didn’t work with my stress-sensitive child and I’m guessing it’s not working for you. You may even be finding yourself in a vicious cycle you don’t know how to get out of!


I invite you to think about consistency of connection, rather than consistency of control. 


Here's today's Quick Tip for a Quick Win with parenting...>> Sometimes Won't is Can't! << 


When you see what they're doing as they won't..., it feels adversarial. That can lead you to react as the parent you don't want to be and fuel the vicious cycle.


The effect of won’t on them is the feeling that something is wrong with me. That's shame. Shame doesn't allow them to feel good about themselves or build self-confidence. It teaches unhealthy coping mechanisms rather than healthy emotional regulation skills. 


When you see what they're doing as they can’t..., it draws you toward connection with empathy and compassion. It allows you to respond with the support and co-regulation they need to move in the direction of the behavioral change you desire. 


Here’s my checklist again. How has your understanding of it changed?


Boundary Skills Checklist


☐ Is my intention to create safety?

☐ Am I taking steps to be regulated and in a calm state?

☐ Am I coming from love or fear?

☐ Have I taken into account my child’s emotional age?

☐ Am I creating a container for my child with connection or isolation?

☐ Do I have space inside me for their big feelings?

☐ Am I practicing the skill of validation?

☐ Am I modeling empathy?



If you’d like to talk more with me about boundaries and receive some immediate empathy, support, and relief, click the image below to schedule a free ½ hour parenting support call.



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