Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries by Kathleen Rodriquez
often overlooked. Whether the relationship is between husband and wife or parent and child or among siblings, coworkers, or friends, the boundaries a person learns is one factor that contributes to the shaping of character and interaction with future relationships.
doubt, knows what is expected from him. For example, if a child wants something from a store and his parent says “no” but the child screams and cries until the parent buys the item anyway, then the child has learned that the boundary is movable and that he has power – by protesting the parent’s decision. When this situation occurs again (and it will) but this time the parent does not give in when child objects, the child’s behavior will then escalate, because he has learned that the boundary is not permanent. The parent regains parental control only by allowing the child to experience the tantrum without giving in to it. Doing this is “easier said than done” but is well worth the effort. It is a grueling task to try to change this behavior as the child ages!
What is a boundary? Webster’s Dictionary defines it is “something that indicates or fixes a limit.” Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, in the book Boundaries with Kids, speak of a boundary as a “property line” that defines a person. “It defines where one person ends and someChildren are able to learn the concept of one else begins.” These boundaries are an boundaries even before they can walk. important aspect of relationships that is For them, boundaries begin with their parents. The boundaries – or lack thereof – in the parent/child relationship will guide the child into adulthood. Too few boundaries often results in a life that is difficult to navigate. Boundaries with Kids shares that “Children are not born with boundaries. They internalize boundaries from external relationships and discipline.” The things a child hears, sees, and experiences help to mold him into Boundaries are not a “my way or the highway” attitude by the parent; rather, who he will become as an individual. Kathleen Rodriquez is a Licensed they are about a loving, defined relationClinical Social Worker at Webbship that parents set up right from the beMore importantly, boundaries need to Rauckhorst Counseling. She specializes in therapy with children and families. be consistent so that the child, without a ginning with their child. The Bible gives
simple, but invaluable, guidance for parents: Ephesians 6:4 states, “Fathers do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather bring them up with the discipline and instruction that come from the Lord.” The Bible also instructs children to “obey your parents, for this is the right thing to do” and to “honor your father and mother” (Ephesians 6:13). This is not the natural tendency for children but it can be instilled through boundaries. Many resources, including counseling, can guide you in establishing and handling the boundaries in relational issues. Learn, understand, and teach healthy boundaries to your child
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Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper
Published on Apr 1, 2012
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