BOUNDARIES. GUIDELINES. NON-NEGOTIABLES…
Many of us have them and many of us are lacking them. Hate to say it, but if people are walking all over you, not listening, and you’re left feeling disrespected, or maybe you have lots of resentment, then chances are you don’t have clear boundaries. This is my current situation, but I’m working on setting those boundaries.
I was always raised to be the nice girl… however, this does not help with personal boundaries. Now that I’m 38, I’m paying more attention to MY personal boundaries, MY guidelines, MY non-negotiables. It’s all come around with my personal development and wanting to keep being and doing better.
Brené Brown says this about boundaries:
- It’s what’s ok and what’s not ok.
- Empathy without boundaries is not empathy.
- Compassion without boundaries is not genuine.
- Vulnerability without boundaries is not vulnerability.
Needless to say, boundaries are freakin important!
Some things to consider to help you with your boundaries as a parent or for yourself:
- Your Kid’s Naptime and Bedtime. What part of this is a non-negotiable for you? Is it the time of day? Is it their cribs/beds? When can you bend this rule or is it all non-negotiable? Maybe flexible naps but non-negotiable bedtime?
- Sweets and Treats. Are you ok with them having candy? Some or not at all? Wait until a certain age? Parties only? Out only? While at a friend or family member’s home? Once a day? Once a week? Once a month?
- Food in General. Gluten-free? Vegetarian? Eat what you eat? Fast food ok or just once in a blue moon… or none at all? What about pop, juice, milk, chocolate milk, strawberry milk, Powerade, Gatorade, tea, coffee, slushies, milkshakes? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Not part of your lifestyle?
- What You Watch and What Kids Can Watch. Can they watch what you watch? What cartoons? What shows? What times? How often?
- Sharing. Do they HAVE to share? If they do share, is there a limit? Maybe they want to share their cookies with someone and they have four cookies. Does the other person get only one, two, none, or all?
- Helping Others. How many times can you help? Many would say as often as possible. BUT what if you had a min and max so that you’re not helping ALL the time. How many organzations. How many times? Weekly, monthly? One hour or 10 hours a week/a month? What is the limit to help you feel fulfilled?
- Shoes in the House. Yes? No? Contractors yes? Visitors no? Only in the front room to the kitchen? Only in the front entrance? Shoes off before coming in? Come in with your shoes on?
- Driving to Meet with Friends. Do you mind driving to their place most of the time or do you want to drive to alternate places? What about meeting in the middle in different spots?
- Smoking. Do you smoke? Do you mind being around others while they’re smoking? Will you allow people to come into your home after smoking outside?
- Yelling. Are you ok with people yelling at you or swearing at you when they’re upset with you or about something? If not, what will you do or say to let them know that?
- Languages. This one is personally tough for me. Will you only speak to your child/children in your native tongue/another language only at home or everywhere and in front of anyone? Or will it be only when you are alone with them?
- Morning Routine. Do you need time before associating with anyone or are you ok with jumping right into discussions with others? Are you ok with people waking you up or do you want to wake up on your own terms?
- Bedroom. Are you ok with people going into your bedroom or your children’s bedroom during playdates? Your parents are used to walking into your bedroom in your childhood home… but what about now that you’re married? I’ll always remember the time my dad walked into my bedroom while both my husband and I were sleeping. He wanted to know where we kept the tea and sugar because they couldn’t find it and if it was ok for them to go ahead with breakfast. I was fine but my husband wasn’t, so I had to set a new boundary with my parents.
Whatever the boundaries or non-negotiables are for you, they are YOURS! Boundaries are a way to show your self-respect and self-love as well as letting people know what they can and cannot do with you or to you, and your family. Like Brené Brown says… BOUNDARIES ARE FREAKIN’ IMPORTANT! SO GET YOUR CHALK AND DRAW YOUR LINE!