Sometimes I talk with parents who say they themselves have GREAT boundaries, but their kid’s…well, that’s another story.
There could be lots reasons for this, but I find that one explanation most often resonates with parents in this situation. I ask, “Is it possible that you’ve done such a great job safeguarding your needs that you’ve steamrolled over your child’s feelings?” Often I get a pause and a yes.
Some kids have tried to stand up for themselves at home and failed. Instead of practicing how to express their emotions and needs, they’ve gotten a lot of practice coping with a situation they don’t like, and that’s totally valuable.
They may have learned to go along to get along, to be people pleasers, to cave under pressure. Passive kids are easy in some ways – few problems at home, with relatives, or teachers.
The problem is that if your children aren’t practicing defending their boundaries with you, at home, they probably aren’t building the skill. That leaves them vulnerable. Kids who can’t stand up for themselves are targets. Later in life, they have trouble in their relationships, whether that’s peers, romantic partners, or at work.
That’s why it’s essential to build this skill at home.
Helping your child name their feelings and stand up for themselves now might sound like something that will make your life harder. I get it! In the short term, it might.
But just think of all the problems your child will be better equipped to handle as an adolescent: peer pressure, drugs and alcohol, sexually transmitted infections, pressure not to use condoms, pressure to sext, and on and on…
It’s worth it. The last thing you want is a teen who can be pushed into doing unhealthy and illegal things.
As a high-school teacher, I taught my students about contraception. Even so, some of my students dropped out pregnant. Lack of knowledge wasn’t the problem – they knew to use condoms. Instead, these girls didn’t complete high school or college because they couldn’t say no to their partners. They couldn’t defend their boundaries.
My students’ parents did an excellent job protecting their kids while they were young, and completely failed to prepare them for when they became teens.
I don’t want you to find yourself in that unhappy place! And I don’t want your child to be unskilled and in over their head.
If this describes your family, the sooner you shift, the better. Some of us can make that change easily, but most of us need a little help.
That’s why I’ve put together an online course: the Boundaries and Consent Bootcamp. This course is for anyone ages 10 and up, so if you want to take it, great! If you want to share the videos with your kids, awesome!
Here’s what’s included:
- 6 modules to walk you through skill building healthy boundaries
- module transcripts to help you review the material and share it with your family
- handouts on action steps so you can implement the content easily
- 6 Q&A calls to support your understanding and application to real life
- A private online discussion group where you can post questions, challenges, and triumphs, where the community and I can support you all along the journey
In support of you,
PS – If you’re a coach, educator, or therapist I double dog dare you to register! You’ll receive tools and curriculum to use with your students and clients, and the price of this training will never be lower. Join us!