31 Days to the Inner Rhythm of the Heart: Day Eighteen

Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress.  In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: boundaries.   Read on for more

If you take the values and priorities of your family, you will automatically find the places where boundaries matter.  Boundaries will matter because they will help back up your vision for your family.  It is not enough to say that you don’t want yelling in your home.  It must be what you value and want to promote instead of yelling.  This will help help you be “relentless” (remember that word from day six in this series?)  in your pursuit.

Boundaries are also exceedingly important because many mothers tell me that they are, in fact, patient….the first ten times they deal with an issue or challenge with their children.  It is by the time the child has looked for the boundary for the twentieth or fiftieth time that they begin to yell.

The important thing with boundaries is to -

1. Identify what the boundaries are in your family.  What are the things in your family that you want to see more of and what gets in the way?  That gives you a clue as to a boundary.

2.  What can you do to help a child or adult in the family stick to the boundary that helps makes everyone comfortable…the first time?  What do you need to do to help that along?

3.  What is the natural consequence of going over the boundary?  Yelling is not a natural consequence; it is not a teaching tool.  So what is the consequence?

4. Most importantly, how does the person make restitution for going over the boundary?

5.  And, lastly, where is your inner work so that you, as the parent, see that you have the authority to be the loving, kind guide to make all this happen?

Many blessings,
Carrie

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2 thoughts on “31 Days to the Inner Rhythm of the Heart: Day Eighteen

  1. This is exactly where I am stuck. I feel that boundaries are important and we are clear on the boundaries for our family. I have four children, two of whom are very easy temperment wise to establish boundaries with. Then I have two who are very strong-willed and determined and persistent and redirection is not something that works for them. I am just wondering if you could give some suggestions as to what to do/say in situations for common boundaties and some examples of natural consequences for those times when you’ve set the same bounday 30 times and then had an almost 3 year old or 10 year old (those are the ages of my two more challenging to parent children) screaming for 45 mintues. I usually end up yelling at the 10 year old and giving in to the 3 year old….just to get on with my day!! Neither is what I want to be doing!

    • Sarah,
      Yes, I have many suggestions. I don’t know as I can go over them all here. First of all, I think you have to set your resolve. Your almost three year old is learning, and so is your ten year old but it is up you to you to guide and set good foundations for the next phase. Are you spending any connection time one on one with your 10 year old? Can you have a talk about how the two of you communicate? How you want to do it differently together? Then I would work seriously on the ten year old, because the example he or she is setting is something the younger children imitate. I would really get my “ho hum” on. If the boundary is set, you stick to it and he or she is upset, you can try connecting in the moment with a smile or a hug, but you don’t back down. If it ends up in a fit, then ugly doesn’t get to go out into the world and whatever is going to happen later that day (playing with friends, activities) needs to be negated that day. You can also add extra chores for the number of minutes the family is disrupted by a fit. You can also try separating yourself until you both feel calm, but make it clear you are not going to talk about the issue again since it has been talked to death. I know all these things may sound harsh, but remember that You are teaching your child to learn how to guide himself, how to deal with frustration. Life does not always hand us yes, so this becomes an important skill to have. But, do make sure what you are setting down is reasonable, fair, just and not just things that are petty, too. Work on the big things and let your end of the rope go for the small things by having realistic expectations. You cannot argue with a ten year old over everything, so put connection and love first and work on the big things. Also, do make sure if you have a partner that they are backing you up. Sometimes hearing the “rules” from the other adult in the house is very helpful and reviewing at the end of the day how things went, and again, to connect. I think the other thing is what are your arguing about – is it outside influences? If everything outside influence wise is a fight, then we just don’t get to do that (activity, media, sleep over, etc). It shouldn’t be so hard at this age, so you may need to circle the wagons in, so to speak.
      So, for your two year old try time in for tinies. Little children need to be held and love if they are tantruming. Connect and love. http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/01/12/more-about-time-in-for-tinies/ . Strong rhythm, rest, warming foods are all your friends for someone so tiny. A much different case than with a ten year old.

      I hope you can take what I am saying with love, take what resonates for you, do your own inner work that parenting is hard, get your ho hum on and love your children.
      Blessings,
      Carrie

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