I recently had several “self-confessed jellyfish” mommies contact me. They had read my post entitled, “Developing Healthy Boundaries,” but still were unsure about what they should really enforce in their homes as “none of it seems worth fighting over.”
I am not advocating fighting with your child. If you approach a child that way, even just in your head before you open your mouth, the whole exchange between the two of you is lost. I am saying, however, that your child does deserve the dignity and respect that a peaceful home and good behavior provides. You are worthy of a child who eventually embodies self-discipline, self-motivation and self-responsibility. Your family is worthy of having a clean, peaceful home to live in.
My suggestion for “things worth quibbling over” would include the following:
Having the child respect himself, others and the Earth with his or her body and words. Everyone deserves to be safe.
Keeping the home environment picked up and clean within the child’s ability and with the parent’s help.
Everyone should have the right and ability to rest when they need. Quiet time and the need for quiet activity should not be a dirty word within the home.
Manners that will serve your child well throughout his or her life are worth demonstrating and working on. Good manners include such things as how we speak to others, table manners, how we act in different environments outside of our home with other people, even the importance of being on time in our culture.
Some people write a family mission statement to try to embody the things that are most important to them. This may be helpful to you. Remember though, with small children under the age of 7, we mainly show these things through modeling and physically helping the child. This will mean infinitely more than a bunch of head-oriented, verbal demands. Please see the post entitled, “Take My Three Day Challenge.” We command by using our Authentic Leadership, we do not work with our children by verbally wearing them out!
These are just beginning thoughts and I would love to hear from all of the wonderful mothers out there: What is vitally and essentially important for my little jellyfish of the sea to think about in their homes?
Just a few thoughts from my little corner of the world.