Set meaningful boundaries and limits

How To Set Meaningful Boundaries and Limits For Your Kids, with Erin Royer-Asrilant – RFL040

How to Set Meaningful Boundaries and Limits For Your Kids – Episode Overview

We want our kids to find their way in today’s wild world. And to do that, they need to learn, explore and discover. So how much is too much freedom and how much is too little? THEY want to be free, YOU want them to be safe – how do you blend the two?

Our job as modern parents is to get our kids ready for life. That means we need to walk WITH them – to guide and interpret our noisy and pushy world, to help them make sense of it – to be able to see their options then be able to make wise choices in school, work and life that need what they do best. To do this, we need to set up boundaries and guidelines. If these are too tight, our kids rebel. If they are too loose, they can get caught up in the world’s distractions. Finding the balance is critical.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on guiding our kids to be successful, happy and responsible in life. My intention is to have a discussion about boundaries and guidelines as tools to help our kids stay focused on what matters – to both fully experience the world and to know how to choose wisely in all of its noise and distractions.

Meet our guest Erin Royer-Asrilant

Erin Royer O Meaningful Boundaries For KidsErin Royer-Asrilant is a parent of 3 young children and has a masters in clinical psychology. She specializes in helping families resolve stressful parenting concerns such as negative child behavior, unproductive communication, and family organization issues. She is the founder of Your Village Online, a robust parenting site with 40 online education programs to help all parents learn to be more confident and successful with their parenting – by improving how they deal with discipline, boundaries and roles. You can find out more about this amazing mom who still makes time to train for triathlons and marathons at the links below.

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. It is critical for us to help our kids be aware in today’s world without being afraid of it. We set boundaries and limits to help our kids learn how to be successful and safe in our world.
  2. We help our kids process and interpret life successfully when we help them discover and develop their talents and strengths. Make this an intentional component of how you raise them so they aren’t discovering this information later in life. The sooner our kids know their inventory of abilities, the sooner they can better understand how to find their way in life – to be confident to be present in it and wise to live it safely.
  3. Tune in to your kids to notice their abilities – to help them start to connect them with the opportunities in life that align.
  4. We constantly struggle as parents with the fear and danger we see and experience in our world. This can make us want to create stronger limits and guidelines for our kids which can sometimes have the opposite effect we desire. All great guidelines, limits and boundaries as our kids grow and mature are best done through discussion. You, as a parent, can always override what a child may want, but including him or her in the conversation opens you up to his or her reality, and creates the ability for both sides to share their real thoughts. This can’t happen if all limits and rules are handed down to kids.
  5. Safety, values and beliefs are usually delivered to our kids in a telling mode. All other events can be negotiated through conversation.
  6. Our kids are getting in over their heads because of the Internet. The internet is a doorway to the entire world – which includes many areas that our kids are not wise enough to know how to process, handle or ignore. Setting limits on access is important.
  7. Boundaries and limits – kids want freedom and choice and safety and security – make them reasonable and age-appropriate. This is one of the main ways we communicate that our kids are safe with us.
  8. Include your kids in your conversations about limits and boundaries so they know what you are thinking, what you are concerned about and what you know that they may not know. Explaining things helps create context so kids are more aware of the reasons in the limits – they may not always agree but they at least understand our thinking.
  9. Staying calm is so critical to effective parenting.  Peaceful parenting is about parenting, not the kids. You can’t be your best self (calm, peaceful) if you are not taking care of yourself.

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1. Stop and Notice how you create boundaries, guidelines and limits with your kids. Is it one directional or do you involve them in discussions? How effectively are your limits or boundaries working?
  2. Stop and Notice what you talk to your kids about in a day. Is it negative and pessimistic like much of the news, or do you help your kids appreciate the dangers in our world but still be optimistic and willing to be fully involved in life?
  3. Stop and Notice how balanced you are in protecting your kids from the dangers and distractions in today’s world but open and encouraging to let them discover who they are and go live life like it matters. How can you improve this today?
  4. Stop and Notice how calm and stable you are as a parent. What do you need to do on a daily basis for yourself, to be a peaceful parent? How can being a peaceful parent help improve your parenting, particularly around setting limits and boundaries for your kids?

Our world has both great and dangerous things. In order to be safe and loving life, we need to help our kids learn how to know the difference. With the Internet, they have access to things we never dreamed of seeing at their age – some productive, and many that are unproductive. It is up to us to help them understand their world to known how to navigate successfully in it. This means setting meaningful and age-appropriate boundaries and limits – limiting access until they can wise and ready in their responses – and including them when they are ready in the discussions about those limits. This is just what it takes to be a modern parent.

Suggested Resource:

Scream Free Parenting ResourceScreamFree Parenting – The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids By Keeping Your Cool  – by Hal Edward Runkel, LMFT

You Can Start a Revolution in Your Family . . . Tonight

ScreamFree Parenting is not just about lowering your voice. It’s about learning to calm your emotional reactions and learning to focus on your own behavior more than your kids’ behavior . . . for their benefit. Our biggest enemy as parents is not the TV, the Internet, or even drugs. Our biggest enemy is our own emotional reactivity. When we say we “lost it” with our kids, the “it” in that sentence is our own adulthood. And then we wonder why our kids have so little respect for us, why our kids seem to have all the power in the family.

It’s time to do it differently. And you can. You can start to create and enjoy the types of calm, mutually respectful, and loving relationships with your kids that you’ve always craved. You can begin to revolutionize your family, starting tonight.

Parenting is not about kids, it’s about parents. If you’re not in control, then you cannot be in charge. What every kid really needs are parents who are able to keep their cool no matter what.

Easier said than done? Not anymore, thanks to ScreamFree Parenting, the principle-based approach that’s inspiring parents everywhere to truly revolutionize their family dynamics. Moving beyond the child-centered, technique-based approaches that ultimately fail, the ScreamFree way compels you to:

  • focus on yourself
  • calm yourself down, and
  • grow yourself up

By staying calm and connected with your kids, you begin to operate less out of your deepest fears and more out of your highest principles, revolutionizing your relationships in the process.

ScreamFree Parenting is not just another parenting book. It’s the first parenting book that maintains—from beginning to end—that parenting is NOT about kids . . . it’s about parents. As parents pay more attention to controlling their own behavior instead of their kids’ behavior, the result is stronger, more rewarding, and more fulfilling family relationships.

For those of you reading who are parents, know parents, or have had parents, the notion that the greatest thing you can do for your children is to learn to focus on yourself may sound strange, even heretical. It’s not. Here’s why: we are the only ones we can control. We cannot control our kids—we cannot control the behavior of any other human being. And yet, so many “experts” keep giving us more tools (“techniques”) to help us try to do just that. And, of course, the more we try to control, the more out of control our children become.

“Don’t make me come up there.” “Don’t make me pull this car over.” “How many times do I have to tell you?” Even our language suggests that our kids have control over us.

It’s no wonder that we end up screaming. Or shutting down. Or simply giving up. And the charts, refrigerator magnets, family meetings, and other techniques in most typical parenting books just don’t work. They end up making us feel more frustrated and more powerless in this whole parenting thing.

This practical, effective guide for parents of all ages with kids of all ages introduces proven principles for overcoming the anxieties and stresses of parenting and setting new patterns of connection and cooperation. Well-written in an engaging, conversational tone, the book is sensible, straightforward, and based on the experiences of hundreds of actual families. It will help all parents become calming authorities in their homes, bring peace to their families today, and give kids what they need to grow into caring, self-directed adults tomorrow.