Loving relationships make life so sweet! Forming strong emotional bonds with others is an essential part of your overall wellness. But, like everything else, relationships can have their ups and downs. How do you keep your relationships going strong; and contributing to – not detracting from, your overall well-being? Setting boundaries is an essential part of self care in relationships, as well as in parenting!
Setting boundaries in relationships means deciding what is ok for you, and what is not! Once you decide on your boundaries, make sure they are:
- Clearly defined (specific and not confusing)
- Clearly communicated to your partner (be sure they understand you, so there is no confusion)
- Simple and ‘to the point’ (not overly complex)
Learning to say NO
Perhaps the most important boundary of all is the ability to speak your mind in a relationship. Do you feel free to do this in your current relationships?
You must be able to say no, if something is not a good fit for you. It may take practice if you are not used to having this freedom. But an important part of self care is knowing that you have choices, and you can ‘opt out’ of something if it makes you uncomfortable. A relationship should never make you feel unsafe.
Boundaries in parenting
You’re taking care of your child, but remember to take care of yourself, too. If you are not strong emotionally you won’t be able to care for your child the way you want and need to. This is why self care includes setting boundaries in parenting, too.
Decide on some ‘house rules’ that will help you create an orderly and predictable routine in the home. Choose some boundaries that will allow you space for quiet time alone to recharge your batteries and refresh your mind. Find ways to carve out even small amounts of ‘me-time’ and be sure you child understands the ground rules for those breaks in the day.
Though they may not always show it, children want and need boundaries. Boundaries help children to feel safe and secure, and to feel a sense of order. Let them know what is expected of them, and what happens when they don’t follow the rules.
Similar to setting boundaries in adult relationships, setting boundaries with your children should follow a few simple guidelines:
- Boundaries should be clear and easy to understand,
- Boundaries should be communicated so everyone knows and understands them,
- Consequences should set so everyone knows what happens when boundaries are not followed.
Deciding on how many, and which boundaries to set will be different for every parent. But once you decide what boundaries to set, consistency is key.
When parent and child both know what to expect, a sense of peace is restored and stress is reduced. Remember that children may not be able to adapt as quickly to new rules and boundaries, so patience is important. Consistency will help the boundaries to become a habit in the home.
Need more help with deciding on boundaries in your romantic and parental relationships? Reach out to us anytime: 614-444-4411.