Principles & Practices of Conscious Parenting – Part 4
Principle: Children thrive within firm, yet flexible and negotiable boundaries.
Firm describes boundaries that are consistent, meaning that from one minute to the next, the child knows and can predict what’s considered acceptable or unacceptable.
Flexible and negotiable limits are subject to change as appropriate in order to account for the situation or for the child’s particular phase of development.
Such boundaries support a child’s self-esteem by allowing the child to consciously move within or out of those boundaries, teaching respect for self and for others.
In Practice: Say what you mean and mean what you say!
Follow through on what you say every time. When your child ignores a request, do not just repeat the request again. Instead, take him or her out of the situation, make eye contact, and ask for acknowledgment.
While allowing children to make their own choices is important, don’t give them a choice unless you can accept what they decide.
If it’s getting late and time to leave a friend’s house don’t ask them if they are ready to leave because the answer is probably no.
Instead, tell them that you’re going to leave soon and ask if there’s anything they’d like to say or do before you go. Likewise, provide a set of structured choices when getting input from children on reasonable bed times, chores, etc.
Up Next: Independence & Community