Originally Posted by gaialice
Yeah, I also agree that there are some limits which are people's personal boundaries, but there are others which are necessarily boundaries around the children. Returning to my example yesterday, the limit of no running in the street, which I seem not to have been able to enforce properly, that is a limit around the children. Not around the cars!
I do not want to enter a discussion, here, I just would like to point out that - at least for me - the boundaries that I have to build around the kids are much more difficult to impose. In fact, if it is a boundary around me, well, it is not easy for a 3 yo and a 5 yo to make me do things I do not want to do (including being hit). But, making them do what I ask, that's different, and it does not always work. How do you go about enforcing this second kind of boundaries?
FWIW, I have learned that I cannot make
anyone do what I ask-not even my kids. It is not possible to control another person. And while I probably actually can find some ways to make
my kids do some things right now, there will come a time when I can't make
them do anything. And making them do something, well that creates a disconnection (however brief it may be) and the more we disconnect the less my kids will value and respect what I have to say and offer. The more we disconnect, the less cooperation there is between us, and the more struggle there is. This I have experienced already, though my kids are still quite young and I admittedly cannot predict what the future will hold regardless of how I parent from here on out.
So I am learning to focus not on making my kids do things, but on communicating with them so that they have the information they need when it comes to relationships with others and to making decisions. When it comes to danger, of course I will physically step in and prevent something dangerous from happening. I will block one child's hands from hitting another, I will grab a child about to walk into the street. If a child tries to hit me, I'll move or block the hit while saying "I do not want to be hit." In the example you gave of your kids running on the sidewalk but not actually in the street, I've btdt. I didn't feel safe with my kids' running on the sidewalk, not at all. So what I said (to my 4 and 6 year old-the two year old still goes in the backpack) was this "When you run on the sidewalk I feel scared, because I'm afraid you might accidentally run or fall into the street and get hurt by a car. I need to know that we're all going to be safe traveling on the sidewalk, so I want you to walk
." And repeated, and repeated. Did some running, watched them run a little (asking them to "walk, please") and realized it's probably not as dangerous as I'm afraid it is, and within a few days it actually wasn't a problem anymore-they weren't running. I could have said (and actually, I may have said this and realized it was foolish, I can't remember) "if you keep running, we won't walk anymore" but I realized that this was not something I wanted to do-we like to walk, it's good for our bodies and our spirits, it's enjoyable time together, and to just stop walking wouldn't teach them how to be safe walking down the road.
I've now lost my train of thought, and these kinds of threads scare me anyway
so I'm going to stop. I do not at all pretend to understand completely what captain crunchy and aira are saying, but I do think that (as much as I understand it) it makes sense. I don't think it's all that odd, and I don't think they mean that they let their kids run all over doing whatever they please at the expense of the people around them.
Kids want to get along, kids want to be helpful, kids want to connect, kids want to do well. All they need is clear, honest information and loving support. Not that it's always easy.