Thursday

Setting Boundaries with Children Doesn't Make You a Bad Parent

Ever get into a conversation with someone on how you teach your children or advise a fellow parent on why he or she shouldn't spoil a child? Almost immediately the person you are sharing your story with laughs off the child's behavior, takes the “favored” parent's side and says something like, “Let kids be kids...oh that's not so bad...its alright that dad gives them what they want.”

Some parents experience a variety of feelings when listening to one who most likely indulges his or her own children and has had a few too many wars with a partner as a result. It isn't wise to assume that one is being overly protective, strict, or even crazy when it comes to training a child just because a parent says, “I don't give my child...I don't let my child...I am not the kind of parent who would...” Simply allowing one to share a story, without judgment, is all that is really needed. Put yourself in the parent's shoes, would you want someone labeling you because you do or don't do certain things with your children?

Establishing boundaries is very necessary when parenting children. Consider the many places you and your children visit where there are guidelines, principles, laws, and more that must be adhered to. So if a parent doesn't want to give a child a sugary food item before a meal, frequent fast food establishments or let a child stay up pass bedtime often, he or she has good reason. Not every child is the same and must be managed differently based on one's personality, health, location, etc. But people who don't know all the facts, don't bother to ask questions, and avoid looking beyond their own personal experiences, jump to conclusions.

Children should be taught early on at home about things like: sharing, respecting others' time, not being greedy, acting responsibly and other things that will help them have a quality life in this world while still managing to get along with others. With proper teaching, children can easily adapt to a world comprised of many authority figures, workers, and others who aid, manage and build our society. However, self-indulgent, spoiled children, who are use to parents sitting at their feet and waiting on them, will not adjust well at work, home and elsewhere. While others are getting their own tools, building their own lives, and teaching others, the spoiled child (turned helpless young adult) will be at a lost searching for anyone to help him or her—good, bad or otherwise. In time, he or she will discover that not everyone is nice and couldn't care less and so back home this person goes for a pat on the head from mom or dad saying, “It's okay. They don't understand you. You are a good person. Don't worry, we will help you.” When mom and dad should really be saying, “I apologize for not teaching you well. Since you are back at home with us, here is what you need to learn or re-learn.”

 
 
Governing one's home in a way that keeps foolishness out while teaching children right from wrong is not a bad thing, so ignore voices that ignorantly say, “Oh, let kids be kids.” Telling a child “No” shouldn't be a problem and if it is then a parent needs to ask his or herself, “Why is this an issue for me?” Then make some changes. But for some parents who grew up with lack, they don't want to address the errors of their ways. They also don't fully realize that going from a lifestyle of not having to too much giving isn't going to make their children necessarily better people in the long-run. There are many once spoiled children who grow up to be selfish and the following happens to them as a result: divorced multiple times, in and out of jail, homeless off and on, abusive, addicted to substances, unemployed often, and more because they just don't understand that people aren't going to bend over backwards for them and that the majority of society dislikes greedy, selfish people.

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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