Setting boundaries is a life skill that has been popularized by self help authors and support groups since the mid 1980’s. It is the practice of openly communicating and asserting personal values as way to preserve and protect against having them compromised or violated. The term “boundary” is a metaphor – with in-bounds meaning acceptable and out-of-bounds meaning unacceptable. Without values and boundaries our identities become diffused and often controlled by the definitions offered by others.
There are many boundaries in our lives. Some we set for ourselves and others that are set up for us either through professional expectations, educational lines or social codes.
As parents we set boundaries for our children that are part of their learning curve on behavior. We have no hitting boundaries, no lying boundaries, no eating candy and cookies all day boundaries and many more. Our children push and pull on the boundaries that we have set wanting to have none but needing them all and the boundaries change as they grow older. The boundaries are set with consequences for crossing over them as a way to teach our children. It is the consequences we set that we are hoping our children to develop the knowledge of right and wrong. A lot of these were learned as we were children and we may have tweaked them a bit to fit our family and how we are raising our children.
As a family built by adoption, we have set up some boundaries about discussions related to our family. Now that our children are older we have taught them to choose when, to who and how they tell their family story. Our family story is not a secret but as a family we believe it is a private matter and not to be shared without their consent. I see that one of our daughters is more apt to share her family story and our other not so quick to share. We are proud to see that they each have created their own boundaries for themselves.
What boundaries do you have set for yourself and/or your family?
This is day 2 of #NaBloPoMo #BlogHer