How are you feeling this week?
What have been your biggest wins?
What hasn't gone so well? What lessons have you taken away from these experiences? Are you ready to let them go now?
If you can, spend some time journalling your answers to the questions above.
Let's have a chat about how to set boundaries with your children.
Do you find it difficult to set boundaries with your children?
We have decided to break this down into age groups. First up, let's think about how to set limits with your under 6s.⠀
Children learn from you, so the less congruent you are and the more inconsistent your requests, the more their behaviour will seem “all over the place”. ⠀
Here are some top tips to try…
1. Be clear with your instructions. This may seem like an obvious one, but actually, when you’re caught up doing 101 things (as parents often are), it is easy to be unclear! Keep any instructions short (5-7 words) and be direct. ⠀
2. Be calm and consistent. When your child does something that isn’t acceptable, try to be calm and consistent with your response to this behaviour. It can be exhausting, but consistency really is key. ⠀
3. Listen… With this one, we mean to listen actively. Don’t try to “fix it”, try to be present and offer empathy when your child comes to you with an issue. Give your child time each day just to talk, and if you can, make sure you are fully present in the conversation. ⠀
Next, setting limits with under 11s.
We acknowledge that this isn’t easy, especially since they’re that little bit older and wiser. When it comes to boundaries with primary school aged children, the best advice we can offer is to be empathetic with all of your parenting approaches…⠀
Whether you are dealing with bedtime, behaviour, school issues or even eating challenges, the empathic way is often the most successful. ⠀
What do we mean by offering empathy?
1. Ask: With any of the above issues, ask your child how they are feeling and what the problem is. ⠀
2. Listen: When your child responds, or offers any information as to what is going on for them, be present and listen to what they’re saying. ⠀
3. Respond: When responding to your child, try to paraphrase some of what they have shared so they can see you have actively listened to what they have said. ⠀
4. Act collaboratively and with care: If it’s appropriate, work with your child to find a solution.
Before we share our tips for this group of young people, we felt it important to preface this a little extra advice. Being a teenager, especially in 2022, is not easy. The uncertainty of the future can be a challenge at the best of times....
Here are our top tips for setting realistic limits with your teenage children!⠀
1. Consistency is key! If you are setting a bedtime or curfew, be consistent. If 10pm is bedtime, then 10pm is bedtime. However, if you feel that it’s appropriate to change this, perhaps for a special occasion, be very CLEAR in that this is a one-off and the reasons why. ⠀
2. Be there… Ensure your child feels safe by being there when they make a mistake. We know it can be frustrating when your child isn’t following instructions or isn’t accepting the limits you have set, but the truth is, arguing or battling isn’t going to make it better either! Listen to what happened and be calm in your response. There’s always a reason behind a young person’s behaviour.
You may have noticed that the advice we have offered for each age group is pretty similar… That’s because at HappiMe we believe consistency, empathy and listening skills are the keys to having a great relationship with your kids. ⠀
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Abby and the HappiMe Team x