Boundaries VS. Space
Setting boundaries with our kids while also giving them space to explore, is always a tricky balance, for me anyway. I constantly toggle between wanting them to have the freedom to express themselves, and then feeling like I need to insert myself to teach respect, kindness, and right from wrong. Anyone else?
Finding the Right Balance
What I have learned about myself as a mother, is that this is simply part of parenting in my world. The balancing act is constant and ever-changing. I want both freedom and structure for my kids, and this requires constant self-awareness and shifting gears. And constantly being reminded to let go of old patterns and expectations of perfection.
Sometimes I simply have to let go because I am exhausted, and trust that they will navigate whatever it is with success. Even when this fails miserably, I can recharge and have a less reactive teaching moment later on to instill the values that I know will help build resilience.
I have also noticed a lot of pressure from some parenting styles that make you feel like you can’t say the word “no” or set boundaries for your kids. As a parent, I don’t know how you raise children without saying “no” or being harsh at times. I recently read in Gabor Mate’s book, Scattered Minds, about how critical boundaries are for your children’s healthy development, and that having a harsh and serious tone helps them distinguish what is really important. The key is not to walk away after, but rather to connect with the child emotionally. The connection is what many of us likely missed when we were children.
The point is, finding the balance in parenting is not always consistent. Being present and aware is the best we can do. And accepting this difficult process as part of raising our children.
This week, try to be gentle with yourself if things go awry. Notice the teaching moments and address them when you feel calm and patient, it doesn’t always have to be in the moment.
This week’s practice:
- Notice what triggers you as a parent/teacher with children’s behaviors.
- Where can you let go? When do you NEED to step in?
- Play with this balance and find acceptance that this is part of the process when raising and teaching children!
- BE KIND and GENTLE with yourself. YOU ARE DOING YOUR VERY BEST. <3
In the classroom & at home:
- Pause before jumping in to correct a student or child.
- Take a few moments to notice if they NEED your guidance, or if space to navigate on their own will offer some important lessons.
- Remember, self-efficacy is critical when building resilience!