Boundaries, Space, and Respect. . . Do you??? Do your kids???

Boundaries, Space, and Respect. . . Do you??? Do your kids???

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Being seven years out of the school-age rearing of two kids as a Christian single mother, and moving into the coaching space offering tips and tools to deal with time and money management for women like me, I’ve joined various groups on Facebook to get a feel for what’s going on these days. Most of the current groups I joined around the end of February, beginning of March so I’ve had roughly a month to get to know the general atmosphere of these groups.

Mom working at homeBefore mid-March, I was dismayed at how many groups had a focus on knatty tit-for-tat political games going on between ex’s or ex’s and the kids, or ex’s and step parents etc. There were requests for legal advice, how to control the other, getting into the dating scene, etc. Instead of seeing calls for help with how to do this or that raising one’s kids and managing school and work life, which were my own focuses when my kids were younger, I see this! In at least one of those groups, I am not the only one dismayed thankfully, but it bothered me. (edit April 2020: I eventually left two of these groups)

Mid-March on North American shores blew up over COVID-19 a week or so after Europe, and now I’m seeing another set of issues. This is closer to what I am able to speak to as The Solo-Mom Agape Resource Tactician. Moms are being forced to work from home or being laid off from work and having to hurriedly build online businesses to keep going. What this has revealed, is a severe lack of boundaries that these women have toward their children. It’s one thing fighting for boundaries with one’s ex, but it’s another matter not to have them in place with one’s kids. The vast majority of these mothers feel that if their kid barks, they have to answer. They complain about being constantly interrupted as they try to work and are looking for ways to keep their kids busy so they can work.

[bctt tweet=”The hard truth here is that the mother needs to learn what her own space is, and teach her kids to respect it.” username=”songdovemd”]When mom is on the phone, don’t interrupt unless someone got cut or the indoor cat was let outside by accident. When mom is in the bathroom, don’t knock incessantly trying to get her attention, wait till she comes out. When mom is working on the computer, ask if she has a moment and if she doesn’t, go do something else for awhile until she comes to find out what you wanted.

student thinking and studing at desk clipartKids need to learn, from the time they are babies, that Mom isn’t going to jump just because they call. Babies get bored just like toddlers and school-aged kids, so this lesson must begin there. It seriously is not only okay for children to be bored, it is actually necessary to foster creative imagination. The technology we have access to is actually starting to prove to be lowering personal creativity and problem-solving. Let your kids be bored for awhile, eventually they will begin to get creative in their own minds without technology, and start weaving their own stories, or discovering new ways to play with old toys, or explore drawing or writing on scrap sheets of paper. You might walk in on a fort being built or a battle of the stuffies or an epic adventure of Mr Eraser. Teaching them that boredom is not an enemy also allows them to think, to feel, and to grapple with those thoughts and feelings. Alone time is necessary for personal mental and emotional health equally as much as social time is for mental and emotional health. Failure to give it to two going on three generations has given rise to a massive swell in mental and emotional health problems. People are scared to be alone because they don’t want to face their thoughts and feelings. Not facing them however, is causing all kinds of relational trouble.

Let baby lay there un-entertained for awhile. Let the toddler sit among their toys without you animating them. Let your young schooler fiddle with her stuffies and your 10yr old with his books or legos. They don’t need to be pestering you all the time expecting you to keep them entertained.

Technology is not the answer as studies are now showing the damage too much screen time has on developing brains. Boredom is the answer. Respect is the answer.[bctt tweet=”If you don’t respect your own boundaries, your kids won’t either.” username=”songdovemd”]If you don’t have boundaries, neither will your kids. These need to be taught to be caught and lived in.

So for Thrive Thursday, I challenge mothers who feel they must constantly attend to their kids, to create boundaries their kids must respect, and start teaching themselves and their kids to respect them.

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