Our job as parents isn’t to remove their distress around boundaries, but to give them the experiences to recognise they can handle boundaries - holding theirs and respecting the boundaries others.
Every time we hold a boundary, we are giving our kids the precious opportunity to learn how to hold their own.
If we don’t have boundaries, the risk is that our children won’t either. We can talk all we want about the importance of boundaries, but if we don’t show them, how can they learn? Inadvertently, by avoiding boundary collisions with them, we are teaching them to avoid conflict at all costs.
In practice, this might look like learning to put themselves, their needs, and their feelings away for the sake of peace. Alternatively, they might feel the need to control other people and situations even more. If they haven’t had the experience of surviving a collision of needs or wants, and feeling loved and accepted through that, conflicting needs will feel scary and intolerable.
Similarly, if we hold our boundaries too harshly and meet their boundary collisions with shame, yelling, punishment or harsh consequences, this is how we’re teaching them to respond to disagreement, or diverse needs and wants. We’re teaching them to yell, fight dirty, punish, or overbear those who disagree.
They might also go the other way. If boundaries are associated with feeling shamed, lonely, ‘bad’, they might instead surrender boundaries and again put themselves away to preserve the relationship and the comfort of others. This is because any boundary they hold might feel too much, too cruel, or too rejecting, so ‘no boundary’ will be the safest option.
If we want our children to hold their boundaries respectfully and kindly, and with strength, we will have to go first.
It’s easy to think there are only two options. Either:
- We focus on the boundary at the expense of the relationship and staying connected to them.
- We focus on the connection at the expense of the boundary.
But there is a third option, and that is to do both - at the same time. We hold the boundary, while at the same time we attend to the relationship. We hold the boundary, but with warmth.♥️
Geraldine S (verified owner) –
I loved this story and the characters. It was very timely for my grandkids as they were having some issues with boundaries. Well explained with a great message. I passed this on to my son to read to his kids and they loved the story.
Solen (verified owner) –
Thank you for this book!!! It was a fun read :)) This and more books like this to come will help children around the world and help immensely with their healthy development.
Peter S (verified owner) –
These books are all truly wonderful! Just what we were looking for! Thanks! 🙂
Lupe S (verified owner) –
Wow!! Love your books. Everything I have order has been beautifully and carefully wrapped. The books and their messages are amazing. I work with young people and they help them understand concepts we are learning in therapy so much better. Thank you.
Erin (verified owner) –
Gorgeous book and illustrations that teaches the value of self acceptance and boundaries in a really fun way. I really appreciate the conversation prompters at the back of all Karen’s books to help to guide parents/carers to discuss these really important topics with their children.
Susan R (verified owner) –
Excellent message! Compliments the strategy that I teach my students to use when someone says something hurtful to them; to put up their “invisible shield” to deflect the hurtful words. The “invisible shield” is positive self-talk: student’s strengths and positive qualities. This strategy empowers the student to focus on themselves, and not give power to the hurtful words or actions.
Carmen D (verified owner) –
Hi I was delighted to received books wrapped in lovely paper with a sticker sealing it. A lovely touch. Beautiful messages in this and another book I purchased. I would have like the pictures to be abit more colourful though to appeal to kids a little more. Pleased with my purchase
Robyn C –
Excellent child level explanation about acceptance and bullying giving the child excellent skills to deal with it on a day to day basis! Love the soft toy amygdala to cuddle too! It is a concrete object the child can hang on to so they can understand the abstract concepts of their brain!