137: How to Set Loving Boundaries for your Children, Part 2 // Dr. Katie Penry
Welcome back to part two of our conversation with licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Katie Penry!
Dr. Penry recently released her first book, The Parenting Toddlers Workbook, and as I read through the book, the portions that jumped out to me the most were about how to set loving limits with our young children–and I really feel that those principles can be applicable to children as they age as well.
Obviously the particulars of situations where limits are needed will change and get more nuanced as children get older, but the necessity of parents having loving limits and the ability to hold to them does not change. So I hope these episodes will be helpful to you, regardless of the ages of your children.
Last week, Katie and I discussed why it’s actually extremely loving to set limits for our children–loving for them AND for ourselves. She went on to explain that the KEY to being able to hold to loving limits for our kids is to anchor them in our unique family values, our individual needs as mothers, and our deepest hopes for our children.
In today’s episode, we will be diving deeper into HOW to actually hold to your limits, once you’ve decided what they will be, by remember three principles:
Setting Boundaries with Children
1) Know the template for introducing and supporting limits:
-Acknowledge the feeling that is leading to the behavior. (“You are so excited to be here and have so much energy from being trapped in the car all day! Of course you are! But…”)
-State the limit clearly. (“In my house, we don’t jump on furniture, even when we’re really excited.”)
-Tell them what they can do. (“You are welcome to go outside and jump on my trampoline!)
-If needed, help them respect the limit. (“Here let me take your hand and show you where the trampoline is.”)
-Validate their feelings if they are upset about the consequence. (“I know it’s disappointing when we can’t do what we want to do. I’ve felt that too.”)
2) Use “consequence couplets” to make natural consequences matter-of-fact and compassionate. (“If you do this, then this will happen.”)
3) Be decisive with your children. Remember that clear and consistent is kind, while flexible and ambiguous is confusing.
Friends, I’m so glad you have joined us for this two-part series, and I hope you know that I am cheering you on as you work to set more loving limits in your home.
>>Please join us this Thursday, July 9th at 10:00 a.m. MST for an online book launch party and Live Q&A with me and Dr. Katie Penry! I am so excited to celebrate her and to introduce her to all of you in a Live format. Sign up at 3in30podcast.com/booklaunch and bring your questions about parenting toddlers!<<
Quotes from the Episode
"Clear and consistent is kind; ambiguous and flexible is not."
"I don't view myself as the enforcer; I view myself as the person who helps them cope with the consequence."
"Children need to feel the confident decisiveness of their parents."
"When kids can expect the same consequences, that creates safety for them."
"The compassion that you show for your child after you make a decision is also a compassion that you can extend to yourself."
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How do you work on setting boundaries with children? Let me know in a comment below!