Setting firm Boundaries

Parents want their children to be warriors, strong, resilient and able to get on with life and with all different types of people. Unfortunately, not all children can do that. Some children struggle with standing up to others because they don’t feel confident or are scared to speak up. They allow other children to push them around (not always physically) and take advantage of them. It can result in them getting into trouble and people being mean to them – lowering their self-esteem. Children must not let this happen.

Be Assertive With Healthy Boundaries 

All children need to learn to be assertive, be respected and find their voice. They also need firm boundaries around what they see as acceptable and what is not. What do they believe is right and what is wrong?

  • Is carrying a friend’s bag between lessons the right thing to do for example?
  • Is being left out socially OK?
  • Is being on the receiving end of ‘jokes’ acceptable if you’re being singled out?
  • Is it OK for others to be friendly only when they want something or if nobody else is around?

Children want to fit in with their peers so don’t always think about whether the way they are being treated is wrong. If your child is being taken advantage of help them find their voice.

Talk to them about what they can do and say in that situation

  • What should they say?
  • How can they say it?
  • What kind of tone should they use?
  • What should their face look like when they say it?
  • How will the other person respond?

Children need to own their words and say them strongly so that the other person knows they mean it and are not a pushover. They need to be seen as strong, not weak. Unfortunately, some people take advantage of weakness so setting firm boundaries is key.

To read more about friendships have a look at helping your child having healthy friendships.