family history · parenting

Our Lessons in Learning Healthy Boundaries

I am using this blog post in a Writing 201 course to work on improving my writing.  It was pointed out to me that I was a bit harsh in the original.  I am so sorry to those who read this original and was offended- especially my household.  I didn’t mean it to be harsh.  Please forgive me.

I guess that would be a huge boundary issue that I need to deal with!!  I guess it starts at the top doesn’t it??!!

as a family, we need to encourage each other and build each other up.
as a family, we need to encourage each other and build each other up.

Our household is made up of lots of people.  Sometimes when you have lots of people in the same house, boundary lines get crossed.  It happens quietly and slowly sometimes. Other times familiarity overrides and assumptions are made and well, feelings get hurt in the process.

For example, 2 of my boys are sharing  room.  They tend to use each others things without asking.  We had a knock down drag out the other day because one chose to play with the others Lego creation!!  The fact is that they share a room not always their toys.

Another problem is that each one thinks they can boss the other one around.  They want to tell everyone younger than they what to do.  Not always the best idea since they don’t want to use kindness in the process.  They want to just be rude, bossy and not think about how the other would react or what another is doing.

We need to do a boundary check and say NO to these unhealthy behaviors.

Yea- Its a lesson we all need to learn at some point.  If you are lucky, you learn it early and consistently.  If your like us, you get to a point where its causing problems before you really notice that its there.  Other people seem to not ever notice or understand that it is a problem and never address it.

I guess I have got that part down. The part that notices that healthy boundaries are being crossed.  Not the part about healthy boundaries being a problem.  Still learning that one.  I know, weird.  I should know by now shouldn’t I??!!

This is where we are at;  some people want to take charge and tell everyone else what to do.  This is a problem for us since there are several people in this home and not everyone WANTS to do whatever it is.  Then feelings get hurt and resentments happen.

This list can help us understand each other and how to encourage one another.  May need to post this in my kitchen!
This list can help us understand each other and how to encourage one another. May need to post this in my kitchen!

Some people override others feelings in this house and don’t listen when another says “Stop” or “No”.  This is a serious problem and needs to stop.

Then we have the issue of expectations.  Expectations are a good thing, except when they overrule another’s.  I cannot expect you to do something you don’t have the ability or time for. Two questions need to be asked in this instance:  “Am I willing?” and then “Am I able?”

Respect needs to be a priority.  Respect for the others around us and our property.  We need to regain that respect.  Each of us needs to understand that all of us are important and necessary.  We have to realize that each of us has the need to be able to say, No and be respected for that.

Valuing one another is another important lesson.  We each have likes and dislikes.  We each have gifts and abilities.  One son cannot throw a ball for anything!!  Another can throw a ball amazingly well.  One daughter understands animals and another has no desire for pets.  Some like cars and engines and such.  Others have no desire for that.

Some things that need to happen to help each one respect and value the other:

Ask if you are interested in a particular activity.  Who would like to participate?  Don’t just expect others to take part just because you want to.  Maybe, just to bless and show respect for another, join in just to spend time and encourage the other.

Look at the list of jobs and projects.  What can you do to help conquer the list? What can you do to help maintain the place where you live?  What can you do to bless the others and show respect and value to the place you live?  Do the bathrooms need cleaning or maintaining?  Do your toys need putting away?  Show respect and value by doing those things without being asked.

If you have an expectation of an opportunity to do a job or go someplace, don’t just expect that others have that same expectation.  Don’t just assume others feel the same way you do.  Ask and give the opportunity to say no, I can’t or I don’t want to.  Then don’t “punish” by “shunning”.  Respect another’s feelings and allow them the ability to say no. But at the same time, understand that its a good thing to just spend time with another.  If you can at all, just say yes because its an opportunity to spend quality time with another.

Learn this word and learn it well:  “No.”  Understand that it is ok to use this word. Ask yourself those 2 important questions,  “Am I willing?” and “Am I able?”  Give yourself permission to answer them honestly and respect another’s ability to answer them honestly too.

There are so many other things that I need to work on I realize.  We are in process.  Its ok.  My hope here in this blog post is that you can see if you have these same or similar issues and can recognize them.  Once you recognize them for what they are, I pray you can address them and fix them.  A resource I have used in the past and need to revisit is “Boundaries” by Cloud and Townsend.  An incredibly valuable resource if you have issues understanding healthy boundaries.

excellent resource for families!!
excellent resource for families!!

Lord, please help us to understand each other and help each other have healthy boundaries.  Help us to say no when we need to, to say yes when we can, and respect each other and value each other.  We love you Lord– Amen.

Blessing on your day!







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