Finding a happy medium between you and your ex for teaching your children valuable life lessons after a divorce is a challenge. One area that can’t be overlooked during childhood is teaching them about boundaries. Not only do you have to show them why rules and consequences matter, you also have to help them learn about personal boundaries.
There are two types of personal boundaries that children need to establish. These include boundaries of the body and boundaries for material things. While you might argue that body boundaries are the most important, they are equally important.
Body boundaries are important because they teach children that they are in control of their own person. One way that you can do this early in age is to avoid the temptation to tell children to hug certain relatives or friends. Instead, watch the children to determine their comfort level. If they aren’t comfortable hugging someone or being hugged, they should be taught to speak up in a respectful way if the person is nonthreatening. Being forceful should be perfectly acceptable if the person is threatening to the child.
Material item boundaries are important because they teach children to respect their belongings and those of others. This can’t be taught in place of sharing. Children need to learn that they can share their things; however, they shouldn’t be expected to compromise on how those are treated. For example, a child might not want anyone laying on their bed. This should be respected since that is the kid’s own personal space.
As a parent, it is hard to navigate through some situations that you will be placed in. For those who have a parenting plan, having to take the other parent’s thoughts and beliefs into account can be even more challenging.