3 Reasons Why Children Need Boundaries

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One of the few boundaries that we recognize setting is the ones with our children. And as any parent knows it is in our children’s DNA to poke and test us repeatedly. They continue to push our limits and the upside to this behavior is that it enables them to learn boundaries.

It is a really important skill for our children to learn because it helps teach them independence and ultimately one day to start thinking for themselves. In this week’s episode, I will share the 3 reasons why our children need boundaries and know (and respect) who the boss is.

Episode Transcript


Hello everybody. And welcome to another episode of the divorce woman’s guide podcast. I hope you guys are doing really well today. I am excited to talk to you guys today about a topic that has come up quite a bit. And it always comes up. I always say that I could teach indefinitely about setting boundaries.

Today’s episode though is a little bit different today. I am going to talk to you guys about setting boundaries with your children, which is something that is incredibly important in your life. And it’s something that we don’t necessarily have a tremendous amount of awareness. Whip because we are in the throws of just navigating our day-to-day life and this new world that we are trying to create for ourselves.

And one of the few boundaries that we recognize setting are the ones with our children. And as any parent knows it is in our children’s DNA to just poke and tests. How many of, what I’m talking about, they just poke poke. And it seems to be that our children are born with this innate ability to do that.

Almost it’s like they know how to breathe when they come out. Apparently they also know how to test our limits and the upside to this behavior is that pushing boundaries. Is it actually really important for our children to learn that skill growing up, because it helps them to learn independence and ultimately one day to start thinking for themselves.

And as we, hope and pray it also helps them to make good choices. And so our children do need to flex their boundary pushing muscles now, but I get that it sometimes can be challenging for us. And it also is something that we are not really used to, but yet our kids are in this place of trying to assert their individuality and they will continue to do so as they get older.

And so our mission. As a parent and we’ve all already chosen to accept it because we’ve given birth is to teach our children how to test their limits respectfully without getting angry or being defiant. And to know ultimately that you, as the parent are still in charge. And so I wanted to share in today’s episode, why it is that children need boundaries and here are three reasons why number one, it is crucial that your children know who the boss is.

I always say who’s the grownup in the room. And what I know to be true is that kids feel really insecure when they don’t know what the boundaries are. I define binder boundaries as limits guidelines, rules that define where you and somebody else begins. What are permissible and not permissible ways to engage and to interact with you.

And as you all know, our children thrive and really do need predictable routines because that’s what keeps them safe. It keeps them healthy and rules are really important because it gives them a sense of security. So when we are not providing our children with clear boundaries or letting them have control over.

What gets decided in the home, what ends up happening is that you’re allowing a balance of power to shift towards your child, which is not a dynamic that you want to get into between you and your children. So for example, if a child feels like they can usually convince their parents to do whatever it is that they want.

They’re going to feel really empowered any time they want something because they know they’re going to get it. And whether our children realize it or not, that uncertainty and sense of being able to dominate you and other people who are actually supposed to be in charge will actually create anxiety and insecurity within them.

So the next time you’re getting into a power struggle. Remember that you are the grownup and you are always the clear winner. Number two as to why it’s important for children to have boundaries. It helps them to have a solid sense of self because what ends up happening is that without boundaries or having a lack of boundaries, actually skews our children’s sense of themselves.

There is a very clear difference between having positive self-esteem and no self-esteem and having limits. Excuse me not having limits creates a sense of entitlement. And it also encourages children to think about the people and the things around them as things that exist to meet their needs and that we’re here to serve them.

How many of you feel every day that all you do is serve your children? I would bet that there’s a boundary missing and so kids without boundaries or discipline. Are going to get a massively rude awakening when they walk out into the real world and realize that they’re not always going to get what they want.

That’s why I believe that there’s a sense of entitlement, a growing sense of entitlement by our youth. It’s because they haven’t grown up knowing what boundaries are. Okay. Number three reason. Last reason why it’s important for our children to have boundaries is it actually reduces conflict. Believe it or not setting limits removes, if not reduces arguments, backtalk, negotiating discussion.

And it doesn’t mean that the kids won’t try to get their way, but knowing what the boundaries are and reminding them of it, when they try to test you helps you cut down the amount of back and forth. It cuts down on the negotiating between you and your child, because. Then they can’t convince you of what they want.

And like I said, in the beginning, they are born poking creatures. They do it really well and they can, they think they can last longer than you. And I’m here to tell you that you are strong enough to outlast them and to create a boundary. And maybe even to flip the script around how you think about boundaries with your children, boundaries are like consequences. So once you establish what the rules, the limits, the guidelines are and consequences for not following those rules, there’s going to gradually be less and less pushback as kids learn how to interact with you, how to modify their behavior. According to what’s expected of them.

I hope that makes sense for you guys. I had to do this with my kids and setting boundaries, especially during COVID, but then being home. And I work from home. So establishing boundaries around my office, my work hours. I’ve also had to establish boundaries with them around how it is that they speak to me and we engage in constructive ways that we know how to engage the other.

And in talking to one another. And at the end of the day, having boundaries, these rules and the structure is essential. Essential to teaching them how to treat others and how to engage in healthy relationships with your children. So I hope that was helpful for you guys. I am just coming off of teaching a co-parenting workshop that has been amazingly successful.

So many like eyes wide open and aha moments around people discovering that they. Thought that they had boundaries in place with their children and they don’t, and they are all working so hard and diligently to create new ones and to start stepping into their power of being the adults in the conversation.

So I know that it’s possible for anybody. You just have to start doing the work. If you need support. I am a boundary setting. Bad-ass I am. So good at this. It was something I had to learn and I had to learn quickly after I got divorced. And it’s something that I am really passionate about. If you want to learn more, I always have something boundary related that I talk about in my Facebook group, the divorce rehab.

I also have a lot of different courses and programs and things that you can check out. So don’t hesitate to reach out. I would love to hear from you. What resonated, what did you realize about the lack of boundaries that you have in your life with your children? What are you committing to changing? What or what new boundary are you going to put in place this year?

Weekend and stay firm with your child around what that looks like. Share it with me. I love hearing from you. My email is wendy@wendysterling.net. Sending you all tons of love, light and joy as always have a beautiful rest of your day. 

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