Why Setting Boundaries Is Important
For those of you who raise children, you are required to wear many hats. You are the cook, the nurse, counselor, teacher, and sometimes even the janitor. Parenting is undoubtedly a tough job, you are never off the clock, and frankly, it can be overwhelming. Our children need us to provide comfort and security, but they also need boundaries. Boundaries are essential for raising successful kids. It is crucial to let them know what the acceptable behavior is so they are not constantly guessing what it should be.
Many times as parents, we make the mistake of allowing inconsistent boundaries. For example, if we reprimand them for breaking the house rules one time, but other times we allow it. This inconsistency creates frustration because they don't know which behavior is allowed for a specific moment. Consistency is the key to success. Having a clear understanding of the expected behavior enables the kids to be within those boundaries without having to guess what and when specific behavior is not acceptable.
Boundaries will teach children responsibility. The scripture tells us that every person has to carry his own burden, his own load, and for children, responsibilities vary by age. Accomplishing those tasks provides them with an opportunity to learn things on their own and carry their own "burden." Ignoring boundaries will teach them that there are consequences. It is essential for parents to let their kids experience the consequences of neglecting their responsibilities; this will only benefit them in their adult life.
The Bible tells us that "Bad company corrupts good character" - Corinthians 15:33. And there is no question that the child's safety is the parents' top priority. Having a set of rules and behavior expectations in place will help them identify red flags and provide a better sense of judgment when faced with specific situations.
Worrying about our children's wellbeing never ends, and it is for their benefit that we must set healthy boundaries from an early age. This is paramount for building a strong set of skills such as respect, self-control, and empathy, which will ultimately help them build strong relationships.
Being a parent is not the easiest thing in the world, and, to be honest, kids push those boundaries all the time; it's in their nature; however, we must be able to draw the line. I understand it can be painful sometimes to see our kids struggle, and we feel like jumping in to help them, but if you don't allow them to work out their struggles on their own, they will have a hard time later and won't know how to deal with life challenges. By no means am I saying we shouldn't help them; that's a huge portion of our role as parents. What I'm saying is that we need to let them work through their struggles and, when appropriate, step in to help. This would only benefit them in the long run. So, define your boundaries, and don't let your moment-to-moment emotions drive you.
When all of the weight of parenting feels like it is too much, lean into God, pray for strength and wisdom, and it will be given. He knows all your struggles and worries; ask Him for help.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6