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  • Ally Monarch

Parenting: The Importance of Boundaries With Your Child

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

The last couple of weeks I have been discussing some aspects of PCIT or Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and the importance of play and attachment. Both are extremely important in creating healthy and effective parenting, but not the only pieces. Today I want to talk through the importance of boundaries. It would be nice if playing with our child would solve all of the problems, but discipline and consequences in the form of boundaries are very essential to create clear expectations.

Boundaries look different for each family and they should be unique to you, but every family needs them. Boundaries help a child understand the expectations of what is allowed and what will not be accepted in the home. Rules and routines such as meal times, bed times, homework time, chores, and screen time, that are set and monitored by the parent, create predictability in a child's life. Predictability reduces uncertainty, which reduces overall anxiety and creates safety and order. Our kids need help to know the expectations, so finding ways to clearly state them whether verbally and/or posting them in the home will help your child remember their role in the home.

In order to establish boundaries, you and/or your partner need to sit down and discuss what you would like to see happen in your home and what you expect from your kids. It is important that you are on the same page and also make sure boundaries are developmentally appropriate for your child(ren). This can be challenging because sometimes we may not be pushing our child(ren) to their full potential or we may be placing some unrealistic expectations on them. Lastly, kids are instructed to comply with boundaries in most areas of their life such as in school, in the home, and with other adults. As parents, we should be thinking through limiting the rules or boundaries we place on them and providing space where they create rules, such as in play time with you.

Setting boundaries can be challenging, but not impossible, and can create so much freedom for you and your child. Limit setting does not exclude our kids from exploring, it creates space for them to explore in a safe and healthy manner. PCIT, or Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, helps parents develop appropriate boundaries for their home and find healthy ways to respond when boundaries are not respected.

Next week I will delve into the detrimental effects of broken boundaries and appropriate consequences according to PCIT.

Please schedule a free consultation if you have further questions or schedule your first PCIT session with me today using this link.

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