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How To Respect Children's Boundaries

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries… we've been hearing that word a lot lately, especially for those who are healing and learning that boundaries are okay to have. We need boundaries, and adults aren't the only ones who have them.

As soon as I learned I was pregnant, I wanted to make sure I could give my daughter what I wasn't given. Emotional regulation, mental support, and of course, BOUNDARIES!

Do you remember growing up and having family members come up to you and demand a hug even though you looked very uncomfortable with the idea? Did people try to make you feel bad for saying no to things you were uncomfortable with? They were not respecting your boundaries; this continues to happen every SINGLE day because people think they can overstep the fact that kids have boundaries, too.

Many family members feel entitled to children's physical and emotional well-being. They believe because they are a child, they must fulfill the family member's needs regardless of how the child might feel. It does not matter your connection to a child or the child's age; you should not overstep their boundaries. Parents can set boundaries for their children as well. While babies are still learning the way of life, parents have the right to say a person cannot hold their baby, kiss their baby, or interact with their child in a way they disapprove.

Also, boundaries change, and that is perfectly normal. My daughter used to let me give her endless kisses. Now, if I ask for a kiss and she says no, I have to respect that. Does it hurt? Heck yes! She's my baby, so I FEEL I have the right to get kisses and hugs. BUT she is her own person, and if that is how I respect her boundaries at that moment, I will do just that. I know she still loves me even when she dismisses my affection.

The next time you encounter a child in your life, whether they are still in mommy's arms or able to communicate with you in complete sentences, pay attention to the boundaries they have set and RESPECT THEM!

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