I heard someone say that thinking in terms of do’s and don’t’s is negative.

Mmmm. I wholeheartedly disagree.

What a gift parameters are! What a gift the word “no” can be!

My child is playing outside, we live by a street where cars go by, would I be a good parent not to warn her about staying off of the road? I might talk her through the situation before I leave her there. I might walk off the space with her to show her where it is safe for her to play. I might string a rope to show her the boundary or I might put up a fence. I might watch for a few days to see if she is understanding the boundary. And as she shows she is capable of staying out of harms way, I would come to trust that she is good with the situation.

If, however, I ever saw her run after a ball or ride her bike into the street without looking for traffic, you can bet I’d be immediately and loudly warning her to come back into the yard. And then there may be a few days of playing in the house before we try the yard again.

Do’s and don’t’s are part of life. Whether you say them or not, they are built in.

Don’t let your hair get close to the candle flame. 
Don’t consume alcohol and then operate your car.
Don’t steal, lie or cheat, there will be consequences you won’t like.

What makes everyone happier, and I think what was truly meant by the comment I heard, is that more do’s than don’t’s is nice. Keep the don’t’s but use a plethora of implied or implicit do’s more!

Don’t hit your sister…do use your words to work things out!
Know I love you!
It’s time to go to bed, you need to get your rest.
Keep going, you’re doing great!
Eat your veggies first, then we’ll have pie!

And the best do of all, the one that goes unspoken but is loud and clear is:
“Watch me, I’ll show you how to ____________ .”
Then fill in the blank with those things you are practicing and desperately wanting your children to know. Things like, how to forgive. How to let go. How to pray. How to laugh. How to roll up your sleeves and work! How to be dependable. How to learn. How to take counsel. How to practice and not give up. There’s no getting around it, our children learn more powerfully from our example than by any other means! It’s teaching without words and it is profound.

Boundaries are a beautiful, necessary and crucial thing. They give stability, confidence and comfort to our families. 

As a family leader, we must be willing to learn them and teach them. {Remember the text, I Don’t Have To Make Everything All Better, by Gary and Joy Lundberg for strengthening your foundational understanding of boundaries. http://www.lundbergcompany.com}

Much love to you today!
Jacque

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