I have lately observed kids whose parents are victimized by them; worried that their child is mad at them, anxious that the child is uncomfortable or taxed in some way, and excusing bad behavior on account of it. And I have seen those children crippled by their own power over the people who are trying to shield them from difficulty. Crippled by it because they can wield it to get out of having to face their fears; because they don’t have to stand accountable for being snotty (that is still the best word I know for it!) to those they should respect.
But how can they respect those they can control?
We’ll be discussing boundaries for the next while, because we all need to get better at them don’t you agree?
Our guiding words are: kind, gentle, respectful and FIRM. The soft ones don’t get it done without the tough one, and being only FIRM doesn’t work without the balancing virtues either. So, in theory, these words sound good and right don’t they? But really, how do you make your voice FIRM and gentle at the same time? This is a skill that requires a great amount of effort and self-awareness.
Do you know when you are being too gentle and not FIRM enough?
Do you hear it when you are being too tough and have crossed the line away from speaking and acting with respect?
I had a client that said, once you can incorporate these concepts and skills, you could be considered a Jedi master! And I agree!
I challenge you to listen to your own voice over the next 24 hours. How do you sound? How does your family perceive you? Do people take advantage of you (to their own detriment, if it happens to be your child) or do you bulldoze over others and lack kindness? Write out your thoughts for a greater level of self-awareness!
We’re going to explore the ways we can behave responsibly using all four of these guiding words together to find peace and interdependence in our family relationships.
Answering these questions and observing yourself is a great place to start.
My love and blessings to you!
P.S. If you’d like “the textbook” to follow along, get the book, I Don’t Have to Make Everything All Better, by Gary and Joy Lundberg. Don’t let the simplicity of this text fool you, it is brilliant and life-changing! Borrow it if you must, but buy it if you possibly can! It is written in plain language a child can understand, yet rich with meaning and depth. In my opinion, it is a must read for any family who wants to thrive!