Parenting by Setting Expectations & Boundaries

Parenting by Setting Expectations & Boundaries

Have you ever noticed your kids doing something that you really wish they wouldn't do?

(trick question.. of COURSE you have!)

Maybe you've thought to yourself, "I should probably tell/ask them to stop doing that."..
and then you haven't bothered because

a. they probably won't listen
b. they'll probably complain/wine and you just don't want to listen to that
c. you're just too tired and worn out to talk (ha!)

[I think this is exactly how kids' bad habits begin...
We, the parents, don't bother to say anything when it
starts to happen and before you know it, that behaviour
has become normal/expected/"okay" in their minds.. and
it becomes difficult to stop it.]

...and by the way, I've come to this conclusion by experience ;)

As the school year started, it didn't take more than 2 school days for me to notice that my girls were coming home from school extra tired, worn out from their day, and less patient in general. This easily led to them fighting with each other.

Coming off of a summer of having them with me pretty much 24-7, I could see a distinct change very quickly and I knew that this was not something that I wanted to become the norm. I guess I was having a good parenting day (maybe I had some stored up patience and energy from my first couple of days sans kids?) because I decided on the spot that I was going to set some expectations for them.

So, on the way to the library after school, I stopped them on the sidewalk and said I needed to talk to them. I told them that I understood that after a long day at school they would probably feel kind of worn out and that it is easier to get frustrated or upset when you are tired out. Then I told them that even when you are worn out, it is still not okay to be unkind to each other. I told them that we needed to be kind to each other because we love each other and our home and our family needs to be a happy place for everyone in our family.

They nodded their heads as if they understood and I felt like from that moment on, I could easily remind them to stick to that.
...and guess what... It has been working!

They are not perfect (I am not perfect), but we are working on it. Because the expectation has been set, it is far easier to try to keep them in check!

Have you noticed this in your parenting?
Anything you've tried recently with your kids that's working well?

I'd love to hear about it in the comments!
Seriously guys... it makes my day when you take a minute to comment!

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  1. I'm glad such a simple idea worked for you! I've definitely noticed some behavior changes with the start of school - going to give this technique a try.

  2. ALL THE TIME! Whenever my daughter doesn't like something or is resistant, we talk about it. She's not even two, but I like setting this example with her now. When she gets tired/cranky sometime we do some independent play time. It gives her a chance to be independently creative and me a little break. I feel like it helps recharge both of us to be able to go on with the rest of the day.


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment- I love reading them! :)
~Heather Lynne

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