7 Steps for Setting Boundaries with Kids

Boundaries are not walls or barriers.

They are established for protection and learning how to live life. Boundaries help your kids learn how to gain control of their own impulses.

Here are a few points on how to move your child towards ownership of her/his own growth.

The Plan

   Come up with a structure that you will use for yourself and will present to the child. Include the following aspects and write them down.

  • The Problem
  • The Expectations
  • The Consequences

Then follow theses steps.

1. Introduce the plan at a peaceful time.

2. Take a “for” stance instead of an “against” stance.

3. Present the problem. Be specific.

4. Present the expectations.

5. Present the consequences.

6. Negotiate what is negotiable.

7. Make expectations and consequences easily accessible.

And remember-The whole idea of a plan will fall apart if you are not personally functioning as the boundary for the child.

Taken from Boundaries with Kids by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Published by Zondervan © 1998.


Gail Cawley Showalter
   I raised three children as a single mother before I remarried. I have experienced the potholes, pests, and perils of being the single head-of-household. As an educator in regular and special education for twenty years I know a great deal about child development and how to handle kids. I am the founder of SMORE for Women, a nonprofit whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. I'm a Certified Professional Coach and my stories have been published in several books and magazines. My book, Living Learning Loving is available on Amazon.

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