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Our kids need a balance of Boundaries and Freedom

When you come across the word “Boundary”, what is the first thought that comes to your mind? For many people, a boundary means something which abjures you from doing what you wish to do. However, for me, this word ‘boundary’ has a deeper meaning. Whenever I think about it, I get to remember my childhood. 
There was a park near to my house, where all the kids of my locality used to play. This park had a well-formed boundary around it. The boundary wall used to be so standing out as it was propitious in many ways. Although the wall had an average height, it was sufficient to give the notion of borderline. There were plants and a beautiful grass garden inside of the park. We kids used to play there all the time. In fact, the park used to be the heart of our locality. And the boundary was the reason of park’s pragmatism.

Slowly people broke the boundary wall. They took the bricks to their houses for making pillars of their house gates. With each brick going anywhere else, the park started losing its charm. Soon there was no boundary at all. Now usefulness of the park slacked off and with vanishing grass, dirt occupied all the space inside. In absence of grass, the dirt often used to reach inside the houses around because of the summer thunderstorms.  Without any boundary, any one could head inside and that’s why it had become the shelter of many stray animals. Kids who used to play inside the park started playing on the roads because there had become a strong hold of animals and rain created mud inside. And finally, people realized the importance of boundary. It was rebuilt then. 

I am sharing this story to make my point little easier to understand. The boundary is not an absolutely repugnant term and we all need some kind of boundary around us to keep us awake and vigilant. The park lost its importance because the boundary disappeared. Similarly, in absence of boundaries in life, people tend to cross the limits and face unfortunate things. A boundary can be positive as well as negative. Positive which keeps us safe and negative stops us going far. However, there should be a balance of positive and negative boundaries in life and this is even more crucial for kids.

Adults can bear the cost of crossing boundaries but kids may not. When we tell them don’t play outside the house, they feel it’s the boundary of space they are allowed to use. But, the reason why we tell so to our kids is that we want them to stay safe inside. Kids don’t have this farsightedness to understand why parents are putting this or any other boundary. So, as parents, it’s our responsibility to make them understand why we need boundaries in life. And boundaries are not always hindering. They open doors of more substantial living. They are needed the same way as freedom is needed in lives of our kids. Parents are supposed to give freedom and set boundaries both to raise a confident and understanding human being. 

I am not an advocate of extremely permissive parenting. And I do believe kids need boundaries and limits to feel safe. They need boundaries to fear from the negative consequence of evil deeds. They need boundaries to keep themselves away from dreadful decisions that they might take in absence of any limit. 
However, setting and enforcing them is tricky, especially if you want to avoid compulsion and threatening. And let’s face it, kids push the boundaries every day, all the time. But then we need to be ready to set it back. You see, our limits actually teach kids to set limits for themselves, which is otherwise known as self-discipline. And we want self-discipline in our kids, right?

Comments

  1. I completely agree with your opinions. My own parenting is based on a mix of permissive and authoritative. I think the best way to help kids blossom is give them their freedom while watching from a distance :)

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  2. Loved the way you explained the parenting mantra which is really intense so nicely here. I do love to keep my kids in dicipline but, I let them enjoy as well at the same time. Thanks for sharing this lovely post.

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  3. Awesome flow of the post and yes all work and no play OR All play and no work is not what should happen!

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  4. This is such a nice post and even a better way of explaining that as parents we need to have a healthy mix of providing them wings as well as telling them that the world is big and huge and there will be times when we need to tame down a bit

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  5. Very well written, love the way you connected your post with the childhood story. Its true for me too that some age appropriate boundaries are necessary for kids to find out their own limitations and potential. Thanks for this post!

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  6. My parents kept a balance in their approach towards all of us. A balance between independence and boundaries. I am still trying to maintain this balance for my girls and its not easy. My husband and I are not very strict but allow certain things which we feel are okay. Good one.

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  7. A blend of permissive and authoritative parenting style is what works for us as well. Though I agree it might be difficult at first to maintain the balance between the two.

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  8. I plays both the roles for my kids. Sometimes strick moms and sometimes funny and normal mom for them. I give them each and every facility for Which they deserves but same time I reject to give many things which are not for them right now. So there should be balance of everything.

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  9. I plays both the roles for my kids. Sometimes strick moms and sometimes funny and normal mom for them. I give them each and every facility for Which they deserves but same time I reject to give many things which are not for them right now. So there should be balance of everything.

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  10. How much freedom to give to kids is tricky. As a parents we don'd understand where to draw the line and tend to become over protective. Your post throws some relevant light on this issue.

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  11. So beautifully explained. Boundaries are important as reminders to know one's limits and responsibilities. Freedom on the other hand is important to go beyond your limits and take calculative risks.

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  12. I completely agree. Boundaries not only help prevent mishaps, they also encourage thinking out of the box. In my experience the most creative ideas have come to me when I have had a couple of restrictions to work with. Now-a-days, under the guise of giving children freedom to find themselves, I guess we forget that we are the parents and we need to teach our babies right from wrong. Thank you for sharing this!

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  13. Completely agree with you! I am all in for freedom but always have a small check on them.

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