Parenting on Purpose

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Most parents want to love and support their children’s dreams and goals. Yet sometimes in a desire to be supportive and loving, parents may allow their boundaries to be disrespected. This can often lead to parents feeling like doormats.

It’s natural for you to want to encourage your kids to be true to themselves, but you also need to set boundaries in regards to yourself so they learn how to set their own boundaries and learn how to respect you.

Through your words and actions, you display types of behavior that are mirrored by your kids. When you recognize that your children aren’t your clones, but are unique individuals, you allow them to make choices that may be very different from the choices you’d make for yourself.

One of the ways you can teach your kids to be respectful of others is by modeling this behavior for them. This means that your children observe that you treat others with respect. It also means that you require that other people treat you with respect. If you allow your boss, spouse, parents, or other adults to treat you in a disrespectful way, why would you think your children would behave differently?

If you allow your children to be rude and take you for granted, you aren’t being supportive either. If they believe it’s acceptable for others to mistreat you, there’s a strong chance that they’ll also allow others to treat them this way.

So if for no other reason than you not wanting your children to be mistreated, it’s important that you teach them that boundaries are okay and treating others with respect is a valuable skill.

One of the best tools for helping kids learn how to treat others is the use of their Internal Guidance System (IGS). Their IGS provides a moral compass which allows them to follow their hearts while being empathetic to others.

No human being is ever perfect and this insight can serve you.

The good thing about imperfection is that you can use your imperfect moments as learning experiences. If someone treated your son or daughter in a way that left them feeling somehow lesser, it’s the perfect time to have them check in with their IGS. Not only will they be able to recognize how bad it feels that someone treated them this way, but they’ll be able to recognize how unpleasant it would feel to cause this feeling in another.

By having them check in with their IGS, they may also have an inspired thought or feeling about what might be happening in the life of the person who mistreated them. This can help them understand others and offer compassion despite whatever has occurred.

In some instances, their IGS may lead them to just walk away from the situation. At other times, they may be guided to stand up for themselves in an appropriate, assertive manner. By taking the time to check in with their IGS, your children will know which path is the best course to take in this specific instance as how they feel will always be their guidance.

It’s also important to teach your kids that when they mistreat or disrespect someone, even unintentionally, they can use their IGS to help them determine the highest outcome. In some cases, this may be as simple as offering an apology and sometimes they will intuit an action to take.

When you establish respectful lines of communication that allow for supportive action, you teach your children that both sides in every interaction are valued. This is an important life skill that they’ll be able to take into their relationships with friends, teachers, employers, and significant others.

Please feel free to comment.
© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.© 2014.

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