In this episode, I’m discussing boundaries…what are they, how do we set them and how do we get other people to respect our boundaries? If you have kids that constantly invade your space or refuse to listen to your words, please listen to this one MULTIPLE times.
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Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.
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My name’s Randi Rubenstein and welcome to the Mastermind. Parenting Podcast where we believe when your thoughts gro the conversation’s in your home flood, you’re listening to them as well.
My Parenting podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode one 15 to today’s episode is what you do when your kids don’t respect your boundaries. I had a mom write to me recently, and she said, she said, I discussed one day with you in the challenge group that I’m really wanting to discuss parental and kid Boundaries. I was wondering if you had some info on that topic, have you done a podcast, any book recommendations? I do believe that deep down, this is the root of the issue, and I just wanted a little more direction. Thanks so much for your knowledge and time Jill. So Jill, I don’t think I’ve done a podcast, although at this point, what am I on a 115 episodes?
So maybe I’ve done it, but you guys can write to me and tell me if I’ve done one or Boundaries, but I don’t think that I ever have. And so I think this is a great topic. I read a lot about Boundaries. I hear people talking to a lot about Boundaries and I think this is an interesting topic to go into. So I think we should start with what our Boundaries and when I’ve looked up, what the exact definition, I’m not going to read to what the definition is in the different dictionaries. Cause that’s too boring, but I found a good definition in a psychology today article, and it says Boundaries can be defined as the limits. We set out with other people, which indicate what we find acceptable and unacceptable in their behavior towards us.
1 (1m 41s):
The ability to know our boundaries generally comes from a healthy sense of self-worth are valuing yourself in a way that’s not contingent on other people or the feelings they have towards you. So I think it’s interesting that there’s so much about, about other people’s behavior towards us. And I think that this is where we fall short. I think so often we are just ineffective communicators. So where are we not clearly defining in our own minds first, what behavior is acceptable and what behaviors are unacceptable. And when it comes to our kids first, and then we can go to other people, how have we been proactively communicating what that behavior acceptable and unacceptable behavior is to let our kids really know what it looks like.
1 (2m 32s):
It’s like when parents had a little tiny kids to be nice, be nice, or like they’re being rough with the dog. Be nice, be nice. And so often with little kids, it’s like, well, what, what does nice look like? You know, with little, teeny, tiny, tiny ones, let’s say what they are with the dog. You’re saying be gentle, be gentle. You’ve got to hold their hand and, and softly pet the dog and just see, see how a gentle look he’s smiling. He’s smiling. You’re being so gentle. That’s right. Being so gentle. Like we have to really show what it looks like with a little tiny child. And I think that as our kids grow, it’s like, we just expect them to know things that are, we really are taking the time to define what it looks like a little bit more about Boundaries intellectual worth and Boundaries have to do with what you were entitled to in terms of your own thoughts and opinions as are others emotional worth.
1 (3m 22s):
And Boundaries that you’re entitled to your own feelings and a given situation as are others, physical work. And Boundaries, you are entitled to your space. Okay. And others are too. I think this is a big one with parents. When you find that you have kids that follow you around and you can’t have a minute to yourself, if it ever feels like that, that’s when you know that there’s a lot of boundaries being crossed and things, maybe we haven’t been as clearly defined as you think they have them kids that, you know, won’t take no for an answer and they follow you around. And they Badger in a Badger, in a Badger in the Badger. So if you have a child that seems to take out their, every move on you like you’re their punching bag.
1 (4m 2s):
You no. Have you clearly defined your Boundaries? Yes. Our kids when their anxious or when you’re in a bad mood quite often, I mean, people take it out on the people closest to them. However, you have to be the one in charge of setting your own boundaries and behavior that you absolutely will not tolerate towards you period. End of story. So I think that knowing are Boundaries and then setting them are two very different things. Like knowing them, communicating them, setting it up, right? Setting boundaries doesn’t come easily or naturally to many people, especially women.
1 (4m 43s):
And it’s a skillset that you can learn, right? So where does this come from? What I’ve talked to, if you’ve listened to the podcast for awhile, I have said many times that, that people are ineffective communicators and many of us were taught an effective communication patterns. From that time we were a little bitty. Umm, and since we, as humans learn more about what was modeled from, you know, by the people that raised us or who are in charge of us, we This these ineffective times, they just being ingrained in us. So if you find that you don’t want to say things too harshly, you’re constantly doing this, sing a song, your voice are, are tagging the okay. On at the end of something, when you’re telling somebody something that you want to happen or the, you know, giving them sort of a command or direction.
1 (5m 27s):
And then you say, OK, but really you’re not asking, okay, you’re really telling someone what needs to happen. That’s a sign that you have been taught in effective communication without maybe even realizing it. So let’s talk about setting boundaries. Let’s talk about how and when to do it. And let’s also talk about why most people don’t follow through on boundary request. So you ask for the boundary, you think you do a good job of communicating the boundary. And then for instance, let’s say that you tell your family, you know, your extended family, that they, you have a boundary that you want them to call before they come over and they constantly just show up at your house.
1 (6m 9s):
And so you have established it and then they show up, what are you do? They’re just ignoring your Boundaries request. How do you handle that? Well, one of the reasons why you may not be following through is because you’re indulging and people pleasing, okay, you’re indulging and people pleasing, or it just feels awkward. You know, it’s not easy to justify where it’s not really a big deal and they’re just here anyway. And they were in the neighborhood. And so you just sort of suck it up and you, you know, receive them and then they come inside and when they leave, you feel all stressed out inside. And maybe a lot of the reason is that you are, you, you, you don’t wanna make them uncomfortable, but now you’ve just indulged and people pleasing.
1 (6m 57s):
And so it leaves you feeling resentful. It leaves you feeling all wound up inside and that’s because your doing people pleasing. Here’s the thing I’ve heard it. I’ve heard. It said that people pleasing is actually lying because you’re trying to make other people happy, but you’re lying to yourself that it’s okay with you. It’s really not okay with you. So one of the first steps in setting boundaries is being onto yourself. If you’re indulging in chronic people, pleasing it is serving no one you’re lying to yourself and your life to others. And let me tell you something because 77% of communication is non-verbal they feel it.
1 (7m 39s):
They feel that energy and all it’s going to do is cause dysfunction in your relationships. So how would you handle it? If you, if you send it to your family, Hey, can you guys call before you come over? And then they show up anyway and you go and you, and they knock on the door and you go to receive them. And they’re like, Hey, what’s going on? Or what are you on that too? And you’re like, Oh, we were just in the middle of a few things. Yeah. Did you, is, is there an emergency? And they didn’t know. I was just in the neighborhood when you drop by, they said, yeah. And you say, yeah, it’s really helpful if you call and give us a heads up and I would have told you, we’re sort of in the middle of something and now has really not a good time, but we can figure out another time that will work.
1 (8m 23s):
Why don’t I text you later? And then it’s a little uncomfortable. And they’re like, okay, let me tell you something. When you’re establishing Boundaries with. And if you’ve got any kind of codependency in your family, like many of us do, it’s going to feel awkward and unfamiliar. When you first start doing it for everyone and the other people on the receiving end, their not gonna like it. They are not. So just expect that and lean into the discomfort. That is the only way you’re going to get more comfortable with this. And that’s the only way that the relationship will become more honest. And, and you’ll start to your relationship will improve because rather than just sucking it up in getting into people, pleasing and line to everyone.
1 (9m 6s):
And then there being just this underlying sense of dysfunction and tension going on now, all of a sudden you’re being honest. And even the other person who is not going to be too happy with it, it’s going to feel unfamiliar. If they knew how to honor about Boundaries or probably set them themselves, they would have done it. So you’re the first one. You are the trail, you’re the Boundaries setting trailblazer here. So we just expect that it’s going to be hard and that they’re not going to like it. And chances are, you know, yeah. You may have that person that acts jerky most likely just going to be kind of uncomfortable and awkward and you can just let that uncomfortable silence happen. No, one’s going to die from a little uncomfortable silence and I promise you, it’s going to be okay.
1 (9m 49s):
And the more you do it, the more everyone will become comfortable with it. And your relationships will improve because they’ll know that if it’s not a good time, you would tell him that’s a good time and they’ll start to trust you more because they all know that you’re going to tell them the truth. They will also start to show up respecting your boundaries. And so you’ll feel more positive towards them. And then they will feel that. So I think that there have been a lot of, there’s been a lot of advice out there about setting. I remember a long time ago I asked a friend who was in a lot of therapy at the time I invited her to do something. And she said, Oh yeah, I can’t.
1 (10m 29s):
And it was just that, but she didn’t follow it up with it. You know? And I knew she’d been working with therapist who was probably teaching her how to honor what you wanted to do, which I totally respect and set boundaries. But there was some kind of like a really big, awkward moment there. And it just didn’t feel very real life. And it just sounded like, it just felt like, like major works, we’ve been doing it with our therapists. So you guys just feel it out for what, what does in the real, like what it’s like in the real world, you know, you can say it’s, you can explain yourself and say, you know, it’s just like when it was received the people at the door and how we talked about you calling ahead of time, I could have given you the heads up that now wasn’t a really good time, like a little explanation like that.
1 (11m 14s):
So you can also say, you know, to the person who invite you to something that you don’t want to do, you’re allowed to explain that you don’t want to do that. You’re allowed to explain that. It’s so nice. If you have to invite me, I like to have a little empathy and to say like, that is so nice. If you want you to invite me. I mean, I do this all the time and we ha we, we set a boundary in the last year that we don’t go to galas or fundraiser’s, but we’re happy to can contribute. We’re just not going to go to the galas or fundraisers there, not our thing that was so sweet you to think of us, see how it was just like, it just feels more realistic to me.
1 (11m 57s):
No, that’s a boundary. And the other person may take offense like who are they? Then I’m going to buy it. They don’t get to galas or fundraisers. And the truth of the matter is like, it’s not personal and I’m not judging you for going to galas and fundraisers skills and fundraisers are important. I get it. And a lot of people love them for us. We don’t love galas and fundraisers. They typically fall during the week. We don’t love going out during the week. We really enjoy our nights at home, blah, blah, blah. I don’t need to go into all that. But the truth is, as we just made a Boundaries, we don’t want to go to games and the fundraisers, it’s not personal. And it was super sweet of you to think of this. So you can, you can see you. It doesn’t have to just be a no Thanks. There can be some explanation. And I think as humans, it makes sense to give a little explanation and also to have a little empathy for the other person, because it can be vulnerable to its like the boy asking the girl out on a date, it has to be vulnerable to invite someone, do something and then to be shot down.
1 (12m 52s):
So to say it was so sweet of you to think of us. I know these tables are expensive and there’s only a certain number of seats and that was so sweet. And it’s basically saying, it’s our thing. It’s not about you. And that makes me feel good that you thought about us and we’re not doing galas or fundraisers. And we try not to go out during the week. So it’s not a personal thing. So if you’re a parent and you find that you’re kids are just flat out, not, not respecting your boundaries, I want y’all to really think about how you have been establishing those boundaries and how you’ve been communicating with those boundaries are and how you’ve been in enforcing those boundaries.
1 (13m 40s):
So you, so Boundaries really have so much to do with how are you showing up as a leader in your life? How are you making sure that you have certain things in place and other people are aware of what those things are and you don’t have to do it in a caustic or a nasty way. You can just communicate, but we have to learn how to communicate. So, you know, I think before we even get into the, the, how does it, how do you establish it? How do you establish it with your kids? I think you need to have, there are certain Boundaries that are, what are your non-negotiables write? Like what are your non-negotiables or are your non-negotiables like for me, my non-negotiables our physical aggression or verbal attacks, I use to engage with someone who would verbally attack me.
1 (14m 31s):
It was like game on and it was back and forth and I can think real quick on my feet. And then I would just walk away and I have all this or adrenaline pumping and there would be a whole bunch of drama and it felt terrible. Felt terrible. Kept keeps me up all night. Like I’m not doing that. So my non-negotiables are, if anybody were to ever get physical with me, like I’m getting the hell out of their and my other non negotiables are verbal attacks. If somebody verbally attacked me, I am going to get the hell out of there. I’m not engaging in that. I’m not going to go down to their vibration and engage in that kind of a verbal attack back and forth. It’s just like we can be civilized, grownups, and we can talk about hard things and we don’t need to hurl insults.
1 (15m 17s):
I’m. Now that being said, I can lose my temper. Usually just with my husband and I can say something nasty to him. And he then tells me, you know what? His boundary is ore. And we usually just scatter a walkway, being a human it’s, a messy business. We are going to violate each other’s boundaries at times. You know, and this isn’t an exact science, but if we can come back and communicate and come back together, then I feel like we can always recover from it and learn. So you may have, or you may have a guy, like some people may have a, a boundary of, of, they don’t want to be around anyone who uses colorful language or maybe do you have a boundary of racial slurs like that?
1 (15m 59s):
And just not doing it, I’m not going to be around. I mean, I sort of have that one where it’s like, I don’t want to engage with people who are making racial or homophobic slurs. That’s always been a big one for me. Like I’m, I’m just absolutely not engaging in that. So I’m not going to be having conversations. Some people may have a boundary around smoking. Like I don’t want to breathe in a second hand smoke and not being around it. Or maybe you have a boundary around getting a new car. Hopefully you do with somebody who’s been drinking like that. Like, absolutely not. Like that’s a big one that we instilled in our kids. Heads is no matter what that is a boundary violation. You are not ever getting a car with somebody that has been under the influence of anything to figure out what your true non-negotiables are.
1 (16m 43s):
Right? And then everything else like somebody dropping, buy your house without calling you or your kids following you around badgering You but mom, but mom, but mom, but mom coming into your space and you said, this conversation is done. I need a minute. I’ll come back in a minute and we can calmly discuss this mom, please, mom, mom. Now that badgering is braking a boundary for you. You have established that the conversation has done. You are not discussing it anymore. So how are you going to handle that boundary violation? So remember Do establish where your boundaries are and you have to communicate them clearly. And then you have to follow through on enforcement of those boundaries.
1 (17m 26s):
Basically Parenting is about Boundaries right. Parenting is establishing rules or communicating. And these rules are often and repeatedly following through on the consequences. If those rules or boundaries are not respected. And so you got to take the time to proactively establish it, communicate it. No you’re going to communicate it again and again, and then force it. So for this mom, my hunch is that she’s just a female human who was probably taught in effective communication patterns. From the time she was a little girl, she probably had that model before her, and she doesn’t know how to show up and really be that strong, assertive boundary setting pack leader for her kids and then, and then follow through on when they don’t respect her personal boundaries.
1 (18m 19s):
And so you have to decide what those are for me when the conversation has done, the conversation has done. So somebody could come and, and try and, and bathroom and bedroom and bathroom and Badger, and I’m going to absolutely tune them out and not respond a physical. Any physical aggression would have been established at a time in our family rules that are posted in the kitchen. And it’s just, I mean, I can’t even imagine any of my kids that are getting physical with me, cause it’s just such a strong boundary that there is no physical aggression in our household. There never has been. And I can imagine them going to that place because they know if you break one of those rules, there will be consequences that will be enforced.
1 (19m 2s):
So, and it just depends on the age limit of what those consequences will be. But that is a non-negotiable period. End of story. If I was in a space in our, the child that kept coming into my physical space, when I said I needed a minute alone, like I’ve heard a lot of parents, you say that like their parents they’re kids will follow them in to the bathroom. Like they’re like I just went and locked my kid myself in the bathroom. And I have a kid that bang, bang, bang, and bang, like they are going to break down in the door that tells me that that was a parent that absolutely hasn’t been effective in showing up with path leadership and knowing and following through on consequences of everybody is deserving of their own safe space within the home and anybody who goes to their safe space. If other people come in and violate that, and that person says, I just need a minute.
1 (19m 46s):
And they violate that Boundaries, there are consequences that will be enforced. Period. End of story. Everyone in this house deserves to have a safe space where they are allowed to go and get themselves, you know, give themselves a moment or two or five or an hour. And so, so we have to be very clear on what our boundaries are when there are a boundary violations. And instead of giving the responsibility to other people, to follow our boundaries, we have to get real good at enforcing and communicating our own. Boundaries the other thing that I want to say his, his, when you have somebody who has a boundary violator, remember when you show up in the handle it first and foremost, from a place of empathy, by having a productive conversation that I truly think that that’s the best way to establish boundaries is you go to you, you, you have this PRODUCTIVE conversation where you are like, Hey, listen, I notice that.
1 (20m 42s):
And if you got a little kid, they just wanna be with you all the time. I noticed that you want to hang out, be with me and you like to come in to my room and you like to do this. And you’re like, You that? Cause you just wanna be with me and we love each other. That’s who we are. And I’m, and it just seems like you want to do with me a whole lot. And that’s just stating the obvious and maybe you have a little and they’re like, yeah, I do. I wanna be with you. And then you told me not to come into your room or, or, or whatever it is. And you say, I know, and, and you don’t understand. You don’t always understand. And you wanna be with me. And sometimes are you going to be with brother? My brother goes into his room and you might have this a lot of times with your little kids and a bar that goes into his room and you want to keep going in and keep going in.
1 (21m 23s):
And everyone gets to have their own space where they get to go to be alone. Because sometimes even when we love each other, we need time alone. And that can be hard to understand. Huh? And so, and then the little child or whatever they say, you just repeat back and before you know what your life, so what are we gonna do to Respect when somebody’s needs their alone time and his household, even when you wanna be with them, if they don’t wanna be with you back, or if they don’t want to be touched back, how do you respect that? How do you listen to their words? Tell me, how are you going to do that? You know, you put it back on your child to help solve the problem that you’re putting a plan in place. And then you get to the part of, and what happens when your brain forgets all of this and you wanna play with brother’s so badly, or do you wanna come with me and to the bathroom so badly?
1 (22m 9s):
And you forget all of these rules, what happens then that’s going to help your brain. Remember that these rules are super important for us to run smoothly as a family, what’s going to help your brain to remember. And that’s where you establish the consequences. And you say, that’s right. When you, when you, when somebody asked for their, their personal space and you keep going in and not listening to their words, and there’s a consequence that it tells us Your out of control and your body that day, you are having a hard time listening. So you’re going to have a 30 minute earlier bedtime at night because these rules are important for us to run smoothly as a family. So that would be the Your setting. The consequences that will be enforced. You have a kit that follows you and follows. You have badgers in batteries, in bangs, in the bathroom and does all those things.
1 (22m 50s):
Then that night, they’re having a 30 minute earlier, bedtime and period. End of story. And you’re just follow through on it. You fall through it. If you’re like, Oh, I have no idea how to fall through, how do you get them to do this? How did you get them to do that? Just know there’s more here. There’s more for you to learn and practice and any more time with you than just in a Podcast M so that’s what I’d have to say about Boundaries Boundaries are really about You and not about the other person. Okay. Hope that’s helpful. I believe in it.
0 (23m 19s):
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0 (24m 8s):
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