Thursday, May 3, 2012

Study 6, Proactive Boundaries

Proactive boundaires go beyond problem identification to problem solving.
Consider a common cause of your child's tantrums.  What can you say to empathize and still enforce the limits?  What more appropriate expression of her feelings could you suggest if she doesn't come up with any ideas of her own?  What can you do to move your child past protesting to solving the problem?

Proactive boundaries encompass both what the child is for and against.
What does your child feel safe protesting?  What can you do to move your child towards positive values, toward taking stands for certain things?  What is she learning about what she is for?  What is helping that learning happen?

Proactive boundaries mean others can't control the child.
In what situation, if any, can you help your reactive child see that as long as he is giving up time and energy reacting, the person to whom he is reacting is in control of his precious time?  What can you encourage your child to do to stop being controlled by others?  What skills does he need to learn?  What requirements to do that learning might you have to enforce?  Also, in what ways, if any, might you be inviting your child to be dependent on you rather than learning to take responsibility for her own emotions?

Proactive boundaries are not about revenge and fairness but about responsibilty.
When has the issue of fairness arisen in your home?  In what situations do you realize you have given in to cries for fairness?  Why did you do that?  What is helpful about the response, "You're right 0 lots of things aren't fair"?  Who can offer you support as you help your kids learn to cope with the fact that life isn't fair?

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