Maintaining Healthy Boundaries at Home
Written By: Shira Berkowitz, LCSW
We are all cooped up in the house together for a seemingly endless amount of time. It makes?for lots of warm and fuzzy bonding time ? and beautiful memories down the road, hopefully.?However, it is also normal to feel stressed out while we are all in each other?s spaces. It is now?more important than ever to ensure that healthy boundaries are maintained at all times to keep?home a fun and safe place.
Boundaries – ?An edge or a limit that defines you as separate from others.?
Boundaries can be compared to our skin. Just as our skin acts a barrier and protects all that is?supposed to be kept inside our body, so too, boundaries protect and guard us as well.
What happens if someone breaks a boundary? What happens if our skin is cut? In the best-case scenario, we would get a little scrape, but in the worst-case scenario, we could become?sick with a terrible infection. In the same way, when someone crosses or breaks one of our own?personal boundaries, it has the potential to be very hurtful and harmful.
Both physical and emotional boundaries need to be respected at all times.
Tips for maintaining healthy boundaries:
- Every person must have a space (or multiple spaces) they can call their own. A child?may have his own room, or just his bed. He/she may also have a favorite spot that they?play or read in, or a desk where they work. A private space can be anywhere. Help your?child figure out where their private space can be.
- Privacy must be respected.
- Personal belongings must be respected ? esp. very personal items such as dairies,?letters or phones (with the exception of parents checking children?s phones to maintain?safety).
- Parents are a separate and distinctive unit. Both in their spaces (bedroom, chairs) and in?their interactions with children (be a parent, not a friend).
- It is not a safe practice for pre-teens and teens of opposite genders to both sleep on the?same floor, separate from the rest of the family (i.e. both have rooms in the basement).
- Play and hanging out should always be supervised. Doors shouldn?t be shut, and?parents should be checking in.
- All family members should always be spoken to in a way that reflects respect (no matter?what their age).
- Don?t push others to do something they feel uncomfortable doing (this does NOT include?Pesach cleaning and other helping out at home!).
For any questions or concerns, please reach out to Madraigos Midwest at 773-478-6000.