Teaching your children life lessons can be difficult after a divorce, partially because you and your ex might not always agree on these lessons. One that you should be able to agree on is how to set and respect personal boundaries. This is a critical lesson for children.
It can be difficult for them to understand these concepts when they are young, but this is the best time to start teaching them about this. They need to learn that personal boundaries apply to almost every situation in life.
It is healthy to have boundaries that you demand others respect, but they have to work toward remembering that they have to respect the ones that others set. For most situations, boundaries should be fluid, meaning they can be adjusted to the situation. Trying to keep a rigid set of boundaries can set the child up for disappointment and stress.
You have to work with your children to ensure they know that they have the right to stand up for the boundaries they set. You can empower them to do this. For example, if they aren’t comfortable hugging a relative, let them know that they don’t have to. This lets them know they are in charge of their own bodies.
The boundaries the kids set shouldn’t be only regarding their own body. They also need to establish material boundaries. For example, maybe they don’t want anyone sitting on their bed. This should be respected, but parents also must teach the children to be welcoming to guests when it is appropriate to do so.
On top of that, kids also need to set emotional boundaries. They shouldn’t allow anyone to make them uncomfortable in their own minds. This is part of developing healthy self-esteem.
It might not be easy to work on these matters with your ex, but coming up with a plan that bridges both homes is important. You might even need to include these points in the parenting plan. This gives you a solid plan that must be followed.