“People pleasers” are perfect examples of individuals who don’t know where setting boundaries begins and where they leave off or end. They say “yes” to every request, even if they know they are double or triple scheduled. They are also almost always late. They promise and try to do too much for too many others. 

Where to Set Boundaries

At work, we set boundaries by not allowing sexual harassment. It ruins the work environment and distracts from the work product. At work, we also set boundaries about what else is not work. Most jobs don’t allow work from home to be done or faxes sent for personal purposes. We all understand what our role is and what it isn’t. If it isn’t clear, we know to ask for clarification from supervisors or employers. The work has a purpose and product. When it comes to family, though, sometimes the purpose can become cloudy. 

Being a Pleaser

Problems in families arise when parents try to be “child pleasers.” Parents give in, purchase compliance with material things, and ignore house or family rules. They do this in an effort to be “friends” with their Child. These parents always want their Child to be happy and to “get their way.” Not only are they people-pleasers, but they are also child pleasers, often at the expense of their sensibilities or marital partner’s needs. 

Learn to Say No

Learning to say “no” helps parents to define parent their limits. Boundaries are set by saying “no,” just like saying “yes” defines what actions a parent will take or agree to do. Establishing and maintaining family rules and boundaries keep children safe. They feel secure in having limits to help them define who they are and who they aren’t. Despite arguing against parental boundaries, children like having caring parents who care enough to set the limits. 

When parents don’t tolerate any alcohol or drug use by their Child, they set boundaries. When a parent tells a child to be home by a specific time, they set boundaries. But when parents say they will do something with their Child or pick their Child up somewhere at a specific time and don’t….the parent is violating boundaries. The parent is modeling that boundary violations are ok. The parent is telling the Child that the Child doesn’t need to abide by the boundaries the parent set for the Child. “Do as I say and not as I do” does not work when teaching children boundaries. 

Why Setting Boundaries is Important

Besides keeping a child-safe, setting boundaries to keep parents safe, legally. When a parent refuses to allow their Child to attend a party, the parent suspects may be unsupervised by adults (or worse, is supervised by adults). The parent suspects alcohol may be present; the parent sets a boundary that the Child can not attend the party. 

When parents don’t tolerate ANYTHING, which will get their Child arrested, they set boundaries to keep them safe. The parent says, “Who we are is a law-abiding, Child watchful, accountable, respectful family with Integrity. Who we are not is a child pleasing, people-pleasing family, where anything goes.” 

You are the expert on your child Are you perfect? No. Do you make mistakes? Yes. Can you learn something today that will help you be a more effective parent? Absolutely!