Personal boundaries: why are they important?

17 January 2018

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Do you struggle setting personal boundaries?

I’ve noticed on my Facebook page that a lot of people struggle to set personal boundaries.

Maybe because you don’t want to be seen as a ‘bad’ person or perhaps you may think that by setting boundaries you may be viewed as a bit of a control freak, or ‘cold’.

Yet, personal boundaries are something that every single one of us should be setting.

It’s an incredibly important thing to do. If you don’t set boundaries with everyone around you, then in all honesty, you can’t be angry with the way that they speak to you or treat you if you haven’t told them not to.

I have found when doing readings that this is an issue that comes up for a lot of mums.

Now, this is NOT bagging mums! I’m just going to hopefully help you see why setting boundaries is important.

As mums we love our children but what a lot of women have started to do, is well, everything! When their children are little they do everything for them, even when they get to school age, they’re still doing everything for them.

And then, when they become teenagers, resentment starts to set in because they don’t help around the house. You start to feel like a slave in your home having to do everything. Picking up after them, washing their clothes doing all the running around for them, with no time left for yourself.

I am going to ask you this, why do you expect them to help you out when that’s what you’ve taught them to do?

Start setting boundaries with your children from as young as you can. Get them to pick up their toys and put in the toy box at the end of the day. Get them to help put dishes away / make dinner / wash their own clothes …. All as they get older add to the list.

This is NOT turning your children into slaves!

What you are doing is setting boundaries. You are showing them that you are not a slave, that you have a life, that they are expected as human beings to help out in the family.

I remember when my son was in around 13 – I worked full-time and so I had on the fridge a washing program … yep, you read that right!
Each day of the week had something to wash and he had to look at that list and make sure the appropriate things were in the laundry ready for the machine, whether stripping his bed of the sheets or making sure his sports clothes were there.

What happened if they weren’t?

They didn’t get washed. I refused to do a load of washing just for his sports uniform because he forget, he’d go to school with a smelly uniform.

Therefore, setting boundaries that I was not a maid. This was teaching him to think in advance about what may be needed and to be ready for it.

What about boundaries at work?

Are you the person that is always helping everyone else out and leaving at the end of the day exhausted because you’ve tried to fit everything in?

Say no. OK, I get that’s hard to say but by not saying no, you’ve not set boundaries, in fact the boundary that you’ve set is ‘dump it all on me and I’ll get it done for you’.

When someone asks you to ‘help them out’ or ‘can you do this for me?’ if it’s not in your job description say ‘I’d love to help out but I’ve got a stack of work of my own to get through first, if when I’ve finished I have the time, I’m happy to help out’.

Don’t give them a time when you will be finished.

Believe me, they’ll either find someone else to do it, or do it themselves.

It’s also important for you to set boundaries by showing others how you treat yourself because you are important!

Did you know that your children don’t have to do a sport every afternoon after school? You can say no, it’s not going to be the end of their world.
Let me share this story with you about why it’s important to set those personal boundaries.

My son played cricket, every Saturday during summer he went to cricket. I was working full-time which meant my weekend was cut to one day, Sunday and that was spent cleaning etc.

As the summer season came to an end he asked to play soccer.

No, fucking way. That would have meant that every single Saturday of Winter I would be driving him all over the country side to play.

I told him no. I explained that I wanted a day that we could just chill out, have family time, that I was not going to spend every Saturday of the year driving him around to a sport.

Know what? He decided to play basketball and that was done through the week and I would go and pick him up after work.

And amazingly enough, with all those personal boundaries I set, he’s turned into an amazingly well adjusted man, he can cook, clean, wash and iron his own clothes. He’s organised. He respects his girlfriend and her need to do things for herself.

Go figure.

Those areas really annoying you? Start setting some personal boundaries.  Sit the family down and explain why and what and the most important thing.

Stick to it! Don’t let them cross those personal boundaries that you’ve set in place!

One response on “Personal boundaries: why are they important?

  1. Caron Colbert says:

    Enjoyed the read Katrina, practical advice and simple, but we’ve all fell into that trap. Unfortunately for me I never set respectful boundaries in relationships mainly with men but girlfriends also and unfortunately for me, I now have trust issues. Thanks for the read

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