Boundaries are such a vital part of childhood. They help shape our children into who they will be as adults. Unfortunately, we cannot neglect boundaries and "hope for the best". Children don't just magically become who they are; they are shaped that way. Whether within the boundaries we lay down or through the chaos and uncertainty that goes with a lack of boundaries.
June Hunt explains it so beautifully in her book, Bonding With Your Child Through Boundaries.
June talks about the why's, the cost of permissiveness, how to be be a confident parent, and rounds it out with a rewards & repercussions tool kit. Not only is this book filled with the why's, it's packed with practical "how's" in order to give you the tools you need to deliver on the rewards & repercussions that are often naturally involved in staying within said boundaries or crossing them.
Let me share a little tidbit from each section, just to whet your appetite a bit.
Why Have Boundaries?
First, boundaries aren't about parents getting our children to do what we want them to do. Instead, they are designed to develop internal character and they also offer children a sense of security and expectation.
This book will help parents to be ready and lovingly hold firm to the boundaries set when your children test them.
The Cost of Permissiveness
Understanding the high price of permissiveness may lead us to being more apt to set and keep those boundaries in place.
When we are permissive (or passive), our children will learn to manipulate, control, disrespect rules, disregard authority, disown personal responsibility. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Have you ever experience any of these from your child? I'll be honest. I have. And it's not OK with me. So, I kept devouring this book.
How to Be a Confident Parent
I know as mothers, we all tend to wonder if we're doing a good job. June highlights some great "do's and don'ts" of discipline to help point us in the right direct or get us back on track.
A couple that struck me were:
"Do...mold your children's will without breaking their spirit." In other words, there's no reason to yell, be mean, or disrespectful to our children. We will accomplish much more by speaking kindly, compassionately, fairly, even firmly.
"Don't...plead, excuse, lecture, or become emotionally distraught when your child disobeys." Can I just say, I'm guilty? This truly only escalates the issue and remove the focus from problem behavior to the parent!
Rewards and Repercussions
The love of obedience verses the law of obedience. Interesting concept isn't it? I thought so, too. June explains how to help our children grow into a love of obedience by using a system that has been proven over and over again to work well.
It doesn't need to be the same system across the board, but the idea is the same. There are rewards for true effort and improvement and repercussions for the opposite.
I loved the section about time-oriented repercussions verses task-oriented repercussions and how the latter is much more valuable and productive than the initial.
Bonding With Your Child Through Boundaries is divided into two parts. The first part really lays the foundation for why boundaries are necessary. The second part are the very practical tools you can use to help your child learn their boundaries.
Take lying for example. What do you normally do when your child lies?
June makes several suggestions after explaining why your child might be lying, in part 2 of her book. Sometimes understanding the why really helps us handle the issue in a much more productive way.
Particularly for lying, June encourages the parent to consider their home environment. If a parent is harsh, reactive, or unpredictable, a child may lie to avoid such an explosion.
This is vital for us to recognize because we could truly an accessory to their lying if we aren't careful. And I will readily admit, I have found myself in such a position and it is NOT an easy place to be.
These tools aren't just a "quick fix" and then move on with life. They dig deep and get to the heart. They take time and go beyond a simple punishment or correction and I think that's what makes this book so valuable. I've never come across anything that so practically applies scripture to common discipline issues.
To learn more, grab your own copy of Bonding With Your Child Through Boundaries!
June Hunt is my new favorite author to follow! Her teachings are biblically solid and wonderfully practical. She is the founder of the international ministry, Hope for the Heart. She is also the author of several other books, including Seeing Yourself Through God's Eyes, and How to Forgive When You Don't Feel Like It.
You should definitely follow her on Facebook!
PeggySue Wells is a speaker and best-selling author whose desire is for her children to achieve their highest potential. Other books she has co-authored include Your Happily Ever After, and What To Do When You Don't Want To Go To Church. As a mother who is raising and homeschooling seven children, you can believe I'll be following her as well!
Follow PeggySue on Facebook.