“In The Son-Rise Program we teach the importance of following our children’s lead and giving them as much control as possible. However, as important as it is to give control to our children in The Son-Rise Program, it is also important to set clear boundaries to help create a safe environment for our children, and their families.
“We all have learned at some point, early in life, that our lives are full of boundaries and rules that we need to follow – driving within the speed limit, not entering a stranger’s house, paying for our groceries, doing what our bosses tells us to do. Sooner or later our children will learn that too. Guess who is the best person to help your child learn this? You! Because you will do this in the most loving and gentle way there is.
“We suggest that you keep the boundaries that you set to as few as possible. In fact, we teach to only set boundaries with things that have to do with your child’s safety and well-being; or in order to create a reasonable life-style. What I mean by reasonable life style is: most of us would agree that it is not ideal to go on a drive with our child at 2:00 am just because they ‘need’ McDonalds french fries so that they can go back to sleep. It’s OK to tell your child, ‘No more driving at 2:00 am.’
“Here are some examples of boundaries that you might consider setting for your child to help them with their safety, or to help you create a reasonable life style for your family:
• When your child puts something unsafe or toxic in their mouth
• Your child is spilling water on the floor or pouring water in the AC vent
• Your child wants to play with your phone or computer
• Child is climbing on a shelf
• Child wants to run out of the house or go into the neighbor’s house
• Child wants mommy to sleep in their room with them
• Child wants to rip the pages of daddy’s book
“Here are the steps you can take to help your child, and your whole family, with this:
1) “Stay calm and loving. You are not reprimanding your child, you are purely creating a safe, reasonable environment for your child and the rest of the family.
2) “Explain to your child why you are setting the boundaries and why something is unsafe. For example, ‘Sweetie, if you pour your water on the kitchen floor, it gets slippery and we can fall and get hurt. I want to keep us all safe! So if you want to drink your water, you can, but if you spill it on the floor, I will put the cup away.’
3) “Ask for what you want from your child. For example, ‘Honey, please take your hand out of the toilet and let’s go wash them.’
4) “Take actions! For example, if your child does not actually take their hand out of the toilet when you ask them, then gently and calmly physically move their hand out.
5) “Eliminate the situation/object you do not want your child to have access to. If your child keeps on chewing on paper clips, put them out of his/her reach.
6) “Offer an alternative, when possible. For example, if your child is climbing on a high set of shelves, offer them a steady and strong table, or stool to climb on instead.
7) “Be consistent and follow through! Make sure that everyone who works and spends time with your child follows the same rules in the same way and sticks with it! The more consistent you all are, the quicker your child will learn that those boundaries are non-negotiable.”
Written by Camila Titone, Senior Son-Rise Program Teacher