How To Set Extraordinarily Effective Boundaries Around Screen Time

Boundaries and respect. Respect and boundaries. Chicken or the egg? Why are we talking about respect, I want to create killer boundaries around screen time and other things!

I bet you’ve never really thought about respect and boundaries in the same breath. Believe me, neither had I! However, it is only when you understand the close relationship between these two things, that you will be able to shift from being so so at setting boundaries and crap at holding the limits to being good at setting boundaries and kickass good at holding the limits.

Boundaries alone are not enough. I’m going to generalize here, but, most of us moms are not bad at setting “the boundary” ie. saying what needs to be done. But sadly that’s often where it ends!

It’s the next piece that gets us: we are not so great at holding the limits. You know the story, as soon as you get the push back, you cave or dig in so hard that you end up in a “Battle of the Boundary”.

So, what on earth have boundaries got to do with respect I hear you say?

A LOT!

In the work I do with parents, the following comment is possibly one of the most common things I hear:

“My son/daughter is so disrespectful!”

Do you ever feel this? Yes?

Have you ever wondered WHY?

It’s your kid’s fault right? Yup. I thought this too. I blamed everyone but myself.

What you don’t realize, (don’t worry, I didn’t realize this for way too long) is that it is all about your boundary setting and way less about your child.

Okay, stay with me here because all will become clear.

STEP 1: UNDERSTANDING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BOUNDARIES & RESPECT

Your self-respect and ability to set boundaries and hold the limits are closely intertwined and understanding this will be pivotal in your ability to change your boundary setting patterns.

>>> CLICK BUTTON BELOW TO GET YOUR BOUNDARIES WORKSHEET >>>

Let me explain…

Think of a time when you have not set a boundary around something with someone and that person (your kid, spouse, sister, mother, friend) has subsequently “walked all over you” or you “let that person get away with something you know you shouldn’t have”…

How do you feel?

Disrespected! Right?

Reality check ahead:

In allowing this person to behave like this towards you, you are actually disrespecting yourself. The other person is not usually thinking, I’m going to disrespect you. They just want what they want.

So why did it happen in the first place?

It happened because you did not protect yourself, your values and needs by setting a boundary and in doing so, allowed yourself to be taken advantage of which in turn made you feel disrespected.

The mistake we make is that we think it is the other person’s fault (them being disrespectful of us) when in fact it started because we did not respect ourselves enough by setting a boundary in the first place.

When we don’t set boundaries, the potential to feel disrespected by the other is high.

When we set the boundary but don’t hold the limits, we can’t give ourselves the respect we need so look to the other to show us the respect. When they don’t, we feel disrespected.

When we set boundaries, and hold the limit, the process in itself fills up our respect tank, we respect ourselves for doing it, and we don’t therefore need the other person’s respect to make us feel respected. Should the other person choose to violate the boundary and is “disrespectful”, (and let’s face it, with our kids, it will happen) it will not diminish the levels of respect we have for ourselves.

Setting boundaries is therefore one of the highest levels of respect we can show for ourselves.

If you really want to start setting BADASS boundaries, you have to understand this and a. shift your mind-set around it and b. do the work.

Understanding this is the first and most powerful step you can take.

However, as much as it will help, and it will, if you are really wanting to step it up and take some action, then let’s begin.

To get started, you can download the BOUNDARIES WORKSHEET I have created for you. It’s full of lots of ideas and tips you can use to help you on your boundary setting journey.

>>> CLICK BUTTON BELOW TO GET YOUR BOUNDARIES WORKSHEET >>>

Much of our self-respect comes from being able to set boundaries. Moms are typically too good at giving in and therefore have low levels of self-respect as a result of it. Giving in never feels good does it?

We know we shouldn’t have given in but we just can’t help it. It’s so much easier especially when the kids push back like they do.

Hopefully you can now see why you have to be able to deal with this.

STEP 2: EXPECT THE PUSH BACK

It’s almost a kid’s rite of passage to push back against boundaries, and as moms, we have to expect it. It’s how children learn to negotiate and navigate living within limits. In next week’s blog post I discuss this more: why they need boundaries.

However, if we give in every time they push us, or go to the opposite extreme and put our foot down way too hard, it’s neither wonder we feel crap about ourselves at our inability to hold the limits or bad about the fact we were overly harsh about it. And, it’s neither wonder that our kids then don’t learn these crucial life skills for themselves.

How can we begin to respect ourselves when we give in as much as we do or put our foot down in the way we do?

>>> CLICK BUTTON BELOW TO GET YOUR BOUNDARIES WORKSHEET >>>

Next week I’m going to dive into WHY it is we give in as much as we do and where your boundary setting patterns might come from. When you understand this PLUS the relationship between boundaries and respect discussed here, it is all going to change.

STEP 3: UNDERSTANDING YOUR BOUNDARY HISTORY (Next Week’s Blog)

What better incentive and motivation for us to be better with our boundary setting and limit holding than to know in doing so we meet our needs and give ourselves all the respect, appreciation and love we need.

When we do this, we put ourselves back in charge of ourselves by taking control of meeting our own needs rather than looking to another, our child, to meet them for us because when we do that, it makes us feel powerless and hopeless.

Hopefully you can now see how utterly ludicrous it is for you to expect your child to meet your needs! And you now understand why it is vital that you become good at boundary setting and holding limits to protect what you value and meet your own needs.

Look out world, because you are soon going to become a badass boundary setter and kickass limit holder.

Just before I finish: how good are you at setting boundaries around screen time and device use with your kids? Do you find yourself saying one thing but doing another and struggling to hold the limits around the boundary?

Does this sound familiar?

Together at a family meeting you have all collaborated and come up with some new limits for screen time. Your …… year old and …… year old can each have 45 minutes of screen time a day.

You were on your phone, distracted (work and texting friends) and realize that your youngest child, let’s call her Ella, has been on her iPad for an hour and a half…

“Ella, do you know you have been on your iPad for an hour and a half? You know we decided that you were only allowed 45 minutes on it. Why are you still on it?” you shout to her from your office.

Ella ignores you.

You say it again, this time with more frustration. You send a couple more texts to your friend.

“Mom, please, I’m in the middle of a game, if I stop now, I’ll lose all my points.” she shouts back!

“Put it off now.” You say as you march from your office to the living room.

“Mom, you are horrible. I hate you. You are so mean.” Ella wails as you take the iPad from her.

“You are being so disrespectful of me right now, that’s it. No more iPad this week. Give it to me now!” you tell her.

Sound familiar. Same old. Like a stuck record right. On and on you go. Can’t get off the mouse-wheel. Feeling frustrated and disrespected and not heard.

I use this exact example in next week’s blog post. I go through it step by step. It will really help you fine tune your boundary setting and limit holding skills.

Can you imagine how this is going to change your life.

Amongst all the other things this will help you with, imagine a life not arguing with your kids about them being on their devices ALL.THE.TIME.

Can’t wait for you to join me next week. In the meantime, don’t forget to get your Boundaries Worksheet HERE.

>>> CLICK BUTTON BELOW TO GET YOUR BOUNDARIES WORKSHEET >>>

Partnering you

LouiseSig-F8981D

PS. If you haven’t already joined my Private Parent Coaching Facebook Group, I’d love to have you be a part of it. Click on the link here to join.

PPS. Did you know I have a podcast? It’s called Parenting In The Thick Of It. Tune in with thousands of others.

PPS. For more in this Badass Moms Guide To Parenting Series, see Blog Category “Badass Mom Series” in the side bar on the blog.

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