Teaching Children Boundaries from a Christian Therapist
Mom and dad, do you teach your children about boundaries?
For example, have you taught your children about what I call “The No, No, Square” also known to some as “the bikini area?”
Essentially, the message is, that one’s entire body is off limits and is worth protecting (until I give permission to my future husband).
Some people might laugh and say, “Oh my goodness, you’re so weird.”
No, no square? Yes.
The #1 one boundary that a Slavic, Christian parent should teach their child is to say, “Dear son or daughter, your body is a temple of the Lord. No one is allowed to violate it. No one is allowed to hurt it. No one is allowed to have access to it unless you give them permission and even then, be very careful to whom you give permission.”
When children are small, parents and caregivers have access to their bodies in moments like changing their diaper, bathing them, and helping them get dressed. That’s all part of the having healthy boundaries and beliefs about bodies. Parents nurture them with love and respect towards their child.
It becomes disrespectful when kids say, “Mom, please stop. Dad, don’t touch me there. Uncle don’t touch me there.”
Do your children know that they have permission to say these things?
Do your children know that their bodies are a temple that deserves to be valued and respected? If you don’t teach them to respect their bodies, who will?
Even moreso, if you don’t and no one will, how will they know that their bodies are worth being protected and respected?
Mom and dad, talk to your children about it. Let them know and better yet, lead by example.
I’ve once heard a story about a a child saying, “My parents gave me the permission to say “no” to kisses and hugs from whomever I didn’t feel comfortable receiving kisses and hug. Whether that’s grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, somebody in church or at school.”
I thought that was a fantastic example of this.
What this child’s parents taught them is to have people ask, “Is it okay if I give you a hug, is it okay if I give you a kiss hello or a kiss goodbye? Is it okay if I tickle you?”
These conversations are essential because if we don’t create that atmosphere of respect for our children, they will not know that their bodies are worth being valued and respected outside of the home.
The long-term consequence of children not knowing their bodies’ value is that it will be devalued. It might get violated and harmed by individuals that seek to harm it.
The saddest statistic today is that one out of every four children experiences sexual assault. Even then, we don’t know the real number because of how many unreported cases there are of children getting told not to tell.
Slavic, Christian moms and dads, please become educated about this topic of boundaries and teach your children. It might one day save their life from harm.