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  • Writer's pictureJohan Smith

Boundaries build character

We can ultimately say character is who you really are, and therefore also how you behave towards people. The following is important in terms of character: Is a person responsible? Can a person manage failures? Does a person have empathy towards others? Can a person love somebody?

Most of mankind's problems stem from character weaknesses. That’s why it is important for every parent to realise that boundaries in your child's life will build your child's character. You’re busy helping your child to become a responsible adult.

Children aren’t born with boundaries. It must be learned. I read somewhere that a small child is someone who tries hard to control others and yet has no control over himself. The parent's role therefore is to expose the child to boundaries so that he can take control of himself and stop controlling other people. Your child must be able to accomplish and maintain meaningful, loving relationships with other people.

To follow your child day in and day out and pick up piles of clothes; to constantly complain about the messy room and then clean it up yourself; taking responsibility away from your child and doing his homework, are all examples of parents failing to see these issues as opportunities where a child can learn responsibility. You as parent take the responsibility, not your child. You as parent are motivated, not your child. You plan things, not your child.

The examples above are all opportunities where your child could have learnt responsibility and self-discipline. Spell out the negative consequences for your child if these things aren’t done. You’re busy teaching your child values ​​by developing his character.

In 1 Kings 1:6 you read of a case that’s an excellent example of an adult's poor behavior resulting from a lack of boundaries and discipline in his childhood (one of King David's sons). The consequences were catastrophic.

His father had never rebuked him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” – NIV

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