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  • Writer's pictureJohan Smith

Boundaries have great value

Many books have been written and many more will surely be written about the value of boundaries in children's lives. It’s dreadful for me to see young people and even adults who had no boundaries in their parental home. It could be that dad and mom disagreed about discipline and rules. It may even happen that dad or mom doesn't believe in discipline at all. Sometimes money is shoved in children’s hands and they get everything their hearts desire, and that in the name of love!


It's important that a child learns early on how the principle of sowing and reaping works. It usually works like this: Child forgets about a school assignment that must be completed by tomorrow but only wakes up to the fact the night before. Mom complains terribly but gets in the car to find the necessary glue and pictures. She ends up doing all the work and the child gets high marks for the task. Such a child does not learn to be responsible. The child must learn to bear the consequences of what he sows.


Through boundaries, children also learn respect for others and that the world does not only revolve around them. Children need to learn that, apart from hurting people, rudeness and being mean also have certain consequences. Drastic steps are sometimes necessary. A healthy "no" from a parent teaches children that they’re not entitled to everything in life. It also teaches them not to become victims of their circumstances. Entitlement, which is an acquired behavior, is thus nipped in the bud.


Parents must learn to distinguish when their children are suffering or hurting. Don't react every time your child struggles. When he learns something new or manages something himself, it can become a valuable teacher in a child's life. When you step in for your child every time, you make your child dependent on you, and such a child runs the risk of abusing and even becoming addicted to things like alcohol, food, and drugs later in life.


Therefore, follow the advice documented in Proverbs 22:6:


Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it – NIV


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