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    harvs's Avatar
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    Default How do you respect your child's boundaries?

    I am trying to bring DS up to say 'please stop' and 'no I don't like it' when others are crossing his boundaries. I've worked hard on it because I think it's such an important part of child protection.

    So, for example, if we are having a tickle fight and he asks me to stop then I will, no questions asked.

    But I'm entering a stage when he says 'please stop' when I'm doing anything at all that he doesn't like, like taking him to change his nappy etc.

    If it's something like picking him up to cross a road I know I can say 'I need to pick you up so that you are safe because you're refusing to hold mummy's hand' or something like that.

    But, as my subject asks, how can I balance respecting his wishes with those things he just has no choice about? What do others do in this sort of situation? Am I overthinking it? (No one needs to answer that last one 😜) I would love to hear how others approach this.

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    FearlessLeader is offline Winner 2013 - Most Memorable Thread
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    We teach our kids that they can say no to anything being done to their bodies etc etc- and also to tell another grown up if someone does anything to their body that they don't like, especially if they keep doing it after they've said no. This leads to lots of having to keep a straight face when DD tells me very solemnly- 'daddy brushed my hair. I not like it.'
    And like you, if they have to do something for practicality/safety's sake, we explain why it's important.

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    I struggle with this too. On one hand,I also agree it is really important to respect a childs 'no'. At the same time,I think they can learn that there are things that are neccessary. I read an article once about a parent who didnt brush their childs hair ever , because the kid said no. Im not ok with my kid having manky dreadlock hair. My DD has to suck it up & have her hair brushed. Immunisations is another one that comes to mind. I just try to explain why it is good for their health/ safety/ personal hygeine, &hope they know the difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FearlessLeader View Post
    We teach our kids that they can say no to anything being done to their bodies etc etc- and also to tell another grown up if someone does anything to their body that they don't like, especially if they keep doing it after they've said no. This leads to lots of having to keep a straight face when DD tells me very solemnly- 'daddy brushed my hair. I not like it.'
    And like you, if they have to do something for practicality/safety's sake, we explain why it's important.
    So in terms of nappy changing, I feel like in his mind it *is* someone doing something to his body that he doesn't like. Would you bring in practicality here?

    At the moment I say 'do you like it when your bottom is dirty?' and the 50% of the time he agrees that he doesn't then I explain why I need to change him...

    Did you find as our DS got older then be understood the distinction better?

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    I explain to my DS that if I don't change his nappy, it'll make his skin/bum hurt. If he says no, I leave it for a minute and then ask again and ask him if it's hurting because there's a poo in there etc. I try to respect his boundaries but at the same time I'm not going to let him sit in poo for hours (not saying anyone does this! Just that sometimes he's having a 'no' day so if I waited til he said yes, who knows when that would be)

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    This is a really good question!
    I have no idea since I only have a 13 month old, but it's something I've been thinking about. So far I just tell him when I need to do something (eg "ok buddy, I need to change your nappy, I'm going to pick you up now, etc")
    So subbing

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    I think communication and explanations are your tools! He is probably just testing out your ideas about saying stop which is fantastic 😊 He will naturally learn which are boundaries that are important! Sounds like your doing an amazing job!

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    I'd just go with the truth, so no to a nappy change- would be but if I don't change you, you'll not only be stinky you can get a nappy rash, that'll make your bottom very sore.

    When they're little a mater of fact Type answer works well, when the want you to explain more they'll start asking!

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    I just explain that sometimes we have to do things we don't necessarily like to keep our body healthy and working properly. DD1 had conjunctivitis last week and I had to put a goop in her eye 3 times a day - so this conversation is very fresh in my mind lol. But the same goes for nappies, brushing her hair ("if you want to keep your hair long, it means we have to brush it every day or it will get knots and won't be healthy and strong anymore").

    But our angle is the same as yours, but adding that sometimes mum or dad will have to help her do something that she doesn't want to do, but is important. No one else has that right except a doctor, and mum or dad will always be with you for that etc.

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    it is a matter of communication. explain what is going to happen, and what needs to happen. you might be able to allow the dirty nappy to stay there for a little while, but it will have to be removed. somethings are just not negotiable, other things are. so communication is the key. I would always respect a child with regards to silly play, like tickling, or such, but when it comes to crossing the street, or nappy changes, then im the boss. that is how life works. some time we can be in charge, sometimes some one else is in charge. marie


 

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