As we come to the end of January and winter, life, and expectations encroach on  our boundaries; the lines between work and life tend to get a bit more blurred. Regardless, we know how important healthy boundaries are and that is exactly what we want to discuss today. Healthy boundaries allow us to create a sustainable work-life balance, healthy relationships with others, higher self-worth, and even better self-esteem. The article “The Importance of Personal Boundaries” by PsychCentral explains how boundaries allow us to determine how others treat and interact with us. Boundaries are not only important for adults, but for children as well as they allow them to explore social growth and wellbeing. 

To better explain the importance of healthy boundaries to your students and children, it is important that you also understand their importance. Along with the above article by PsychCentral, Positive Psychology’s in depth article How to Set Healthy Boundaries: 10 Examples + PDF Worksheets explains that healthy boundaries are ones that help improve or promote mental and emotional stability. The article also discusses the influential role that boundaries have in self-care as they allow us to improve our mental and emotional well-being. “This Is What It Looks Like to Set Personal and Emotional Boundaries” by Real Simple briefly explains that to create a healthy boundary means expressing your comfortability in a situation, understanding that it is important to say “no” sometimes, and being honest with yourself and others about your boundaries. However, boundaries are not always black and white, nor are they always permanent. Sometimes you need to be flexible and adjust your boundaries for the situation, relationship, or individual involved. 

Setting boundaries allows for us to improve our mental and emotional well-being, as it allows us to set our comfort levels and say “no” when things get to be too much. It is important to remember that everyone’s boundaries are different as we all have different stress levels, however this doesn’t mean that we can’t be empathetic to their boundaries. “Teaching Kids About Boundaries” by Child Mind Institute explains the importance of using empathy and self-awareness when understanding and explaining boundaries. This article explains the importance of modeling healthy boundaries as adults so that children can better implement their own boundaries. However boundaries are not only for parents to model, but educators too. This great article by Education World discusses how educators can use boundaries in their classrooms alongside rules – as they allow for students to think about the benefits of the boundary instead of the consequences of the rule.

Now that we understand the importance of boundaries, implementing boundaries is the next step. The implementation of boundaries might be harder than it seems, as it might require some changes – such as saying no to someone you consider a friend or leaving your work alone for the night to relax a little bit. The article “6 Ways to Build Boundaries into Your Work Routine” by actiTIME discusses ways to implement boundaries into your work life – especially while working from home. One tip they offer is to take your scheduled breaks and learn to say “no” more often to working outside of hours. 

However, it is important to remember that not everyone has the same boundaries- this is especially important when helping children create their own boundaries and setting boundaries for them. The article “How to Develop Age-Appropriate Boundaries in Children” by Brenda Scottsdale from Healthfully discusses the importance of understanding age-appropriate boundaries. For example, a toddler will not have the same understanding of a closed door and privacy as an adolescent or teenager. The article discusses how to help children understand and set boundaries that are appropriate for their age. The article breaks down age groups to better help you understand what is and isn’t appropriate. 

If you are still unsure about what healthy boundaries look like please check out the following articles: 

We hope that with the new year you reassess your boundaries, help your young ones understand and set their own boundaries, and understand the importance of healthy boundaries.

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