Talking About Parenting: Testing boundaries on the homefront

Published 11:12 am Wednesday, April 11, 2018

By Chris Kovatch

Setting rules and expectations is a challenging concept.

Once they are in place is where the real work begins. Not only must our children work and focus on adhering to them, but we, as parents, must also monitor to ensure compliance.

It is a fine line we walk between being a ‘friend’ to our children and a ‘parent’ to them.

I want to ensure my children feel comfortable coming to speak to me, but I also want them to respect and comply with the directions I give them.

I tend to write about what is going on at our house at the current moment. As of late, Stryker has been testing his boundaries.  Stryker is the baby (for now) and knows that.

He is also the only one of my kids that is a ‘daddy’s boy’. He gravitates to me whereas I am an acceptable substitute should mom not be available with my other kids.

Stryker knows what this means to me too.

He has learned to play me from a young age. Most of his antics I am fine with because they are helping shape his personality.

However, he has been testing his waters lately with one basic yet powerful word….’no’.

What frustrates me the most is that after he says no he then dons a cute smile and giggles at me. It takes everything in me not to laugh at him too.

As the day wears on his ‘no’s begin to wear on me more and more. We have discussions about listening and obeying, but they fall on deaf ears. Losing toys has no impact on him. With Stryker it takes my ‘Daddy’ voice coming out to grab his attention.

I think it is important to try to get kids to think and talk things through with them. This prepares them for life in general.

However, sometimes things have to get bumped up a notch when reason is working. We all know how fun it is to try to reason with a 5 year old.

As we navigate the world that I have coined our Frustrating Fives, I have to keep at the forefront of my mind is that this whole process with him is about him testing the water and determining his limits.

Sometimes word don’t adequately identify those and a bit of trial and error is required. As I have shared many times before, my goal with my children is that they grow up to be caring and productive adults.

I want them to realize the things they have been blessed with and help those who are not as fortunate.

It takes an active parent to ensure that behavior issues are addressed in childhood, so that our kids are prepared for life as they grow up.