How To No Your Family Boundaries


No, it’s not a typo in the title. “No’ing” where your boundaries are as a family most often consists of setting limits. Setting limits in today’s modern world of too many choices usually involves saying that little word “no.” A family boundary is something you set that indicates a healthy limit for your family.

Here are a few questions that represent the myriad of activities common to most families. Discuss these questions with your family and work on coming up with some healthy family boundaries:

  • How many sports can your child (or children)be involved in at one time?
  • How many times should your family have dinner together each week?
  • How much homework is appropriate each school day?
  • How many outside activities can your child (or children) be involved in at one time?
  • What time should I, as a parent, be home from work?
  • How much TV time is allowed each day?
  • How much computer or phone time is appropriate each day?

Feeding children a healthy life pace most definitely requires setting a few boundaries. A healthy diet is not only built on what you eat, but on what you don’t eat! Taking steps now to define a few boundaries is much easier than trying to make some up on the fly.

I know for a fact our kids love boundaries. Okay, I know what you may be thinking after that statement: Yeah, right! Kids don’t like boundaries. They are always pushing against them! I know. That’s why I said our kids like them! Our three children get great satisfaction out of pushing boundaries to their full potential.

I can only assume that with the energy, excitement and enthusiasm they demonstrate when standing in front of a family boundary that naturally they love them. They seem to get such great satisfaction out of pushing against each and every one that Mary and I set up.

Think of it this way. All children push the boundaries. If they had a job at their age, they would be paid to push the boundaries. They would get up, take a shower, change and go to work––pushing boundaries work.

The following are three boundaries we have implemented at the Jutila home. They aren’t right and they aren't wrong they just are in our home. The key is to find a few that fit your family well and help you live a healthy family balance.

1. Our children will play one sport at a time.
This made life easier for us and our kids. High School sports are a challenge.

2. Our entire family will have dinner together three times a week.
Has allowed deeper relationships and keeps us connected.

3. Mary and I will not say yes or commit to anything until we have discussed it together.
Less arguments about who is doing what, when and where.

You may need to know your boundaries before you can no your boundaries. Maybe now is a good time to start. Do you have any in mind?

What is your child’s favorite boundary to push against?

Photo Credit: Scott Law