TIP 8. DEFINING BOUNDARIES
It is the father's role to set the 'boundaries or guidelines' for the family, and the rules that operate within those boundaries. These should be discussed and agreed upon initially with your wife, as it takes a team effort to establish them within a home. Positive discipline within a home begins when both parents agree on a parenting plan and continue to support each other in establishing it within the family.
Clearly defined boundaries assist everyone within the family to know what is expected of them, how far they can go, and what is acceptable or unacceptable behaviour, within the family. As our children grow from toddlers, through childhood and into adolescence having clear boundaries in place within the family structure is a stabilising influence.
A boundary line in the natural world shows us how far we can go legally, what belongs to me, and what belongs to others. If we buy a property from someone, one of the first questions we need to resolve is "Where are the boundary lines?"
If I know where the property begins and ends, then what I am considering purchasing, is clearly defined in my mind. This may well be a crucial point of consideration, especially if I need some extra ground to put in a pool etc. If the boundary lines are not clearly defined, and the answer I receive is vague or "over there somewhere", then doubts will arise as to what I am really getting in this purchase.
One of the most important points in setting the boundaries, as to what is, and what is not acceptable within the family, is the element of consistency. We need to consider carefully where we want the boundary to exist, and why, before we set it, as changing preset boundary lines is much more difficult. If we start changing the rules all the time, then confusion and frustration will appear within the family.
This does not mean that the boundary lines can not evolve as the children grow in maturity and responsibility, but it is vital that each and every change is discussed and clearly explained to the family before it becomes 'law'.
Dads' Call To Action:
Take some quality time and discuss with your wife the boundaries and rules you are going to set within your family. Once they are set, be consistent in enforcing them.
(Deuteronomy 6 v 6)
"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.