Monday, April 4, 2011

Boundaries for Dummies?

So if you're a Christian or been in churchy environments, or even if you watch Dr. Phil, or are just an American living in the 21st century, you've probably heard the term "boundaries" thrown around a lot. There's a book on it, which, to be honest, I haven't read. I hear it's really good, but I'm a little bit of a snobbish pig about reading books that "everyone else" is reading. Which makes me feel like I'm my own person (see? boundaries!) but probably just means I miss out on some good ideas.

Anyways, my close friends can tell you that I always roll my eyes (literally or mentally) when someone mentions boundaries, because I think that in some cases - not all - boundaries have become the "Christian" excuse for selfishness. Here's where you remind me that I haven't read the book so shuttheheckup. I KNOW, BUT... I'm basing my mental eye-rolls on how I've seen boundaries play out, not on what they are supposed to be. So humor me for a sec, okay?

It's become kind of a joke between me and a couple of friends. It's ironic, don't you see? I'm putting up a boundary around Boundaries. Ha ha, I'm hilarious.

Well, now that I'm parenting a child who is old enough for friendships that don't include me, maybe it would be a good time for a refresher course on healthy relationships. He had mentioned that he had a friend at school (let's call him Bob) who always wants to sit by him. We talked about how he doesn't HAVE to sit by Bob all the time, and he can have friendships with other kids too; he just has to be kind and nice to Bob.

Now if that's not great boundary advice, I don't know what is. But, then again, I haven't read the book.

Today Simon said, "Mom, Bob is my best friend."

Well, that's weird, I thought. I said, "Oh really? Why?" Simon said, "Well, that's what Bob said."


Then he said, "Bob always sits by me. But sometimes he lets me sit by other people. He likes to sit across from me too, so he can see me."

Well, that's just creepy.

Cue the conversation about what it means to be a good friend, and how a good friend doesn't make you do anything you don't want to do. I also encouraged him to continue to be friends with Bob and always be kind to him even if he doesn't want to sit by him (or across from him) sometimes.

(This on a day where I managed to sneak the correct names for pee-pees and hoo-hahs into conversation just so I can not screw up my kids in that department. I also decided it's time for all children to always have underpants on all the time.)

I'm rocking this parenting gig today.


B said...

I'm just saying that I think this blog does not have enough explanation as to how you sneaked the real names for pee-pees and hoo-hahs into a conversation with your children...I'd like to hear more about that. But...maybe that exceeds my own boundaries, I'm not sure...

B said...

(p.s. I know "sneaked" is not a word, but I used it anyway.

Dad said...

Whatever do you mean? Of course "sneaked" is a word!

Christina Marie said...

yikes, thats funny. its surprising to me that it is coming from boys at his age. and I second Barb - would love to know how that conversation played out.

Mamastiks said...

Ava is walking around with a "be fri" necklace on that a girl in her class gave her. You know, the split heart with "be fri" on one and "st ends" on the other. Yeah, she's 5. I thought Id have at least until the middle of first grade before the intense girl snottiness began. :) And my 2d grade niece was telling me the other day how "faith" doesn't want her to be best friends with "holly" and they tell each other secrets that don't include the other and on and on it goes. Have fun. :)

Mamastiks said...

(Jen E's sister by the way. :) )