tradecraft…boundaries (part II)

definition, purpose & implementation

  • what do we mean we talk about “boundaries”???

“boundaries” is a euphemism for rules…so, a good working definition is: boundaries = rules for appropriate behavior

  • why do we set boundaries???

to keep an individual and others safe; to teach and instill character and pro-social skills…

  • how do “boundaries” work??? how do we implement them???

in the most basic sense, boundaries work best when you give kids expectations (what you expect from them, what their behavior should look like according to the rules of  a specific setting or situation) and consequences (disciplinary actions for violating a boundary or don’t meet an expectation)…this approach works best in structured settings when you are working with kids and you want to be “clear and upfront with them from the get-go” (about what you expect) and provide consistent follow through with consequences when it doesn’t happen…

it can be a bit different ‘at home’ or in parenting…where boundaries may be (especially in early childhood) more nuanced, organic, on the spot, in the moment, etc–that’s not to say they are any less important in this setting…in fact, i would argue that boundary setting at home is one of the most important things parents can do for their children…anyways…when we move from early childhood to elementary-age to teenage years…imposing specific ‘expectation-consequence ground rules’–with regard to certain behaviors–will need to happen more often…

  • what are some examples of boundaries (from real-life)???

this blog is loaded with examples of boundaries, boundary violations/challenging behaviors, appropriate responses and consequences…in the next few posts, we’ll take a look at some more examples of boundaries–from both the “work-job” and the “home front”…

but, before we do…it’s important to note that, like the other posts on tradecraft, setting and enforcing boundaries is a skill…you don’t just wake up one day and know how to navigate this kind of thing…along with that, this is not something that should be done in a ‘fly by night’ kind of manner–good boundary setting (and enforcing) is something that requires thought, practice, reflection and adaptation…additionally, this skill is one that is very much connected to the tradecraft we’ve covered already…in fact, it is closely tied to the skills voice and non-verbals–which included, ‘how to talk to kids’, ‘deflectors’, tone, word choice, volume, body language, body positioning, gestures and facial experessions…all of these things matter–big time–when we’re giving expectations and (especially) when we’re giving consequences to kids…what kind of verbal and non-verbal messages are we transmitting?! are we saying what we want to say?!

the big question is: when we are setting boundariesare we doing so with basic human dignity and respect?!

like the other skills we’ve acquired for herding cats, boundary setting skills can develop and sharpen over time…with practice…luckily, there’s no shortage of opportunities to fine-tune these skills 🙂



2 responses

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    • thanks for reading and for your thoughts…

      but, i’m not necessarily writing for seo friendlies…

      i’m writing for my kids, family, friends, and other people who are interested in this kind of work…interested or not, entertained or not…good writing takes time and so does reading good writing…

      and so far…

      i’m telling these stories exactly how i want to:)

      cheers, dave


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