Daddy Boundaries (Fostering independence, Parenting self-care)

She knows I’m dedicated to her well being, day after day, but I do have boundaries.

Her – “Daddy, can you…”

Me – “No, I’m not going to take that plate to the kitchen for you. You get up and do it.”

Me – “No, I’m not going to go get your comb. You know where to get it, and you know where to put it when you’re done.”

And so on.

Of course, I will help her out with things, but I draw the line on things that she ought to take care of on her own, given the situation. It’s important not only for myself but for fostering her independence and self-initiative.

But she will keep trying, as we all do as kids.

Today, she popped one that I thought was funny,

She’s in the zone this summer with having a good time and expressing herself in different ways. This morning, before camp, she started making a loon bracelet.

Honestly, at first, I thought to myself, “She has so many things on her goal board for the summer that does she really need to start yet another project?” But I kept quiet, reasoning that letting her creativity come out as she desired trumped doing something for her summer goals.

Me – “Just make sure you’ve brushed your teeth and have everything ready for camp before you continue.”

She took the little loon maker in the car and weaved away. By the time we arrived with the help of a YouTube tutorial, it was almost complete.

Her – “Can you finish it while I’m in camp?”

I bust out laughing

Me – “No!”

Her – “Yeah.”

Me – “Like I don’t have anything else to do with my day. I’m going to go home and watch a YouTube video on making loons so you have a bracelet while you’re having fun in camp? No!”

She nudged me in the arm with her elbow, annoyed, as I continued to chuckle about her request

Me – “Look, I love you, but I have some boundaries, too. You can complete it tonight.”

That earned me one more bop from her elbow.

You never know how your child will pick up a lesson. Setting boundaries with people is an important lesson to learn in life. Hopefully, this brief moment between us helps with that.

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