Today I was challenged to honor my son's reaction to his boundaries being crossed. My reaction gave me pause, but luckily because I've been trying to parent mindfully, I was able to redeem myself and honor his decisions. Today a girl kissed my boy. A girl he didn't want to kiss. She told him she was going to kiss him and he said, "DON'T!" He said it loudly and I heard him clearly. She kissed him anyway. He screamed like he was being murdered. Seriously, I've only heard him scream so loudly when he has night terrors.
My gut reactions were the following:
- My goodness, there are worse things then getting kissed by a girl!
- He is totally OVER-reacting to this situation.
- I was a bit embarrassed by the screaming.
I brought my son inside and hugged him. I told him I was sorry that this girl didn't listen to him. I told him I was proud of him for standing his ground and I told him he should always react loudly when he feels something is not right. Then I brought the little girl in and explained that even if you really, really like someone, it's not okay to go around kissing people if they said they don't want a kiss. I told her it wasn't okay for her to be kissed if she didn't want a kiss and it's not okay for her to kiss someone who doesn't want to be kissed. She apologized to my son and they went off on their merry way to play pirates and all was well.
I however kept thinking about moments when my boundaries had been crossed. I thought about times that perhaps I crossed someones boundaries, but I was never told how uncomfortable this made someone feel and I wondered why we are so dishonest with ourselves. What are we afraid of? I'm glad I stopped myself today before I told my son to stop overracting. I'm glad I'm trying to raise my kids to listen to their inner voice and to speak out if they feel uncomfortable.
What are your biggest boundary issues? How do you handle them? How do you teach your kids about boundaries?