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Raising Kids With Healthy Boundaries (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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August 11, 2022 6:00 am

Raising Kids With Healthy Boundaries (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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August 11, 2022 6:00 am

Psychologist and author Dr. Henry Cloud describes how parents can strengthen their children's character by teaching them to take responsibility for themselves. (Part 1 of 2)

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When your center. You need to do your homework newsletter video gaming.

He looks of those will go real in the sun great perspective there from Dr. Henry cloud and you'll hear more from him. It's a fun, energetic conversation today on Focus on the Family with your host Jim Daly I'm John Fuller were talking about how you can transfer responsibility to your children get them to see that they do need to do their schoolwork, teaching them important life lessons while maintaining a really strong relationship with them. This conversation with Dr. cloud occurred a few years ago, but the lessons given are as true and needed today as ever before, and I think you're really going to enjoy the conversation. John setting boundaries for kids can be so difficult if you're honest, most of us as parents struggle with how to do that consistently and how to do it well, and man thousands of letters and Facebook comments have come into Focus on the Family about this very issue in this is one of those key areas where parents really do struggle.

How do we do better.

Are we doing it right.

Are we messing up our kids, or are you being too laid back in today we want to talk about that and provide some tools to evaluate where you're at in that parenting approach and we want to help you see if you're going about it the right way. Dr. Henry cloud will bring some great wisdom for us today. Indeed, he's been here a number of times and is very popular as a speaker and writer and he's a trained psychologist. He's written a number of books including title with Dr. John Townsend that will be discussing today. It's called boundaries with kids how healthy choices grow healthy children here now is that conversation with Dr. Henry cloud on Focus on the Family Henry, welcome back to the program to be back what boundaries you and your co-heart John Townsend written a lot about boundaries with different application boundaries for kids, as were were living right now John, you and I both even you Henry.

You have two teenagers in your home.

Right to teenage girls important. So is your you know your sophisticated professional psychology background helping you as a parent because I have seen people bang their head against the wall and now know how to do it. It's amazing what these critters come up with. It is about you. I highly parenting is just a riot you know is hard.

There is those moments in the trenches or stuff.

We all worry about, but it's just so much fun.

But it's not fun for a guy I was getting a haircut a few weeks ago and the guy got my hair said so you gonna gives us a guy to two girls 13 and 14 is such a fine II love the teen years because it's so fun and he goes yeah I got one. She's 16 and I said, don't you think it's fun and I'll never forget this. He goes not yet tested all this to Ian and we started talk about it because these can be awful awful experiences as well and I can start Weibel 14 times in and basically the concept of boundaries is one of the big big helpful concepts because what it does is it bring structure to the chaos and bring structure to what were actually trying to do which is to grow, mature adults at the end of this process, you know what we forget. Sometimes it parenting is not about parenting parenting is always about future you being a parent is the only job that God designed for you to get fired from will let me ask you about that because I think so often in my own parenting efforts and I think Jean would agree with this.

We sometimes get stuck in looking at the crisis in the moment. We don't take that long view, because I caught up emotionally with the problem, whatever it might be some minor, some perhaps major where you're really concerned about the pattern that you're sitting in your teenager. Just take that as an example, 13, 14, 15, and you begin to panic and you're going okay. We fail, we haven't done the job. How does a parent keep that long term perspective.

In view in the moment of crisis. It's really really really really important because you you said some keywords there. You know panic is one and parenting doesn't really occur well when were in panic mode.

I mean, if you've ever seen an accident scene right when that when the EMTs show up there. The ones that are panicking. They're the ones that are kind of the big people in the room and they've got the cooler heads. The problem is that a lot of times kids will tap into our panic stricken parts of us ignite buttons they know the buttons and it's very very important to have an overall approach to parenting. Where were remembering.

It's not about the homework. It's not about the room clean the room up. It's not about what she or he just said to their sibling or do you what it's about is about using that moment for the maturity of the child and and how do we stay reminded of that will one of the best ways to stay reminded of it is to get away from it and think about it, you know, I believe strongly that you you don't do parenting alone. You've got to do parenting with other parents and I think what what happens when you get with other parents weathers in a mom's group or Daz group or couples group or something at your church.

What it does is it pulls you out of those moments and you start to hear is a group what you guys do about videogames. What you guys do about homework what you guys do about the bad boyfriend when he has do about this and it starts to normalize these situations not only normalize it but you start to get above and think okay what am I really trying to build here no what is all this parenting stuff about and then you then use stop dealing with the moment, and you start to use the moment in service of what you're trying to do. That's a big shift in parenting, I hear what you're saying but I really the practical application of this is in that moment when in our case, big brother might depict a non-little brother or vice versa. How does a parent find the right moment to okay this is big enough to engage make mountains out of mole hills. Will that that's a really good question.

The last part about that out. I would think look and depending on age as the kids are. There's always a continuum.

Okay number one is if there's injury or damage being done we intervene right so if kids are hurting each other weathers. Toddlers are teenagers. It's not the time to teach him a lesson in other costs would come in and handcuff the one who's hit the other one right so. So, in whatever our forward that you know, I might say to the girls, not my two girls if it if they're in a scrub like that of the 10 stop. That wasn't cool and stop it and say that you note that's not okay, and then from that you get a kind of a feeling of are they saying what I'm saying or not and if they say gosh run sorry are A different way then fine. But what you usually get at that moment is will she go stop know she nothing untimed that you right now.

What did you just that's not okay okay don't say to different way. Tell me what you did.

That's not okay. And so you know sometimes you had to intervene, but there other times, like the situation that you said the you know the boys are there in their college of the night indigo guys on site. John really liked interact that way because the years and nobody is getting injured but it maybe not, is the coolest thing I've had that happen when my girls were where it moments of said well it got guys this is what are you doing DR really want talk to each other that way and sometimes they'll turn to me and say dad were sisters go away you know and it's the normal sister banter, but other times you can say yeah you know that that wasn't cool and and so I think that the main principle here is that as parents we must get into the proactive mode where we have a toolbox see when we get in the problems as parents is when were reacting instead of pro acting so a surgeon's got a lot of different tools there on the tray right and he or she will pick up the appropriate one at the moment when were reacting were not choosing what were going to do there and so is very important.

The first boundary with kids is the boundary where the parent realizes I'm separate from them and whatever they're going through at the moment I'm separate and I get to make some choices of how I want to deal with this. Sometimes we might arrest one of them.

Sometimes you might want to talk about it and there's a lot of room in between what I love that analogy of the tools on the tray is you talk about the avoiding tool in the zapping tool.

If I could put it in that vernacular what what were you getting at with the ignoring and zapping parenting style. Yeah, they are a little too close to home, because I think I can do that, either in or not you're ignoring said pair to sell him and what that is is you know where were sorted distant from it and we can let it build a letter build up, let it build up and then we sweep in and like you know there's some sort of screaming and that never helps so let me ask you because it's so obvious that never helps but why do we do it so consistently as parents.

Why do we end up there going when you know the more I parent in the end, and over the years, the more work to parents.

I find it that so many times it really is a combination of we never learn the tools you know we love to play sports were good at right and we love to do things were good at, but sometimes you know this discipline thing or conflict resolution or helping with homework or setting goals or things like that are areas where we just sort of unplugged from sometimes because we don't know how to do it but we know something's wrong. And then we will many times parent in the way that we were parented and will just kind of you know, do what wasn't helpful for us but you know it's all I got. So I just as well and one of the interesting things. This help me is when the Bible says the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. When you learn that little verse has a lot of neuroscience find it that when you learn that when we're expressing anger to anyone to teach them something or get them to do something their brain is not taking it in and we can film this seminar we can hook up their brains and see it is literally not saying it's literally when they feel threatened. They may be nodding, but there nodding for security reasons there nodding to get you to calm down. They're not building new circuitry. This can turn into new behavior.

But when you are in a connected space. A warm, connected, empathic space and talking about the issue and exercising discipline or limits and talking about choices and making them kind of work. With that in and you're still setting the limit so you can be an learn this phrase.

It's a good one for all of us. You can be hard on the issue and yet soft on the person you know this table is hard right and what that means is I can't move it okay when that's how you want to be as parents you know if there's certain certain things we do not allow in this house.

I can be very hard on that meaning that fence is going to move but I can say it to my child. In a way that soft and respectful the person and say you know what I know is frustrating to you that you can't the chainsaw and redecorate the furniture, but really were not going change on that so I'd suggest you do some mills write down a be seeing is that even with that's played out for me, especially one of my sons and I won't out that person.

But that oftentimes if I have conflict trying to get them to do something. What I have found is if I just say it and walk away and give him processing time he actually gets up and does it.

If I stay in it and harp on. He kind of digs in. So it's been an interesting observation for me that if I just say listen, I need this done and I don't want to be the one have to do it because this is something you should be able to do for us and for the household. Maybe it's taking out the trash or what it might be and then I'll just spin and walk away and go on with my stuff.

It'll take about 2 to 3 minutes and then he'll get up and he'll get it done. If you have said so many important things like they're having literally we could do an entire show on this one concept in the one concept is self control. When you look at the brains of human beings K if you take a little toddler and hook their brain up and play with a little peg thing and in hit the pegs for the hammers their brain sort has little activity you hand them the hammer and say now you do it that Brian goes crazy because God designed humans to be control freaks me say that again God designed humans to be control freaks. Is it fair to place that God's partner was Aldo Mahesh. Well, that's the problem.

Okay. He designed us to be control freaks, but he designed us to have control and be freaky about having control over one thing ourselves, self-control is the fruit of the spirit.

What we do in the flesh and in the fallen nature. We abrogate self-control. Our being control is up. I want to control you if I'm upset I want you to change I want you to do and what we do is we try to play God and have control over everything but ourselves. Know what you did with your kid right there you put them in control. You said, here's what I would like. Here's the expectations now. Somewhere you've probably said if you don't do it that's going to mean certain things if you do, do it is going to mean certain things, but you stayed in control of yourself and you said look, it's up to you.

Do not do it. This is what I want and I'll come back and check.

So now what is he have he has autonomy. He has freedom." Parents often don't realize is your goal in it for one of the goals for child-rearing is to put them in control. This call self-control.

They're the only ones that can stop yelling at their sister. They're the only ones I can do their homework they wanted make self-control. You can't make them do anything. What I do is I manage the relationship the resources the town the teaching the discipline. All of that so I can actually do something which is incredible.

I can leave the room because they're going to be in control of their own behavior.

Henry let me keep going in this area because I think within the Christian community, particularly Christian parents. We are expecting a lot from our kids and we I believe and I see it in my own household that you were we want to control that behavior because what they're doing is outside the boundary for us and so we began to over exert that control.

They don't own their behavior. Now they're going off to college and what were saying in the community that researchers like Dr. Tara Powell from Fuller are finding that these kids are going off the deep end. Now, thankfully, many of them come back.

But when you said the wardens not looking at the kids are going out of control and a lot of Christian homes are experiencing this right now where the kids are for the first time there out from underneath that parental control at Christian parental control and there there really going wild. How can we do our best is apparent in that roles Christians to prepare them for that experience.

What are some of things we need to be cognizant of to make sure their kids don't take the wrong path was a really really important point because again what what we want to building kids is self-control. Now a moment ago you use it so that control you know you want to control her behavior in the house right.

Think about this and outside the house for a click that right is what you have control of your life.

Control their behavior. You control the house and you gotta realize you know it's your house right and so you decide this is going to happen this way.

My house and this is going to happen this way mounts and these are certain things and then are allowed.

Now when Joey decides that Joe is going to behave in certain way. I'm in control the house and Joey guess what, that's not allowed here.

And when people do that if I did what you just did. Then I would get a consequence to write so here's the way it works. If you do that this is the way this house works. These are the ways of this house and if you do that certain things happen then Joey learns. Gosh, if I so to the spirit. I reply, and if I so to the flesh. Then I read all sorts of death, right in the death of my dreams, the death of my privileges. The death of of a lot of study freedom and we forget how important freedom is both not only the freedom from them to building things with the freedom for them to be able to make their own their own choices know what I'm not saying here is an absence of limits. In fact I'm being much harsher in a way than the controlling parent because when were nagging and controlling and using relational consequences. Nothing really bad is happening to Joe Joey's tuning you out here, here she is getting detached and they're going off in there to find a different object of attachment to meet their needs and my be the bad boy for this last one you ever want to show up at your house and you know for a teenage daughter. But the harsher way in the good sense the harsher way is when they learn the realities of what their choices bring them know we don't only do this in the big thing seat. This is the big deal. What were trying to do is build character and character happened in the moments I'll give you a great example yesterday our 14 she was off wit with some friends and one of things that we we want to do is put her in control of her own money right to be a vending machine any money for this animate, so we figured out an amount she's got certain chores to do this yesterday. Those and we make a deposit in her debit card account went down the bank had her sign up for to learn all the stuff she's got a debit card. She knows she has a certain amount of money that she earns and that comes on no biweekly or something. Okay, so she goes on this outing with a bunch of friends and she calls and she says what differences I you know what to my favorite store and in there.

There was this the shirt and and and I really want to get in and I spent it and now I need some money for food and you don't answer she got a well. It was an OL site. Wow tell me about the sure you know well is greatness and while that's cool, so know what what was his other question why I need some money for what I think you already you already spent it but you know, sorry I mean, I hope you enjoy the short and she's like why ensues. She's learning. This is how this works but there's no drama. There is no whatever set like it's your money, you get to spend if you rather spin on the shirt and building you know eat out with your friends today that's fine but you do it in the moment. The question I wanted ask in the last couple minutes. Here is more on temperament because II would think that parental temperament must play a role in this is what we want to mean by that you could take any personality profile test but where you have a softer, gentler person, or the driving personality in the mom and dad. How does that play into that temperament you again for Gina genes biochemistry background she black-and-white in her thinking she can be a little stronger on the rules than me the business degree guy you know you know it's generally in the right ballpark. It's a big enough number. Let's move this direction and I see that in our own temperaments between Jane and myself and how much time at the terror the parents or the settlement of the parent and how we apply our parenting styles in that regard. How much is that play into it in terms of being too stricter to loosen all those kinds yet what wanted my favorite sayings is another picture one rules and when you think about it that's on how it ought to be. That's just a description because the pickier one is going to speak up quicker right and have more out of expectations and more kinds of preferences want set the boundaries and set the boundaries, and so it's really really important. Again, you don't do any of this stuff you don't make up a strategy on the battlefield you know what general ever said okay let's go fight the war and we get out there will figure out what to do. That's not what you do what you do is you sit down. First of all the generals sit down and they figure out what's the war were trying to win here and what battles do we need to make sure were going to win and what final battles are we not going to fight because that becomes an a very important part of any strategy which are not going to do well that's a great example of how to be a proactive parent can I say some to dad's answer and some months but I hear some desolate dads go. I'm not supposed to be a parent but I'm way better at work and I'm not that good at home and I gotta stop it stop. In fact, I did a seminar at a corporation on this topic. Leadership at home.

I sent you listen me, Mr. CEO, your great at work, why why are you great at work because you know how to lead limited what you do first thing you did was a leader do they define the vision the desired future. The next thing you do you engage the talent you get your team together. You define the roles and what they're supposed to do. The third thing you do.

She had a strategy new plan and you execute that the fourth thing you do is you hold them accountable and you get an accountability system that's built around the group and then you fix the problems you find and you go capture market share right so here's what I want to do what you call an executive team meeting at home. I want you to sit the group down like you're at work and say okay guys working at its it's June 1 working & what's our vision for the summer.

What we want to at the end of the summer look back and say look what we did this summer and let's get some different goals. We want to learn some stuff will have some adventures it center center so then what he did you engage the talent. Okay Joey everything want to go camping Joey year in charge you're really good at that. You're in charge of bringing us a plan or figuring out some options are and we get thereby involved it and then we find out the roles and that was okay.

How working to make sure their boys doing their job and hold each other accountable.

Tell what you can't be a parent your kids are needing exactly what you do it work and what we sometimes make this thing so outside of the realm of human competence was exactly how God designed the prefrontal cortex of the brain to build figure out where I want to end up in steps to get there and yet we kind of unplug we ought not to.

Those are good motivations and good ideas. Dr. Henry cloud author of the book boundaries with kids with her co-author John Townsend were into it. I've got a come back. I got more questions about the laws that you outlined in your book, the law of power.

The law of motivation. Let's come back next time and cover some of those to equip parents to do a better job than what they're doing today can stick with this I can. We all needed we do look forward to hearing more from Dr. Henry cloud next time. As we hear about setting boundaries is way of teaching children to be responsible adults in the future that his book boundaries with kids is full of practical tangible ideas you can implement today to raise healthier children.

It covers 10 different boundaries to consider and how you can successfully implement them in your home. I hope our listeners will stick with this because these lessons are invaluable to us as parents. There's no rulebook when it comes to parenting, so will take all the help we can get and you know what, it's not too late to implement these principles and boundaries into your home to help shape your children into the type of adults you hope will become someday responsible driven Smart accountable.

Those are good qualities to aim for, we are here to partner with your Focus on the Family on this journey of parenting that you're in, and we hope you'll take advantage of the valuable resources that are here and again.

The book that Dr. cloud wrote with Dr. John Townsend is called boundaries with kids and would like to make sure you get a copy so please contact us today and if you can please make a monthly pledge to support the ministry of Focus on the Family a day in day out his ministry is touching people around the world and we want to support parents as we do that we appreciate your financial contribution. If you're not the spot to make a monthly pledge. Please consider a one-time gift of any amount.

Either way will say thank you for your donation by sending a copy of this book, boundaries with kids. Donate today.

You can have the details on the show notes and number 800 K word for on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting him back once again help you and your family thrive in Christ, I'm here asking people how they could both begin and I don't know maybe love you give and get love you that it's also possible that the charitable gift annuity you get a secure source ethics team, and a charitable tax to decks and giving a charitable gift annuity to Focus on the Family helps family thrive for generations to come.

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