When I was in graduate school for social work, I had to examine the role that boundaries played in my life. Social workers often work with people in vulnerable circumstances. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain clear boundaries to uphold professional integrity.
Problematic boundaries can be either too rigid or too loose. People with rigid boundaries do not allow others to get close to them and are often guarded. People with loose boundaries can be too open with others. They do not want to upset or disappoint anyone. It is important to be somewhere in between the two.
In examining my own boundaries, I discovered that they are a little on the loose side. I have a hard time saying no to people. I also avoid conflict. I wondered how having loose boundaries would affect me as a parent. Would I be able to appropriately protect my child when I struggle standing up for myself? I feared that I would let my kids down. Then it actually happened.
My family went to Ikea to buy a bookshelf for my five-year-old daughter’s bedroom. My daughter LOVES Ikea because they have a playroom with a huge ball pit. She begs me to leave her there while I shop. Although I always have reservations about it, I say yes, let her play, and I shop as quickly as I can. (more…)