Monday, October 27, 2008
Lessons On Healthy Boundaries From My Granddaughter
As I mentioned on my last Father Power blog I am in a small group studying “boundaries.” One of the definitions of having a healthy boundary is “keeping the good in and the bad out.” I watched my four-year-old granddaughter, Ellie, by myself the other day and I put on her favorite cartoon from our On Demand cartoon channel. She loves Tom and Jerry. Before Tom and Jerry came on there were some promotional ads. When they came on she said to me, “Grandpa, I don’t want to see this bad stuff.” I didn’t understand what she was talking about but then I realized that the ad used some scary looking pirates to sell whatever they were selling, so I fast-forwarded it to the cartoon. Later, I was having trouble with the remote and said something like “this stupid thing!” Ellie reminded me, “Grandpa, we don’t say ‘stupid.’”
That is what spending time with Ellie teaches me. She has very clear boundaries in what she allows her eyes to see, what she listens to and what she says. And that spoke to me. How often do I allow my eyes to see what they should not see…my ears to hear what they should not hear...and my mouth to say what it should not say? I have “learned” to be looser in this area. But is this maturity or is it negligent of me in not making clearer boundaries for myself? I can learn much about having healthy boundaries from my four-year-old granddaughter!