Look at your family’s daily life carefully, and you’ll see that there’s a thing or two (or five!) you either have to set limits on or entirely cut off from your daily routine. I did this and came up with this list of five I believe my family should have boundaries from.
Most things we have today are for self-entertainment and pleasure. One example is the use of the smartphone. It might be touted as a means to connect and communicate with our loved ones quickly, but its entertainment value is in par, or even more, with its connection abilities. You can sit content in a corner and let the world pass you by as long as your handheld device has juice enough for watching movies, streaming and surfing the internet, listening to your kind of music or playing games.
However, “Letting the world pass by” means it doesn’t matter if other things get neglected creating a dilemma.
I did a “critical inspection” of my family’s living a year ago and came up with these five things we clearly need to set boundaries on.
Social media has amplified feelings of loneliness for many young people. Before social media, if someone was left out of a party, get together, or other social function, they might hear about it, but they would never see what they were actually missing out on. — Amy Quinn, MA, MS, LMFT
- Smartphones And Other Handheld Gadgets
I believe every home, American or not, is riddled with this problem – unlimited gadget or smartphone use in the house. After we came across a recent study about how smartphone use among parents causes kids to exhibit bad behavior in a seeming way to get the former’s attention, my wife and I resolved to limit our phone use when inside our home.
Fortunately, we still don’t have teens to deal with when it comes to the limitation we’ve set up on this area (our three kids are ages ten, nine and two respectively) and we’ve always had a house rule of not letting them tinker with our smartphones no matter how often they “puppy-eyed” us.
…the television and telephone didn’t come with us everywhere we went. We had to be in the world without them; the television and telephone were an addition to our lives, not the center of it. — Nancy Colier LCSW, Rev.
I’m a work-at-home dad (doing freelance IT stuff), and my one weakness is letting the television babysit my two-year-old especially if I have bulk projects that are close to their deadlines.
While we, trying-hard-to-be-responsible parents, are doing our very best to set time boundaries on our toddler’s TV viewing, we don’t impose the recommended TV time because we learned (in a hard scream-laden way) that this wouldn’t do. Instead, we worked with our child’s cues. It means working close to her (which is mostly okay with me as most of my tasks don’t deal with papers). We know when she’s done watching Barbie movies or Trolls or Penguins of Madagascar (an all-time favorite) when she loses interest in the TV screen and climbs on the parent-in-charge’s lap. We turn off the tube, let her have a glass of milk, and then, it’s free to playtime.
Children whose fathers play with them, read to them, take them on outings, and help care for them have fewer behavioral problems in their early school years and a lesser likelihood of delinquency as adolescents. — Susan Newman Ph.D.
- Eating Out
Eating out is very convenient.
What’s an easier escape to tedious meal preps and cooking and messy mealtimes other than hoarding the whole family into the car and driving to a fast-food chain? Someone else does the cooking. All you have to do is fall in line, say your orders, wait for the food to arrive, eat then leave without having had to clean the table.
But fast-food meals don’t just take a hefty chunk of money out of your wallet. You lose more than just your health when you eat out – conversations on the dinner table which could mean quality time for your family or the chance to savor your every bite without worrying about other people waiting for you to vacate your table.
- Junk Foods And Sweets Including Sugar
What’s your excuse for buying sugary and high-sodium snacks? The kids in your house? If you want to live healthily then, include your family. Show your love by taking care of them in a healthy way. Limit your kids’ consumption of junk food and sugary treats. Make healthy living your family’s lifestyle while your children are still young and teachable.
I’m a coffee aficionado. I used to drink five to six cups of coffee in one day. However, when I started noticing the adverse effects caffeine has on my body, I decided to limit my coffee intake and eliminated soft drinks consumption inside my home.
There are many reasons – mostly health-related – why we don’t let our kids drink coffee. And as caffeine content in soft drinks is higher by a five-fold than in coffee beverages, we’ve set a limit on those, too.
Limiting the abovementioned things in my own house wasn’t an easy feat. But over the year, we were able to reap the benefits the boundaries we set resulted to. What about you?