Last week I shared what Silent Boundaries are and how they tend to be broken and no one notices. This week I wanted to share more about what it looks like to have appropriate boundaries for your children so that those boundaries are not broken.
I have a two year old and a twelve year old. What each of my sons want and need in some cases are vastly different. However, the only thing they have in common is they need to be safe. It is a must.
I had mentioned last week that I am very specific with who I leave my children with. Firstly, my kids at anytime can go to either my parents or James’ parents, no questions asked. I trust them with my children. Not everyone has parents in this situation, but for us we both have parents that are fully capable and willing to watch our children and we know without a shadow of a doubt that they are safe.
Past our parents, we have some family members we trust with our children. Unfortunately, we have some family members that we would not feel comfortable with our kids. Not because we fear that they will do something to them, we fear that they wouldn’t be careful with who they let around our children that could possibly hurt them.
We have a very small select group of friends that we allow to care for our kids if needed. These are people that we have known for a very long time and/or have deep relationships with them. And when I say small I mean, probably less than a handful of people.
We also trust our church’s nursery and children’s ministry with our kids. We know their standards and expectations. Chase is in a room right outside the sanctuary and there are always multiple leaders and volunteers around. This was a huge deal for us. We had to leave and find a church that we felt our children were safe in and we are blessed to feel safe there.
When someone offers to babysit that is not on our list of babysitters already we kindly thank them and let them know if we need someone we will reach out.
James and I over communicate with our children. More so M because he is older. We are very clear about what behaviors are ok and not ok. We are very clear on what parts of the body needs to remain covered and untouched. We have these open conversations so that if there was ever a time he needed to talk to us, he would already feel comfortable to do so. M is not allowed to go to sleep overs because unfortunately we don’t know any families well enough with kids his age. However, he can have sleepovers here at our house. Whenever he wants to have one, and if our schedule allows it, then a sleepover happens.
Because Chase is so young that he wouldn’t be able to clearly communicate if something has happened we are extra cautious with him. There was a time where we found Chase to be in an unsafe nursery. There was several questionable things that we were seeing. I checked his diaper to make sure that it was never removed. We gave strict guidelines on what we wanted to be done with Chase. They refused to listen. Immediately, James and I removed him from the nursery and never went back. We had to listen to our gut instinct. We communicated clearly our concerns and parted ways.
Not everyone sees the need to be as safe and protected as James and I are. And by all means, we do not shelter are kids. I can confidently say that we are very easy going and relaxed about a lot of things. But not this area. I would rather be extra safe in this then not safe enough and my children get hurt. I have seen it happen way too many times. It is more common than what most people think. A simple google search on statistics will make it very clear at how common it really is.