Personal boundaries of children: why and how exactly to observe them

Personal boundaries of children: why and how exactly to observe them - Behavior, Child and society, Upbringing

According to statistics, the psychological boundaries of personality are violated in 80% of people. Among them, of course, are children, as one of the most sensitive categories in terms of encroachments on rights, dignity and freedom of choice. 

What causes the blurring of boundaries between children and parents, other people? Why observe the boundaries of the child's personality and what exactly do you need to do for this? Read our article. 

What are personal boundaries The concept of psychological boundaries is very broad.

It extends to interpersonal relationships, social interaction, and self-esteem, but it is quite flexible. That is, the boundaries may change depending on the circumstances and the people with whom we communicate. 

Sometimes the boundaries are too rigid, which hinders the person himself and is ambiguously regarded by others. And sometimes — too open, blurred. Then a person easily succumbs to external influence, and he himself does not observe any framework in communicating with people. 

One of the aspects of upbringing and harmonious development is the appearance of healthy psychological boundaries in a child. He must realize his own limits of personality and show respect for others.

This can be achieved only with an integrated approach:introduce the child to his personal boundaries;

  • teach them to protect;
  • to convey the need to respect the boundaries of strangers;
  • build healthy boundaries between the child and parents.

According to surveys of 4-6-year-olds, the vast majority of them have no idea what psychological boundaries and personal space are. But preschool age is the optimal time to get acquainted with these concepts. 

Do you want to learn how to properly form a child's personal boundaries and respect for others? Then register - at Dmitry Karpachev's transplant-free online master class "What every parent should know". What are borders for?

Just as we teach children to use a stove or iron, we also need to teach them to respect the boundaries of personality.

Violation of the rules of operation of electrical appliances leads to material losses and injuries, violation of the psychological framework can harm no less. A burned finger will heal quickly, and a useful experience will be fixed in the subconscious: you can't play with fire.

And violation of personal boundaries creates only a negative experience and triggers a number of undesirable consequences.:conflict situations;

  • social isolation;
  • low self-esteem, etc.

The child should understand that people's lives are subject to certain rules that regulate what is allowed and what is not allowed. The latter can include any encroachment on the opinion, interests, personal space and freedom of choice of a person.Also read: Shy child: how to deal with itWhat does the violation of personal boundaries lead to

Personal boundaries of children

Respect for the psychological boundaries of the child is one of the conditions for an adequate approach to education.

But not all parents realize the need for this. Due to their own beliefs or negative experiences gained in childhood, they simply do not know what healthy personality boundaries are. Or maybe they do, but they don't know how to build them correctly. 

What will happen if the child does not realize his boundaries:✓ Low self-esteem.

Closeness, sullenness, excessive shyness, inability to accept compliments, difficulties in communicating with people are not a complete list of the sad consequences of low self—esteem. 

✓ Dependence on parents. The child is used to no one taking his opinion into account. Accordingly, he does not know how to insist on his own. He grows infantile and apathetic, cannot make decisions and take responsibility for himself. 

✓ Inability to say "no". Inability to defend your choice, defend your opinion, leave the zone of discomfort. Such children are easily influenced, especially if it is disguised by a good attitude. In the case of a forced refusal, they are very worried, stressed and feel guilty before the one who was refused.

But there is something else. Misunderstanding of their own psychological boundaries will lead to the fact that the child will not take into account the boundaries of personality and the personal space of other people. Both parents and loved ones, as well as casual acquaintances, strangers.

Learn how to teach a child to understand and protect their borders - at Dmitry Karpachev's transplant-free online master class "What every parent should know".Right now, click on the "Register" button and get a gift.

What will happen if the child does not realize the boundaries of other people:


✓ Inflated self-esteem.

If parents allow a child to violate their boundaries — to command, demand, manipulate — then he will feel his power over them. As a result, a narcissistic personality will grow out of a small commander who does not perceive criticism and does not take into account the emotions / desires / rights of other people.

✓ Rude persistence. The child's misunderstanding of the limits of what is permissible will lead to the fact that he will strive to satisfy any desire at all costs. The inability to hear the word "no" is one of the worst qualities. In adulthood, it can turn into quite serious problems, including with the law. 

✓ Denial of rules. It is difficult to force a child to follow the rules if he does not understand why to obey them. As a result, almost all areas of his life will suffer: study, recreation, communication with friends and development. Uncontrolled behavior will lead to complete social isolation and aggression.

Respect for the child's personal boundaries: 10 rules for parentsYou can't force a child to respect the boundaries of other people without doing the same to him.

This is the case when personal experience and a useful example are the best helpers.

What you need to do for this:Negotiate and follow the agreements.

  1. Don't push with parental authority where you can just ask. The favor rendered to you should, if possible, be paid for with an equivalent service. And promises must be fulfilled.
  2. Demonstrate respect for personal boundaries between adult family members. For example, take care of someone else's dream and do not deny the right to rest. Do not make fun of each other's hobbies, views and appearance. When making decisions, be interested in the opinion of your loved ones. 
  3. Do not blur the boundaries between yourself and the child. Do not consider him an extension of yourself — this is a separate person who will soon become independent. 
  4. Do not force to show respect or tender feelings for those to whom the child does not feel them. For example, hugging a great-uncle, whom the kid has seen 2 times in his life. This is, in fact, a person alien to him. And it's not necessary to throw yourself on his neck at a meeting.
  5. Teach your child to protect their borders. Tell us that not all people (even adults) are aware of the inviolability of the personal space of others, and can consciously or accidentally invade it. It doesn't matter who was in the "forbidden territory" — a friend, a teacher, an outsider or a grandmother. If the child is uncomfortable with this, he must stop unwanted words or actions. 
  6. Cultivate tolerance in children. That is, respect for people with a different skin color, a different religion, etc. Instill tolerance for dissent. 
  7. Tell us about the personal zone. This is a space that can be divided into four areas: public (3-5 m), social (1-2 m) and personal (0.5 m or arm's length). Only close people can be within the personal distance.
  8. Teach them to say "no". It is important not just to refuse requests, but also not to get out of balance in such situations. Let the child refuse you and accept his refusal without condemnation. Respect the decisions made by him, if it does not contradict safety rules and moral norms.
  9. Respect the confidentiality of the child if there is no serious reason to interfere in his affairs. To a greater extent, this applies to teenagers, but in general it is relevant for children of different ages. Do not enter the nursery without knocking (there should be a lock on the door), do not rummage through the child's phone or diary. Do not spy on his page in social networks and on the pages of his friends.
  10. Confirm the inviolability of physical boundaries by prohibiting physical punishments. Even if you have practiced spanking on the ass before, give up this dubious educational technique right now! Children should not be beaten. 


English writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch noted: "To exist as a person, you need to be able to draw boundaries and say no to something." 

If you are interested in ensuring that your child's personality is harmonious, instill the concept of boundaries from early childhood. This is an invaluable contribution to his happy and successful adult life. March 1, 2021 2022-11-27 2021-03-01 Rate the article on a 5-point scale Did you like the article?

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