• Anne Costa


I don't know about you but this whole quarantine thing is getting on my nerves! It seems like I am living in the land of blurred boundaries on an endless "winter break" with demanding aliens who have no respect for the concept of "work-life" balance. Without even the time or space for "changing hats," I am expected to glide through a myriad of tasks from wiping runny noses to reporting on last week's meeting while writing a grant as I try not burn the hotdogs and remember to put the dog out. That doesn't include making time for my in house co-ceo (hubby) who rightfully expects my undivided attention as he laments the rules regarding the reopening of the golf course.

If this sounds familiar, then read on. (if you can find the time.) Now more than ever, we need our boundaries to work for us. If you have small children, they need you to keep the boundaries simple and consistent. Remember:

LESS IS MORE: Have 5 non-negotiables instead of 10 or 20 haphazardly set limits. You can't control everything they do and you need to pick and chose your battles. To ward off chaos--what are the five firm boundaries YOU need to set to stay sane and THEY need to stay safe.

BE CLEAR: If they (meaning anybody in the household) are not respecting your boundaries make sure you are being CLEAR. Use direct language and statements. (I need; I want; and remember NO IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE)

Write down the boundary. Show them how you want the boundary to be honored. Ask them to repeat it.

PRAISE WORKS: When they do something to uphold or honor your boundary... point it out! Everybody needs feedback, no matter what the age. Practice an even tone or a warm voice that stays calm even under pressure. IF YOU ARE SCREAMING YOUR BOUNDARY IS COLLAPSED.

COMPLIANCE CAVEAT: Allow grumbling, but not disrespect. Perfection is not your goal (survival is!)

Boundaries work if you work them.

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