Boundary Setting and Redirecting with Young Children
“Grayson, please use a softer indoor voice. That was too loud for my ears.” “Grandma, that wasn’t me. It was my horse!!”
“Grayson, you are in charge of your horse!”
“Grandma, you don’t understand. My horse won’t listen to me.”
“EEEEHHHHHHEEEEEEEEE” went the horse.
“Grayson, please tell your horse that if he doesn’t use an indoor voice that he can’t play with you in the family room.”
Crashing sound caused by his toddler sister interrupted us. She grabbed one of Grayson’s toys and tossed it. Conversation took a whole new non-horse related direction.
If Claire hadn’t thrown the toy, it would have been time to redirect Grayson’s horse into a quiet activity like eating carrots or washing him down. There are times young children need to be redirected when normal conversations won’t work. Redirecting at a time when something needs to be discussed can be avoidance of an issue or a difficult conversation. The guiding adult has to know what boundaries to establish and when to redirect when there is a stalemate. Sometimes it’s a toss-up. Each situation is different as are the personalities involved. For me, it’s a chore not to laugh when something is so obviously funny but needs to be addressed in a responsible manner. Good luck with your boundary setting and redirecting!