"Mom, I need you!" – Why we need to protect our children and their boundaries and we sometimes find that so hard (especially with people close to us)
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First published on 20.2.2019
"I must protect my child? For me, it’s all about such mundane things. Like when grandma comes, wants a little kiss from the little one and he doesn’t. I am so unsure: Do I have to protect him from this?? Or isn’t that also something where he learns that other people are just different and do some things differently than we do? So: May that be eh? I don’t know when to protect my child and when not to protect my child."
Like this mom, so many other parents feel the same way: we experience things in everyday life – often in direct contact with those people who were important to us during our own growing up years – that somehow feel "incongruous".
Sometimes, it just stings a little inside us when we observe their behavior in relation to our child. And sometimes, yes sometimes, there’s a really nasty pressure on our chest.
And if we would dare to feel consciously, we would notice that our breathing has long been quite shallow and bulky and also somehow such a tightness in the throat. We observe a situation (or are in the middle of it) and are tense, indecisive.
We don’t know what’s "right," don’t know what to do. So much insecurity: We experience ourselves as incapable of action.
Border crossings: That twinge in the chest
Sometimes adults are just "clumsy" in the way they relate to children or other people. There is. And there are adults who do morally reprehensible, sometimes downright mean things. That sounds harsh and it’s true. Whether we like it or not, and whether we can accept it well, or really resist it, changes nothing.
We can now start looking for reasons for her "questionable" behavior. And if we do that, we will find many excuses and justifications.
Because it applies to so many families, let’s take the "closest" relatives as an example:
- Grandma wants to play with the child. When the child shows no interest, grandma says: "That makes me very sad now!"
- Grandpa wants a kiss from the child. When the child says "no", he pulls it towards him, "steals" one and laughs.
- The aunt wants to "tussle" with the child, quickly lifts it above her head without being asked and whirls it around. The child screams, is afraid. It does not want! The aunt only stops when the dad takes the child away from the aunt and says "Hey, stop!" says.
- Grandma wants to put on the child’s jacket. It does not want. The grandma responds: "Okay, if you don’t put on your jacket, I’ll give it to the neighbor’s boy. So, already too late!"The child cries and screams. Mom stands by and does not dare to say anything.
- Uncle and child play. The uncle starts to take away the very toy the child is playing with over and over again. At first, the child smiles in amazement and goes along with it, but things quickly change: the child gets angry and feels increasingly powerless because the uncle just won’t stop, even though the child clearly shows that he or she feels really bad. The uncle continues and finds it "funny". The child moves away from the uncle, goes to another place to play. The uncle follows and continues.
Phew, take a deep breath.
None I have invented these examples.
How does it feel? Go into those examples, imagine them: What do these imaginings do to you? Let it happen! What are these thoughts, these images doing in your head??
Injustices and border crossings
Every person feels and feels differently about injustice, border crossings or even malice. What almost moves some people to tears when they read it alone, may even leave others quite cold. Or we feel that there is something "wrong", and are however – like the mama from our example at the beginning – torn between: Do I have to intervene or is it still OK??
If we listen to ourselves honestly, there may also be a quiet "I don’t dare"!" deep inside us, which makes us unable to protect our child when he needs us. (Especially in relation to grandparents, our own parents: Taking a healthier "stand" here and showing up with your values, ideas and rules for your own family can be ultimately challenging.)
If our closest caregivers during our own growing up did not respect our personal boundaries and did not see us as the people we are, but as "objects" that have to bend and function, then that leaves traces in our brain.
Responsible for the described differences in the perception and classification of mean behaviors and border crossings of adults are on the one hand the own growing up, and on the other hand for example also things like social "norms", which are also different around the globe.
Of course I would like to talk about our own growing up.
If our closest caregivers during our own growing up did not respect our personal boundaries and did not see us as the people we are, but as "objects" who have to bend and function, this leaves traces in our brain. We "function" differently then.
Then it may be "normal" for us that children’s boundaries are something that the adult may simply walk over, depending on his or her mood.
Unjust consciousness and developmental trauma
In this context, we also have to talk at least briefly about trauma, namely developmental trauma, which you can read about in Dami Charf, Bessel van der Kolk or also Dan Siegel, among others.
We know today that traumatic experiences do something to our brain: they change it, leave a lasting "impression". Trauma affects the frontal lobe of the brain, where our sense of injustice resides. (You can also read about this in the book.)
In trauma, the frontal lobe of the brain is affected, where social behavior and sense of injustice are located.
Not everything we see and experience that feels somehow "weird" to ourselves or others is also a trauma. This is important! It wouldn’t be wise to always be all over the place "trauma!" to scream.
And at the same time it is still the case today that developmental trauma in particular is far from being attributed the supporting role that would be necessary for coming to terms with childhood experiences in order to become truly "free" and move forward in life.
Trauma is not in the past, it is always. It becomes the "lens" through which we see our world.
- So can it be that the grandpa violates the child’s boundary with his stolen kiss because his boundaries were violated in his own childhood by the people he needed the most? Yes, that can be.
- Is it possible that the uncle who maltreats the child who doesn’t want to play with him anymore, and is also happy about it, is severely traumatized? And that it doesn’t just seem like he has a pretty blatant disorder, but is really a fact? Yes, it can be. (Was even very likely in that case due to further descriptions. The child in the example was almost a baby, about 1 year old. Mom didn’t dare to intervene and these "games" kept repeating themselves.)
- Is it possible that the grandmother who says "That makes me sad" is a child?!" when the child "rejects" her, becomes really sad because the rejection she experienced in her own childhood becomes loud again? Yes, this is also possible..
And – and this is the most important thing for us as parents: We must still protect our children!
We must not blame the "sufferings" and difficult childhoods, or the "trauma". circumstances of our parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles, etc. to whitewash their behavior and expose our children to it. We can think about these events in order to understand them better, if we want to do so. And at the same time, we must not stand idly by when our children’s boundaries are trampled on.
You can love your parents, brother, sister, and so on, and be strong for your child at the same time.
Protect your child – Not the adult!
And it can be really hard! Because we ourselves may not have grown up in a completely "perfect" world either, because perhaps our boundaries have been overstepped as well. Because we ourselves may struggle with the demons that accompany us.
We must protect our child and take a clear stand. Not against the other person, but for our child!
Follow this feeling of "Hey, something is wrong" that arises in you!". Intervene, take your child to you, give security. This feeling deep inside you wants to show you something. Notice it, let it become louder. It is a hint.
Take a clear stand. Not against the other person, but for your child!
So, how can this look concretely?
- I can say "Stop!".
- I can tell the adult what I don’t allow: "I don’t allow you to kiss my child if he doesn’t want to do that!"
- I can explain: "My child does not want this. I expect you to accept that."
- I can turn to the child: "No one is giving away your jacket, don’t worry." And then to the grandma: "Don’t scare my child. Nothing is thrown away here."
- I can also be provocative if I feel it makes sense: "You’re crossing a line here and my child is doing badly. It cries! You laugh. Do you notice something?"(I see this as quite offensive and not very effective, but with all the emotions it can also come out like this and again differently. The main thing is to interrupt the action.)
Moreover, we must not assume in the last example that the person "notices something". He may not notice Will and it may be that he really does not realize it can, because he himself is too "far away" from feeling and his sense of injustice. Or he notices it anyway, and it feels good on behalf of him! This sounds crass, and yet there are people for whom this is so. And if we notice that we are dealing with a person who feels good when others suffer, and this person does not seek help, then for the good of our family we should draw appropriate consequences. For protection.
In the vast majority of cases, exuberant grandparents and boisterous uncles, aunts and co. probably be a little surprised. Perhaps also insecure, whether your "announcement". Whether they understand what you are saying or why something bothers you is only of secondary interest. It is much more important that they accept you and your ideas and act differently in the future.
How exactly they will react, no one can predict. At most you yourself, because you know her. Probably better than you think. If you put yourself in their shoes: How do you think they will react? Will they apologize a little uncomfortably? Will they accept your statement, respect it? Will they thank you for the hint? Will they be offended? Who knows.
Very difficult, and yet necessary
And if the mom who wrote me these lines at the top points out to her mom that her child only gives a kiss when she wants it, then her mom will just: perhaps be surprised. Or she says: "Oops, yes you are right! So, this is how we do it from now on. Thank you for telling me that." Wouldn’t that be nice? And even if the reaction is different: Be brave. For your child.
Our becoming, our being – it is all so complex and highly individual. Therefore, here too, there cannot be one formula according to which we should orient our actions.
Our job is to protect our children, not to please other adults!
We must always feel into ourselves. Once again, it is about our responsibility as parents. Sometimes it takes a lot of courage! Because it can be so hard to "rebel" "against" your own parents. This is also completely individual depending on your own childhood.
But our task remains the same, no matter whether it is easy or really hard for us: We are responsible for the protection of our child. This is our responsibility. And not to please our parents or anyone else at any cost.
Maybe you didn’t have the protection you needed as a kid. Maybe sometimes you felt at her mercy. Now, today, here you are no more! You’re an adult!
And now go and make yourself big and strong, FOR your child.
I wish you courage, love and trust.
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Thanks for your post! Sometimes I wonder if you really need to talk about it so much. It’s actually quite clear: everyone has their limits and they need to be respected. And then things happen like they did last weekend. There I had to watch how a grandmother had her ca. 1 1/2 year old grandson on his bottom, because he touched flowers in the park and she didn’t like it. The bad thing, the mother and grandpa were there and no one minded. I calmly and firmly approached the grandmother, told her not to do that, that she was breaking the law. She just rolled her eyes, her grandfather didn’t really mind, her mother didn’t either. And I stood there stunned, with anger in the belly. My three-year-old twins next to me, just thought, what are they going to do with the little one when he gets into the autonomy phase?.
And I always wonder what would the police do if they witnessed it? Grab a? Or is the "slap" after all actually perfectly legitimate in our society?
And then I realize again: we can’t really talk about it enough and we have to protect the children’s boundaries.
Yaaaay! So important! Christmas was really gross at our house. Constantly my son was taken on someone’s lap. He then broke away, came to me and said "Mommy doesn’t like that". I then solved this rather subtly and repeated loudly "you don’t like it when someone touches you all the time without being asked? I can understand that, nobody likes that."Thus the topic was then fortunately settled.
Thank you for another wonderful post that makes me think and encourages me to rely on my gut feeling.
Thank you for this valuable article. I cringe every time I read or hear things like this. Yes, you are right, each person brings his own education package (I have worked with traumatized people – there are really enough bad things). And I am even more happy about your last words: it is still our task to protect our children, not to please others or to always protect them because of their childhood.
Thank you for these clear words, which hopefully many people will read and stimulate!
Exactly my topic!
Exactly these examples happen again and again with our grandmother.
My daughter has always clearly demarcated herself, as a baby by crying, now with clear no’s and by pushing the person away from her. These are clear signals that are nevertheless ignored again and again. I stand by my child, take a clear position, encourage her and in the last step I am also the one who tells grandma to stop.
I explained to the grandmother that she must accept the limits, that she must not force kisses or physical contact and that she should not say that she would be sad if she did not get a kiss.a gets.
She then usually accepts it and falls into the same pattern in the next visit. She then also deliberately chooses situations in which my child is distracted (watching TV for example).b) to sit next to them and to stroke them. I often don’t leave my daughter alone with her in a room, she doesn’t visit her grandma alone anymore. In the meantime my last resort is to limit the contact in general very much or to break it off. I think it’s a shame because once the ice is broken between them, they also play and romp together naturally.
Hello dear ones,I think that we have to take responsibility for our own behavior and actions. A lot of things to rethink ,old behaviors and beliefs to break through and recreate yes reshape. Even a grandma can learn to accept that her grandson loves her even if he does not give her a kiss, the grandson can shake her hand in a friendly way or simply greet her with a smiling hello. Our grandma comes after a clarifying conversation super with the clear! I think it is very important to protect our children and support them in their decisions and actions, this strengthens their self-esteem and they will become parents themselves filleicht times which then also strengthened children with self-confidence bring to the world, only in this way something can change and move in our society.
We like to read the book "vom grosswerden und starksein" by jana frey at home. Bettina gotzen-beek lion publishing house
An ingenious book to explain a lot to children, to reflect and check themselves and to show a new way. Saying no is important!
All the best and have fun with the picture book
A very beautiful, very important, very moving article. Thank you!
Good that this was said. Thank you Jeannine. When my daughter was born, I immediately had a very strong protective instinct – interestingly enough towards the family. And then I stood by while my grandpa shook my daughter by the hands and flirted with her, shortly after she cried bitterly from overstimulation. I could not breathe because of the tension, but I could not say anything. That was so hard. I have rarely felt so powerless. Finally I took my daughter away from him without a word. After that I broke off the contact, because I did not know how to help myself otherwise. The protection of my little ones is my first priority. And now I am in the process of processing my family trauma. I am curious how the relationships within my family of origin will change.
We live in Southern Europe, where the physical limits are much smaller, deeper than with us. I had to get used to it, but it has its advantages and disadvantages. When my child doesn’t want something another person asks of him, I "translate" his reaction. No, he does not like to give kisses. (What is very important here… ) Usually then comes the cheerful answer that they also did not like it as a child. Then they laugh about it and my son is saved Or the neighbor who disturbs in the game, who wants to squeal to the parents about the children playing with water at 20 degrees, because pneumonia is not far, I quickly try to engage in a conversation about their childhood and "childhood nonsense.
My son needed a little longer after Christmas to enter the kindergarten room. The kindergarten teacher told him that Santa Claus sees everything and takes the presents away if he doesn’t come into the room right away. He looked at me startled and I told him that it was not so, what is his is his. Nobody takes that away again.
However, he wonders about other rules and behaviors of other people, we talk about it and it is important to me that he also gets to know them.
I think it is difficult especially with the partner. If he does something I don’t like, we should talk about it afterwards. Not in front of the child. The same the other way around. It’s their relationship that I can’t just barge into. Even though often the lioness awakens…
You hit it on the point. And yet I am so often powerless, I know I have to protect my children, especially the big one, and I can’t always do it.
Very good and an incredibly important article ♡ I do it again and again with my child. Actually completely unconsciously .. but I get confirmation in the article . Thank you.
Thanks for the great post!
We have often experienced this with my mother-in-law and in addition still complete incomprehension if we have addressed her on it. Then came sentences like, as long as the little one can’t say no, you can touch him and kiss him as much as you want. We should not make such a fuss.
That and some other incidents have then led to the fact that we have stopped the contact because also our limits were exceeded again and again. Unfortunately, this can be the result. Nevertheless I would do it again in such a way even if I nibbled in the meantime very much at it and was unsafe.
I have become more courageous!
Oh how important this post is!! So wonderful that you have taken up this theme. This will encourage some moms to act according to their gut feeling (- like me too)!
I often have to "work" against the blackmailing of my grandmother (mother-in-law), at almost every visit. It is exhausting, it disturbs the mood and I make myself more and more unpopular. My husband thinks, if I could not see sometime everything "looser.. nooo, I don’t want, because it concerns my children. Meanwhile I don’t care if I make myself unpopular.
And when the other day my father packed the 3 year old at 21:30 and brought her to her bed (after she had slept from 18-20 o’clock – you know what that means (I let her sleep because she was groggy)) and with a strong "off to bed!! When "It’s over now" caused the biggest family quarrel in 10 years, I knew that I would NEVER leave my children with my parents for a single evening. Because through such a vicious (and also violent) way of dealing, some boundaries were crossed with me. I would like to spare my children that.
Or rather: I have to spare my children that!
Thank you for this so valuable and important article
In the beginning you describe these situations and ask us to look at what it does in us. And there I realized again what a big theme of mine is: I feel invisible, my inner child keeps calling out: hey, do you see me?? I am here!
And that makes it incredibly difficult for me to protect my child. I don’t dare, have a huge fear of rejection… Your article encourages me and I hope so much that I can stand up for my children (and also for myself) more and more.
How appropriate. Shortly before I read the article, the grandpa was there and I found myself (or my child) 1:1 in the same situation again. Just great article, thank you for it. At all the goes blog is mega. I want to do it this way but it is hard for me, I don’t want to hurt grandpa.
Oh wow! Thank you for this so important article! This hits exactly my points. Caught hard! The first few months after my daughter was born I struggled a lot with the issue and in the meantime, however, I’m pushing through for the good of my daughter and it’s doing me a lot of good! After I once overcame my limits and theirs, it was like a liberation. The scary thing for me is that I am always confronted with my own childhood by my mother’s behavior towards her.
Thank you for the effort to write such an article! It encourages me immensely!
A great article in which I found our initial situation again and which encourages me to continue to listen to my gut and to intervene for my child when she is not able to do so herself or when she is not able to intervene. The other person doesn’t understand that my child doesn’t want it. It is difficult and exhausting to rebuke those you love, but the love for my child is above all and that gives me the strength and courage to stand up for my child over and over again and to make myself strong. Thank you very much!
Very good article,
A topic which touches me very much and often brings me to my limits. Unfortunately, I have already stood by helplessly when my child was stroked over the head even though he did not want it, or kissed despite his ‘no’. It is a long way when you have grown up with your own boundaries being crossed by people close to you. THANK YOU FOR THE GOOD CONTRIBUTION
Thank you very much! I have often made myself unpopular with adults because I was protecting my kids. Nevertheless, there is for me not the slightest doubt that the limits of the children are to be respected. My daughter was crying because she had hurt herself. A strange woman said: but you are not pretty when you cry! And you want to be a pretty princess? Without words . Some people are so insanely stupid.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, it is so insanely important to look and listen !!
I also thank you from the bottom of my heart for your great, super important articles!! I just read here in another comment that one’s own inner child is so often triggered, concerning the relationship to the family of origin! That’s exactly how it is with me too! My son is now 10 months old and I have already been through some minor and major conflicts, especially with my mother.
Even if it takes a lot of strength from me, I also stand up for my son and feel this strong protective instinct since his birth.
There were some situations that made me boil:
– My son (just 6 weeks young or so), grandma (my mum) and I are going for a walk in the stroller (in hindsight I regret that I didn’t start carrying much earlier, but I didn’t really dare yet and strollers were always so "normal"… Known as that… "Babies ride in the Kiwa…"??) My son was not a fan of the stroller at all until he could sit in the thing, as I then also accepted at some point. Well, other topic. In any case, after only a few meters of walking in noisy Hamburg, he started to cry. I meant directly, we turn back, home, so that he can again at my Busi and there where it is quietly. My mother, however, had got it into her head that we were walking sooo beautifully cliched and said "oh come on, he’ll calm down in a minute, babies cry all the time." And energetically drove the KiWa forward, with my screaming, unhappy baby! When the crying died down a bit, but he was still whimpering and I realized he’s just not doing well in that fucking stroller (sorry, emotional flashback right now) she also smoothly said slightly sublime "see, he’s already stopped…" It tore my mother heart! I yelled at her overemotionally "We’re going back right now. "
It suddenly rained, we didn’t have an umbrella with us, we forgot the stupid KiWa foil too. Could not take him in my arms (rain)… I was completely stressed and hysterical. And she didn’t understand at all…
The things or phrases that trigger me the most (in relation to my own childhood, in which I was often throttled in my liveliness) and now in relation to my son:
– "now don’t cry in front of the child" (when I have to cry in front of my mother or grandma because I am exhausted or sad) – in general crying is forbidden by them. I still have situations with my mother in which she energetically demands "will you stop crying now (or crying – my favorite word in this context… Um, no…)?
Then about my son:
"Hach, the Y. is soo a good/kind/lovely boy" (My absolute excitement. Jeeeeeedes times anew!!) And I never get tired of talking them out of these caustic titles! Dialogue on this:
"Why is he "good"? What does that mean for a baby? when is it please not "well-behaved"?"
"Well some kids scream/cry so much… And he is such a sweet kid…"
"But if they cry, they usually have a reason. "
Honestly, this really drives me up the wall, because it completely denies the entirety of human emotions and it is soooo unfair to categorize a person (especially an adolescent) according to this or to deny him his completely legitimate feelings. No wonder that I still today many (supposedly) negative feelings split off and in turn with others themselves hard to bear Especially with my son… IF he has then times "uncomfortable" phases, I get super fast in stress…
Also "nice" from my mother, who buys my son or us for him very many things … nice support, but sometimes with the words: "If grandma then soon times no more money, she can also no longer…"
Or she fiddles with his hair every time and is already "planning" how his hair will be cut soon then… "and then we’ll let your hair grow nice and long and cut you such a surfer haircut… something longer like that and really good looking…" Somehow this irritates me, because a) she doesn’t have to determine that and b) this superficiality concerning appearances, especially with small children, annoys me!
"You don’t eat with your hands…"
"Yes, he may!"
"Ooh-oh, all that mess. Grandma just cleaned the place…"
A few weeks ago:
"he is hungry! He only gets the boobs. Will he get full of it. Now give him something real!"
"Now give him a roll in the hand. All children nibble one on the way"
"i don’t want him to sit there with a fat roll in his hand just to distract him". he has just had the bosom and gets later noon?!"
Or my grandmother today before breakfast him directly so a roll pressed into the hand while playing?! "umm, we’ll all eat together in a minute. I wanted to give him the roll and not in front of it
Then sometimes I feel so stuffy?
I know, it’s often about my boundaries here… And because it’s hard for me to keep mine, it’s not easy to protect my son’s 100%…
Don’t let him run around without a diaper, he will pee everywhere". The new sofa"
"umm I want him to experience what it feels like without a diaper too…? Can we please not take away his body experiences just because we don’t want to clean?"
Hach, you see, I can write myself there really in rage
Thank you for this important topic!!
I also want to become much much braver about this! And also more consciously… With some things I think I’m still a little too timid… e.g. the kissing of relatives… Maybe we as parents also kiss him way too much. I would like to pay attention to it again. Catch myself more often thinking "hmm don’t I annoy him with all the kissing maybe once in a while?"
Oops, slept a night over it, I read just again so over my text and must say, much of it is somehow nevertheless more in my own border area. But for my feeling also in that of my, still so small, son… Am there in my descriptions a little degenerated. The text was mainly related to the limits of the child.
I think that is exactly the difficult part of it. That in such situations we are unsure what the child’s boundaries are and what the memories of our own childhood are.
Does it also feel wrong for the child right now?? Or is it our memory that just makes it feel wrong?
And that makes it so hard. Because on the one hand you want to protect your child (so that it doesn’t happen to him as it did to us as a child), on the other hand you don’t want to "get in line".
And so you stand by, the situation doesn’t feel right, but you’re not in a position to act either. And that is exactly what is meant by the inner child and the triggers. You become the helpless child again.
It’s hard to assert yourself even though you don’t want to hurt the other person. But there is no other way to break the circle. And actually, a good relationship should also be able to withstand the fact that you don’t agree with each other. So that the mother of the grandma says "maybe it was like that in the past, but for my child I don’t want that!"
your post is already a while ago, but maybe you still read my answer. Great how you stand up to your mother. Keep going. Have often unfortunately not dared to do this with my mother when my boys were younger.
But, as we all know, it’s never too late. All the best!
Thank you for this article! I know these problems and have addressed my mother-in-law after some overcoming it. I was so relieved when she was completely understanding (expect kissing as a greeting) and agreed with me. Since then it is hard for her, but she shows totally that she wants to change. Sometimes it seems so difficult to talk about it and maybe it is not so bad. I have it with the topic "protection from sexual abuse/ a child cannot distinguish whether it must give now the familiar grandma the kiss or the familiar teacher", I find the most logical explanation around understanding to expect. Dare!!❤️
I find your articles always very thoughtful, timely and written from the heart ?. I still have a very small daughter with 3 1/2 months and hope that I find the courage to do just that or. I am allowed to develop very much as a mom ?. Thank you for your exciting work ?. All the best Iris
A very important and appropriate article. I don’t know any family so far, in which it didn’t come to such situations. All the more important is this post and your, really coherent point of view, to encourage parents to stand up for their child.
With our daughter it also came to a situation between her father and me, because he was deeply affected when she would not let him comfort her and then he squeezed us both tightly when she was in my arms. She wanted to push out and this signal was not taken seriously. Until I said "stop now. He was very sad and hurt, withdrew at first. BUT: since then he respects her no! always and represents it also to others if they do not (want to) perceive it. This showed me that it MUST be us speaking up or stopping situations when our daughter can’t do it herself.
But first of all we want to give her the opportunity to do it herself. And also to see if it is her limit, where it would be ours. Because there is also that. That she doesn’t stop situations that I personally wouldn’t like (wild romping)
Another sitution is verbal threat of being left alone. "If you don’t go, mommy and I will go alone"."I go directly into contact with her and explain to her that I will never leave her alone if she does not want to be. My reaction depends on the person. There are people where I bring in the direct confrontation that we do not threaten her with something like that. And there are the people where I explain it directly to my daughter and avoid the direct confrontation.
I have learned in any case by the birth of my daughter also in other areas my opinion more often times to express (At work – care) instead of accepting it as it is just made.
I am looking forward to the book in May. Your articles are so great, unvarnished and eye opening. Thanks for this.
Thank you so much for this article. I find myself in such a situation quite often and am honestly sometimes quite overwhelmed with it, also because I just don’t know what kind of situation I will get then. With some people I just have the fear that it will escalate, simply from other situations where these people have just blown up at any criticism and I don’t want that to happen in front of my daughter. I have not yet found a way that both my daughter and my gut feeling are satisfied.
Thank you, thank you for these important lines! I wish everyone would read it. I have not said anything for a long time in many situations. Out of fear, I always knew that. For fear of hurting, for fear of attracting unpleasant attention, for fear of negative reactions. At some point I started to say stop and then explained briefly. With my heart pounding and my head red, but proud of myself for defending my daughter. The feeling lasted a long time afterwards, much nicer than the guilty conscience I had when I didn’t dare… Your post confirms and supports me.
Thank you so much for the great post.
My baby is only a few months old and it happens that others, distant acquaintances or even strangers come up to us and talk to us with friendly interest. That is so far also already and mostly nice. However, it has happened to me several times now that these people grab my daughter’s face or pinch her cheek. I can’t turn away fast enough (baby is in the carrier). I feel really sorry for this and feel it is encroaching on my daughter but am so gobsmacked and speechless every time unfortunately that I don’t say anything.
Do you have a tip for me?
I have once firmly resolved to pinch the next person directly back in the cheek, but I do not dare to do that.
Kind regards, Theresa
I know the unasked touching of my children in the stretcher or outside of strangers. This is extremely encroaching. I also wanted to "touch back" so you can feel what it feels like. But I have always left it at saying: "Do not touch"! We do not know each other!"
Children are constantly seen as objects on which you can satisfy your own needs. Terrible! And even kind things like letting kids go first in line or stopping suddenly in the middle of the road with the car for the kid to go over do nothing to prepare for real life and confuse kids.
We are expecting our first child and I already know that there will be conflicts with my parents.
My mother is the absolute "kissing granny". She is already looking forward to "smooching the little one from top to bottom". This is how she did it to me and her mother did it to me too. This is normal loving behavior for her and she is now already totally crazy with anticipation of "your" grandchild.
Secretly I hope that the little one is not leaning against her, so that it does not come to a big fight, because I want to protect him.
I myself stopped kissing her on the mouth when I was a teenager, because it didn’t feel right to me anymore. Since then I give her kisses on the cheek. Sometimes she still can’t cope with it, and reacts hurt.
A great and inspiring article- written in a very appealing way for me. Thank you so much, can really take something away and feel encouraged to listen to my gut feeling.
The article/topic is so important! I feel the same way (similar experiences, similar feelings). However, I find it really hard to be responsible for my child’s boundaries (2 yrs.) to stand up for you. I am just learning to have my own boundaries clear. And am sort of growing into it in the wake of motherhood. This feels good (and is also so important for my child). But it is also a lot of emotional work.
The article reinforces 2 things in particular: trusting my gut and holding my child’s boundaries/his well-being high (and not putting the love of harmony or convenience first).
I can only agree with many previous comments: very important and great article. Thank you for that!
I am very grateful for your thoughts.
Thank you for the suggestions.. I can only agree with you that it is our job to protect our children and also say that it is not always easy.
Already pre-ordered your book and looking forward to May and much more.
Keep up the good work and please share your thoughts with us..
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Your article has also taken a huge burden off my shoulders. Thank you very much!
We had paternal grandma visit last weekend. Although she was very reserved at the beginning – probably because I really burst during our last visit 10 months ago – gradually everything went back to square one. I even feel like every time I silently allowed her to "pull" on our son, she became more brash. When I z.B. Explained: "Look, he is ashamed right now because he feels laughed at.", and directed to him, "No one is laughing at you; we just enjoy how imaginatively you play." she pulled out with the words: "Well, shame on you then!!"offended.
This went so far that she directly (!) hit the table in front of my son’s face with a smack and hiss, because he wanted to reach for daddy’s condensed milk packets in the cafe. And even then I didn’t manage to open my mouth, I just got terribly sick and went out for fresh air with the little one, just 2 1/2 years, without a word. I am still very disappointed in myself and sad about this inability, which stems from the fact that my own mother worked extremely with feelings of guilt and emotional blackmail in my childhood. Fear has choked my throat.
Next weekend she’s coming over again, so I’m going to read your text over and over again, stand in front of the mirror the old-fashioned way, and practice saying "stop". Unfortunately, I know that she will not react kindly to this at all, even her son she always calls "psycho" when he expresses himself protectively.
That’s why I practice not only the stop!-Say, but also practice: "We are all happy to see you. Nevertheless: Here is a limit. I don’t want you to force him to (xy)." and "You can think this is exaggerated, or think I’m stupid, it doesn’t bother me anymore. Maybe you used to get slapped in the face when you "stepped out of line". I want my child to grow up without being shamed, blackmailed or bullied, and that includes (xy)" or "I’ve been careful not to offend you for a long time, but I won’t compromise here. This is about M."
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your encouragement and empowerment!
A very great and inspiring article. Thank you for taking up such an important topic again. As a mother, I’ve encountered the situation so many times that my Little Daughter has come up to me and said she doesn’t like to be put on the lap so much. Unfortunately, I did not know exactly how to react to this. So thank you very much for your helpful article.
I also find the article very inspiring. Much of this I will also adapt in the upbringing of my children
Great article! So often I do not dare to contradict my mother. Am then the good girl from before, who only talks when asked. But your lines have just made me very angry. It is simply enough.
From now on I stand up for the boundaries of my boys. And, unfortunately, I also noticed that I have to keep an eye on and respect their limits towards me!