How to Set Boundaries For Your Kids & Make Time For Mommy

If you don’t already know, I love Periscope. Being on Periscope has allowed me to connect to people and build a community in a way I hadn’t before. It also has allowed me to get clear on new content that is needed right here on this blog. Last night I shared a scope on 10 easy tips for moms to recharge, reconnect and FLY (First Love Yourself). Tips 8 & 9 were all about setting boundaries for yourself; first with your extended family and friends, and then with your children.

Also related: The Power to FLY Begins With You – First Love Yourself

You can’t possibly find time for self-care, if you don’t learn how to set boundaries in every area of your life. When you sit down for dinner, do you prefer a full, fresh hot plate of food, or a cold plate with leftovers? When we don’t make the choice to take care of ourselves, we’re making the choice to serve our families the leftovers.

Also related: Do you serve from your cup or your overflow?

When I went through postpartum depression, I didn’t understand what it meant to make myself a priority. I didn’t understand that not allowing myself to recharge and regroup meant that I was taking all of my frustrations out on my family. Self-care is definitely not selfish, it is necessary and it is critical to our responsibilities as moms.

In the Periscope replay below, you can tune into the 10 tips I shared. But I wanted to zoom in on these tips on how to set boundaries for your kids TODAY, so that you can then make time and room for your own self-care.

Communicate with them on their level

My kids are 4, 6 & 8. I can’t explain things to my 8 year-old in the same way I do with my 4-year-old. And even with the 6-year-old, I have to tweak things for her comprehension level. I have to use shorter sentences, and more story telling with the younger ones. But my son can understand longer sentences and less stories. In order for children to understand, you have to speak to them in their language.

Consistency and Repetition is key

Don’t think that just because you say something once or sometimes even four times that it will stick. New habits take time to form. And with kids especially, it takes them longer to adjust to new schedules or new routines. Don’t get frustrated when it doesn’t go smooth sailing. Keep repeating it until they get it, and repeating means being consistent.

Teach them manners

No, it’s not okay for your kids to walk into your room or bathroom unannounced. It’s not okay that they interrupt you mid-sentence with their “emergency”. It’s never too early to start teaching them simple manners because it’s our responsibility to prepare them for adulthood and the real world. My kids know when the door is closed, they are supposed to knock first AND wait for permission to enter. They also know when grown-ups are talking, and they need to speak, they need to say “excuse me”. Nothing pains me more than to see a child being disrespectful, because those disrespectful children will grow up to be disrespectful adults.

No is a complete sentence

This is true even for our children. No doesn’t mean yes. No doesn’t mean, we’ll see. No doesn’t mean ask me again in five minutes. No doesn’t mean later. No means no. So when we use it, it’s our responsibility to stick with it so that they understand that we actually mean what we say. If your kids know that you’ll change your mind to a yes if they just keep asking, then they will do it. Stand firm in your decisions. But when the situation calls for it, you can explain to them your reasoning.

We all have responsibilities, but we have to make it a choice that we want to “feel good without feeling guilty”. Please understand that learning to love yourself more does not mean you love your kids any less. Watch the replay below to see why mom guilt is a myth and we all need to do like Elsa, and let it go (sorry, had to go there, but it’s true).

Let me know in the comments: What will you begin doing today to start putting your own self-care at the top of your list of priorities?

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  • Shawana
    October 3, 2015 at 4:45 AM

    Great read! Sometimes life gets so busy until we forget to take a moment to breathe. Great tips on how to take some time for yourself and recharge.
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    • Christine St.Vil
      October 6, 2015 at 2:54 PM

      Thanks so much Shawana! Yes, taking those moments to just breathe are so critical to our overall well-being.

  • Tyra
    October 4, 2015 at 3:32 PM

    So true that people need to create boundaries in order to preserve some time for themselves. And you are right, no is a complete sentence, no qualification needed.
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  • Mimi "MimiCuteLips" Green
    October 4, 2015 at 6:05 PM

    I lost myself after becoming a Mom. I totally learned to make time for myself about a year in which was so necessary. Now with baby #2 I am making time for me, my dreams and the kids.
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    • Christine St.Vil
      October 6, 2015 at 2:52 PM

      Yasssss love that Mimi! I like to say I became a victim of identity theft due to motherhood. I didn’t lose myself until baby number 3 but boy am I glad I found and continue to discover who I am outside of being a mom.

  • Nicole
    October 4, 2015 at 6:29 PM

    Yes, self care is so crucial. As mom’s we tend to take care of everything and everyone, sometimes forgetting ourselves.
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    • Christine St.Vil
      October 6, 2015 at 2:51 PM

      I agree, that seems to be the norm Nicole. But I’m working to change that – when we take care of ourselves first, ultimately, we are taking care of everyone else.

  • Nancy
    October 4, 2015 at 7:31 PM

    I will begin to just take a leap, that has been my motto in a lot of things today and I want to keep that going even in the way that I parent…I need to take a leap for myself in order to be a better mom.

  • Tanay
    October 4, 2015 at 8:14 PM

    I love “no is a complete sentence”… So many parents nowadays do not stick to their no! I’m only (almost) a year into being a mom so I’ve yet to face any real disciplining lol.
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    • Christine St.Vil
      October 6, 2015 at 2:50 PM

      Aww that’s so exciting Tanay, congrats! You’re in the “everything is cute” stage lol But enjoy it because you’ll have plenty of time to experience “real disciplining’ LOL

  • Valerie
    October 4, 2015 at 9:21 PM

    That scope was everything! I thank you so much for these tips because moms often put everyone else’s needs before their own. It’s time to make time for self care and set those boundaries.
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    • Christine St.Vil
      October 6, 2015 at 2:49 PM

      Aww thanks so much Valerie! Yes, I’ve learned that we have to make a choice to make self-care a priority because no one will do it for us.

  • Vashti (
    October 4, 2015 at 9:32 PM

    I don’t have any kids as yet but I’m allergic to disrespectful kids lol. I think it’s so important to set boundaries and take time for yourself. Everyone will be happier (and better behaved lol) as a result.
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    • Christine St.Vil
      October 6, 2015 at 2:48 PM

      Bwahahahaha right Vashti! And yes girl, happiness and well-behaved kids leads to a great life 🙂

  • Holly
    October 4, 2015 at 10:45 PM

    I don’t have any kids, but I think this is good stuff. I don’t like disrespectful or rude kids. Manners are so important! No should certainly mean no.
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    • Christine St.Vil
      October 6, 2015 at 2:47 PM

      LOL I don’t either Holly because like I said…those disrespectful kids most likely will grow up to be disrespectful adults.

  • Aidah
    October 4, 2015 at 11:20 PM

    Setting boundaries in life is so crucial and your kids are no exception. I love the analogy of cold leftovers being similar to not taking time for ones self. Great tips!

    • Christine St.Vil
      October 6, 2015 at 2:46 PM

      Thanks so much Aidah. A lightbulb went off for me when I started to see it in that light as well 🙂

  • LaShawn
    October 5, 2015 at 8:24 AM

    I’ve been working on taking my time and ME back. I love your tips for teaching kids boundaries. I am working on getting my 5 year old to understand that no doesn’t mean ask me again in the next few minutes. LOL. And you are so right, there is nothing worse than a disrespectful child!
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    • Christine St.Vil
      October 6, 2015 at 2:46 PM

      LOL LaShawn, trust me I understand! I just keep reiterating the fact that no means no unless I follow up with a not right now. And girl, yes, can’t stand to see a disrespectful child!

  • Sasha-Shae
    October 5, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    Self care is definitely a necessity. Its so easy to get burdened by everything. And for kids teaching them important values from young is definitely the way to go.
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  • Myeshia Reynolds
    October 5, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    What I need to do is make to-do-lists because I find that it helps so much when you have a lot going on and make sure I include me time on those lists. I also know I need to get back into my old sleep habit because it has been off for the last couple of months and it really affects me and my energy.
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    • Christine St.Vil
      October 6, 2015 at 2:44 PM

      Yes! And in addition to to-do lists, creating an action plan to actually get stuff done (took me awhile to learn and I am still learning). I like to prioritize my list once I have everything written down. Thanks for sharing Myeshia, and hope you can get your sleep habit back on track 🙂

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