Friday, September 17, 2010

limits.....or not

Scott and I are reading a book called The One Life Solution: Reclaim Your Personal Life While Achieving Greater Professional Success, by Henry Cloud.
Scott got and started reading it and then I stole it and started reading it.
And Henry Cloud does not play...nope.
He talks about boundaries (he wrote another book actually called Boundaries) and how as children, we don't have limits and it is up to parents to set those boundaries for us to protect and manage us and after a while, we internalize those limits and they give us the ability to say "yes" to good things in our life and "no" to things that will hurt or harm us or others.
He says,
"The limits that are imposed on them from the outside become part of their internal makeup. Those limits become the internal structure that makes them feel secure, allows them to feel safe, and also cause them to gain something referred to as "self-control."
Besides being a parent, as a preschool teacher I get the priviledge of setting limits for a lot of little people every day.
Helping them to understand self-control.
Saying things like, "No, you may not lick the toys," and "I'm sorry but beaning your friend in the head with a Thomas train is not nice."
It is always interesting to me to watch these little ones process what I am saying to them, I can almost see the wheels in their head turning as they think,
"Really? Because this toy especially seems like it needs to be licked," or
"Despite what you are saying to me, it felt nice to chuck Bertie the bus at my friends head."
I think limits don't really come naturally to the human race.
I know this because of my deep affection for chocolate.
My mom used to tell me, "No candy before dinner." Limits.
But now as an adult, with no one to tell me, "No candy before dinner," this statement can quickly evolve into, "Candy for dinner." No limits.
(Why am I a preschooler when it comes to chocolate?)
If my children knew that I was considering a candy dinner,
they would sing my endless praises. They also have no limits.
But while I may enjoy candy for dinner, my thighs would not, as they would have to tell me, "Sorry, but we no longer fit into your pants."
Apparently, pants have limits.
Which helps me to remember,
"Hey, Sue! Maybe broccoli would be a better dinner choice."
These are the deep thoughts that I have been pondering as of late.
So thank you, Henry Cloud, for your words of wisdom.
My thighs and I are grateful for the reminder.

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Sheila said...

I loved his book Boundaries...I should read it again.

Belle said...

Love what you said about limits. And I remember when I was a adult with my first job and could buy as much candy as I wanted, I couldn't because I was dieting. I really resented that fact.

Pamela said...

how is the writing coming along??? :) sounds like someone has chocolate on the brain! I have found that a batch of brownies always seems to make some things less stressful (and other things like the size of thighs not so much). I did read that a bit of chocolate before a meal helps one eat less (maybe because one is full of sugar on an empty stomache???).