#60 – Quick Tips #8: Do Children Have a Right to Set Boundaries?

A listener wanted to know if her child has a right to decide who, when, and how she plays with her friends. Vicki answers this question, and offers some great tips on how to handle parents — or even family members — who criticize your child when she wants to set a boundary. If you’re a parent or will become one in the future you, this is information about children and boundaries that you need to know.

Biggest Takeaways From Episode #60:

  • Children have a right to say no when they are asked to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable.
  • When you tell your child they don’t have a right to say no, you are teaching them to be a people-pleaser.
  • As a parent, you are a role model to your children about their rights to set boundaries.
  • Let your child know that you are proud of them for setting their boundaries.

Highlights from Episode #60:

  • Welcome back to the show! Today’s episode is from a listener’s question about do children have a right to set boundaries? [00:44]
  • Vicki discusses why this is an important question for parents and anyone who will become a parent in the future. [01:12] 
  • The listener’s question is about her daughter’s choices about who she wants to play with and other parents’ responses to her. [01:32]
  • Vicki’s first thought about the parents criticizing the listener’s daughter is that it is completely appropriate to distance yourself from these parents. [03:50]
  • Children have a right to play with who they want to play with, and letting them make this choice teaches them boundaries and self care. [04:18]
  • Reasons you don’t want to teach your child to be a people pleaser. [05:05]
  •  If you teach your child that they don’t have a right to say no, you lay the groundwork for potentially dangerous situations. [05:30]
  • The best way to teach your children about boundaries is by your your own example. [07:57]
  • Enforce your child’s choices by letting her know she has the right to choose who she plays with. [09:55]
  • Vicki’s suggestions what to say if your child is being criticized. [09:53]
  • Let your child know that you are proud of her for letting others know what she wanted or needed. [12:30]
  • If someone is being overtly abusive to your child, you have a right and responsibility to stop them. [13:14]
  • By letting your child exercise her boundaries you are helping her develop her ability to keep herself safe. [13:56]

Links and Resources:


Hi, I'm Victoria!

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