What is the best way to teach my child boundaries?

Adoption & Family Therapist Jeanette Yoffe, MA, MFT, explains the best way to teach personal boundaries to your young child
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What is the best way to teach my child boundaries?

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An intervention that I teach parents in order to teach their children how to learn boundaries, I use this technique called the imaginary hula hoops, which is, I place the child in a hula hoop on the floor. It's a large hula hoop, so they can see where they end and someone else begins. I also have the other family members sit in their own hula hoops, so the child can see that they all have their own personal space. We can't go into someone else's hula hoop without their permission. In order to go into the hula hoop, we have to use our words and ask for permission. With parents, there is an exception. There's no questions asked for hugs and kisses. You can always cross that boundary. What I also tell parents when they are on the playground at school, letting the child know, "Let's think about where is our imaginary hula hoop?" And also getting the child to see and think, where are your friends imaginary hula hoops, so they can see where they end and someone else begins. It's a great tool.

Adoption & Family Therapist Jeanette Yoffe, MA, MFT, explains the best way to teach personal boundaries to your young child

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Jeanette Yoffe, MA, MFT

Adoption & Family Therapist

Jeanette Yoffe earned her master's degree in Clinical Psychology, specializing in children, from Antioch University. She treats children with serious psychological problems secondary to histories of abuse, neglect, and or multiple placements. Jeanette's desire to become a child therapist with a special focus on adopted and foster care issues derived from her own experience of being adopted and moving through the foster care system. She runs a monthly support group called Adopt Salon for all members of the adoption triad in Los Angeles.

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