Boundaries set by little neighbors

“Don’t come on our drive way!” yells in a tiny voice our little neighbor girl. We were coming back from a walk with Rufus. I said ok. But then she kept repeating this boundary for all to hear. It didn’t even cross my mind to go over. People’s driveways are private property, and unless I’m going over with a purpose (and even then I feel a bit uneasy crossing over). Other kids were outside playing.

It dawned on me. Boundaries. And our need as humans to have our clearly set boundaries respected.

But what do we do when we hadn’t set boundaries and now we want to define them more clearly? What duo we do when those who routinely cross our boundary are clueless in what it means to respect someone’s wishes?

We’ve taken drastic steps into the other side of being less approachable. And you know what? The kids who are usually unaware, they watch us from afar with wide eyes, looking for opening if ever they are available. Now that they keep their distance I feel more inclined to be friendly. I don’t like to have people push in our bubble regardless of my wishes.

It is now let to our kids to set boundaries. The girls have told them to not cross behind the car as it is often charting with a cable that crosses from the house to the car. It is simply dangerous. For them and the charging station.

The girl across the street sometimes tells the kids to go away because her sister is sleeping but I have never hears the parents clearly define the boundaries of their space. They want to be cool and friendly.

I tell the girls to come and play on the common ground but they are mostly drawn to their lawn. So in essence there are two houses that permit them to play over there. But even so, they have the freedom to reset boundaries and it is good practice for the kids to listen well and respect.

I am afraid that otherwise they will reach a critical point.

I loved the little girl who was adamant about setting boundaries for her space. She did it the best she could in her 3-4 year old voice. Repetitive. No justification. Honest.

At some point when the kids were pushing into my house and I stopped them at the door saying that I didn’t invite them in, they looked at me bewildered. It was the perfect time to clearly define the boundary. I was shocked that they didn’t know that the entry door in my house is a well defied boundary and I had to declare it at the door.

I hope that without frustration and disappointment or taking it personally, both kids and parents have the courage and grace to speak up about resetting boundaries. And they talk at home about the importance of respect in this area, without taking it personally.