Boundaries with a child


Dearest Brooke,

I am reviewing the material on boundaries and working to define better boundaries with my son. He is 10 and has daily outbursts of yelling. When his yelling and behavior are at low levels I often sit with him to figure out what triggered him and help him calm down. Frustration, felling left out, and anxiety are usually at the core of his experience. Other times his anger intensifies very quickly and he hits or throws things. My boundary with hitting and throwing is to turn and walk away.

We have discussed it and he know that hitting and throwing things mean that I leave the room and, at times, he loses a privileges. This usually causes his behavior to escalate because he does not like to be left alone. Am I sending mixed message with different boundaries? Is boundary setting appropriate with a child of this age? Part of me knows that he finds relief when I am with him but I don’t want to stay with him when he is hitting and condone the behavior.

Thank you for the help!