My dear friend, Candace, as a mother toward her daughter, is the perfect example of a focus on emotional happiness through the harmony of “Boundaries, Oversight and Consequences.” During a fashion shoot I was producing, Candace stopped right in the middle of it and addressed her daughter’s boundary-breaking behavior with loving and firm oversight. It was amazing, fluid, non-confrontational and caring. After a few minutes we went right back to the photo shoot.
I later realized that the amazing, happy, beautiful relationship she has with her daughter happens at “every instance” of their lives. Candace didn’t ignore her daughter during our photo shoot, nor did she wait until they got home. She addressed the boundary-breaking behavior at the instant it occurred. THIS is crucial to emotional happiness!
Catching fragile objects “before” they hit the ground is crucial to emotional happiness!
Candace is also very comfortable with following through with the consequences of her daughter’s boundary-breaking behavior. There are no spankings, nothing physical. In this instance, her daughter went to bed without a bedtime story. That was the consequence. And Candace was “not” moved to reconsider even after her daughter pouted, begged and cried for 15 minutes. THIS is also the amazing part of Candace’s relationship with her daughter. Candace is reliable and consistent! That’s super-important to emotional happiness.
This relationship that I’ve seen over many years with Candace and her daughter is equally applicable to ALL relationships.
1. Boundaries must be put in place. And emotional happiness, among other criteria, should certainly be promoted within these boundaries.
2. Oversight should occur at every instant.
3. Consequences must be delivered reliably and consistently, regardless of pouting, begging or crying. The old “you break it, you buy it” slogan must apply; otherwise, you’re breaking your own boundaries.