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30 Really Smart Summer Parenting Hacks

30 Really Smart Summer Parenting Hacks

Summer is in full swing, but it’s never too late for some tips and tricks to get you through the dog days of the year. Check out these life hacks to help make your life a little easier while you’re sweating your butt off:

PVC Towel Rack

pvc towel rack

    Tape and Sidewalk Chalk Game Board

    deck gameboard

      Rainy Day Mission Impossible Game

      yarn laser game

        Altoid Tin DIY Travel Game

        candy tin travel games

          DIY Sundial

          DIY sundial

            Activity Picker

            activity sticks

              White Sheet Artist Canvas

              white sheet canvas

                PVC Pipe Sprinkler

                pvc sprinkler

                  Bubble Recipe

                  bubble recipe

                    Giant Bubble Recipe

                    huge bubbles

                      DIY Cereal Station

                      Cereal

                        Bead Container Food Storage

                        bead container snack case

                          Magnetic Cups

                          cup magnets

                            Egg Carton Fruit Container

                            egg carton plums

                              Gelatin-filled Ice Pops

                              gelatin ice pop

                                Frozen Water Balloons (for drinks)

                                frozen water balloons

                                  Frozen Aloe Vera for Sunburn

                                  Frozen Aloe Vera

                                    Shoe Rack Storage

                                    shoe sorter in trunk

                                      Vacation Storage

                                      pack clothes ziplock days

                                        Cupcake Liner Drip-Catcher

                                        cupcake wrapper ice pop

                                          Cupcake Liner Drink Covers

                                          cupcake wrapper drink

                                            Press’n Seal Drink Covers

                                            press'n seal cup

                                              Apple Cider Vinegar for Mosquito Bites

                                              apple cider vinegar mosquito bites

                                                Bug Repellent Bracelets

                                                bug repellent bracelets

                                                  Inflatable Pools Keep Blankets Dry

                                                  kiddie pool blanket

                                                    Fitted Sheet at the Beach

                                                    fitted sheet beach

                                                      Diaper Decoy

                                                      Diaper

                                                        Baby Powder to Get Sand Off Your Body

                                                        baby powder

                                                          Cupcake Tin for Condiments

                                                          muffin tin condiments

                                                            Can for Grease Catcher

                                                            grease trap

                                                              Aluminum Foil as a Sauce Pot

                                                              aluminum foil pot

                                                                Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm9.staticflickr.com

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                                                                Matt Duczeminski

                                                                A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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                                                                Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                                                                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                                                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                                                We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                                                                We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                                                                So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                                                                Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                                                                What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                                                                Boundaries are limits

                                                                —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                                                                Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                                                                Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                                                                Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                                                                Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                                                                How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                                                                Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                                                                1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                                                                Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                                                                You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                                                                To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                                                                You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                                                                • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                                                                • When do you feel disrespected?
                                                                • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                                                                • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                                                                • When do you want to be alone?
                                                                • How much space do you need?

                                                                You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                                                                2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                                                                Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                                                                Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                                                                3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                                                                Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                                                                That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                                                                Sample language:

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                                                                • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                                                                • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                                                                • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                                                                • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                                                                • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                                                                • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                                                                • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                                                                Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                                                                4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                                                                Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                                                                Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                                                                Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                                                                We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                                                                It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                                                                It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                                                                Final Thoughts

                                                                Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                                                                Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                                                                Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                                                                The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                                                                Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                                                                Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                                                                They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                                                                Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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