Boundaries and Fences
When Carson and Cooper were born, I was excited and proud to be a dad to sons. When Millie Kate was born, I was also excited and proud to have a daughter, but there was also a different feeling— I had a strong need to protect her.
To help me better understand raising a daughter, a friend recommended I read Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Dr. Meg Meeker.
That book was eye-opening, to say the least, and I’ve even given some of you a copy of the book (if you haven’t read it, click here for my key takeaways to summarize the book). It’s a book that I have read at least once a year to help me learn to be a strong father raising a strong daughter.
As we’ve been making a strong effort to be consistent with our policies and to hold students accountable, I was reminded of this passage from the book:
“Boundaries and fences are a must for girls, particularly during the teen years. Remember that whatever she says, the very fact that you thoughtfully and consistently enforce rules of behavior makes her feel loved and valued. She knows that these rules are proof that you care. Equally important, they train her to build boundaries for herself and teach her that such boundaries are necessary. From your rules (and your own behavior) she will learn what is acceptable and what is not, what is good and what is bad, and what she will and won’t do.”
While this book is meant for dads of daughters, there is an easy connection for educators. Our students need (and even want) boundaries because many of them don’t know how to set their own and they need someone to help teach them.
While it may not be fun saying “no” and students may not like us for that sometimes, it’s true that consistently enforcing rules makes our students feel loved and valued.
As people who work with teenagers every day, we have an uphill battle to fight— but the fight is worth it.
As a dad with a daughter, I know I have an uphill battle to fight— but the fight is worth it.