Boundary Setting: Willow Style. A post by Daddy

Our daughter Willow has a natural skill for setting barriers with others.

She has done this almost since birth. I don’t know if this is genetic or learned behaviours but it is something her Mummy excels at too! In fact, when I first met Michelle she explained about the need to set boundaries with others (especially in her job) and I was amazed, as this had never occurred to me.

Despite a very limited vocabulary and not total control of her movement yet, Willow makes it clear to other children that she is not to be messed with.

She sets out her own personal space when playing and generally other Children respect that. What is interesting is that other children will happily come and sit and play with her observing the ‘rules’ that she has set.

She is popular and sociable. Other children will often bring her toys over when they come to join in what she is doing.

This is all in sharp contrast to Gabriel, who doesn’t do this. His biggest concern is that others will take things from him (he now hides dummies up his trouser leg and under a hat so Willow won’t steal them!). When at playgroup he gets stressed if there are a lot if children all doing what he wants to do. He is happiest playing with one other child in a game where there is total equality and no risk that he will lose his toys.

None of this concerns Willow. She will happily crawl into any situation with children much older confident in herself.

Yesterday, Willow and I went to pick Gabriel up at nursery. Gabriel was delighted to see her and proudly introduced his friends to her. He then sat down to talk to her. Willow however, sat upright, with a small group of two year old boys very confident in her surroundings, not needing Gabriel’s reassurance! She was more interested in his friends. She captivated their attention for about five minutes, I was amazed.

I will be interested to see whether Willow maintains this behaviour as she grows up and how other children react to it as they grow too! I am very proud that Willow is strong and independent, but this certainly comes with challenges, because it is the complete opposite to how I am myself. But, I think if I’m honest I could learn a lot from her.


What behaviours do you see in your Children that is just like one of their parents?


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