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Parenting is a complex job, with many roles and responsibilities being placed on the shoulder of the parents. What makes things even more difficult, is trying to know what you should and shouldn’t be doing for your child.

In your child’s life, there are decisions that you will have to make for your child, and for good reason, your child is not always able to make wise choices for themselves. In other cases, though, it is an invasion of your child’s boundaries for you to make choices for them. It honestly just depends on the choice at hand. Now, with that in mind, below I am going to list 5 decisions you should not be making for your child.

1. How they feel.

When your child comes to you and explains how they feel, it is important to not correct them. You can help them find the right words, but when you say, “No, that’s not how you should feel,” you are not only violating their boundaries, you are gaslighting them. Your child’s feelings are their choice, not yours.

2. How much do they eat?

I grew up during a time when if you didn’t finish your plate, you did not get anything else to eat and you had to finish before leaving the table. Now, we realize that kids have their hunger and fullness cues. When you force them to eat more than what they are hungry for, you are forcing them to ignore their fullness cues. This can damage their relationship with food

3. What to play with.

Let me be clear: I am not saying if your child wants to play with a lighter that you should let them. What I am saying, is that it’s crucial to not just allow your child to play with toys you like. Remember, they have their likes and dislikes too.

4. Who to hug?

Many parents encourage their children to give hugs, which is perfectly okay. However, if your child does not want to hug someone, do not force them. This is a major violation of their boundaries.

5. What do they think?

Your child is their person. It is not your right to tell them how to think or what to believe. At the end of the day, you have no control over their thoughts and feelings anyways. So, allow them the right to believe as they should.