Testing Boundaries

Adults are fond of claiming that children constantly “test boundaries” to see how much they can “get away with” before the adults stop them. This is untrue. Children do what they feel like doing unless some adult stops them. The boundaries are a side issue, not the goal.

Part of the reason adults say this is that it feeds their egos to imagine that they are so important to children that every action of the child’s is calculated to elicit a reaction from the adults. In fact, however, usually all adults are to children is annoyances that get in the way of their fun.

Another reason is that it is mostly women who say this. Women naturally assume that others “test boundaries” because they themselves do it constantly, mostly with men, but to a lesser extent with all humans – including, ironically, their children. Women are designed to do this to test males – prospective mates – for their fitness. A man who can’t stand up to them and their antics will not be able to protect them from saber-toothed tigers or the Neanderthals across the river.

Indeed, feminism might be said to be nothing more than an elaborate testing of men by women, and with the exception of the lesbians in the feminist movement, every feminist is deeply disappointed that men did not set boundaries for them decades ago. If you want to know why Western women today are so unhappy, it is because men stopped saying no to them decades ago.

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13 Responses to “Testing Boundaries”

  1. the sad geek Says:

    …every feminist is deeply disappointed that men did not set boundaries for them decades ago

    Yes, I suspect that’s why they like Islam so much.

  2. the sad geek Says:

    …every feminist is deeply disappointed that men did not set boundaries for them decades ago

    Yes, I suspect that’s why they like Islam so much.

  3. the sad geek Says:

    …every feminist is deeply disappointed that men did not set boundaries for them decades ago

    Yes, I suspect that’s why they like Islam so much.

  4. Male Chauvinist Woman Says:

    Unfortunately, I think you’re right, Sad Geek.

  5. Male Chauvinist Woman Says:

    Unfortunately, I think you’re right, Sad Geek.

  6. Male Chauvinist Woman Says:

    Unfortunately, I think you’re right, Sad Geek.

  7. julie Says:

    Hey, I need to pull you up here. You are wrong about women on this. All women get to know this (if they are wiling to know) and mother feminists preach this.

    Kids need to push boundaries.

    And when they are little kids go though the full year and the half year. This is what parents pass down and I will be passing it on.

    When a child is 2 they are mellow. But when they are 2 and a half; they push the boundaries. The same is for 3; mellow. 3 and a half; push the boundaries. 4 is mellow. 4 and a half is push the boundaries.

    Children have to push boundaries. It is a part of their growing. And parents need to show them where the line is. That is how they will get to the mellow.

    There are some things that are traditional that matter. And these same things are modern. Childhood doesn’t/hasn’t changed.

    But please don’t think I am against learning from your many articles. It is just that I am a mother and I have a different view on what the suffragettes offered mothers.

  8. julie Says:

    Hey, I need to pull you up here. You are wrong about women on this. All women get to know this (if they are wiling to know) and mother feminists preach this.

    Kids need to push boundaries.

    And when they are little kids go though the full year and the half year. This is what parents pass down and I will be passing it on.

    When a child is 2 they are mellow. But when they are 2 and a half; they push the boundaries. The same is for 3; mellow. 3 and a half; push the boundaries. 4 is mellow. 4 and a half is push the boundaries.

    Children have to push boundaries. It is a part of their growing. And parents need to show them where the line is. That is how they will get to the mellow.

    There are some things that are traditional that matter. And these same things are modern. Childhood doesn’t/hasn’t changed.

    But please don’t think I am against learning from your many articles. It is just that I am a mother and I have a different view on what the suffragettes offered mothers.

  9. julie Says:

    Hey, I need to pull you up here. You are wrong about women on this. All women get to know this (if they are wiling to know) and mother feminists preach this.

    Kids need to push boundaries.

    And when they are little kids go though the full year and the half year. This is what parents pass down and I will be passing it on.

    When a child is 2 they are mellow. But when they are 2 and a half; they push the boundaries. The same is for 3; mellow. 3 and a half; push the boundaries. 4 is mellow. 4 and a half is push the boundaries.

    Children have to push boundaries. It is a part of their growing. And parents need to show them where the line is. That is how they will get to the mellow.

    There are some things that are traditional that matter. And these same things are modern. Childhood doesn’t/hasn’t changed.

    But please don’t think I am against learning from your many articles. It is just that I am a mother and I have a different view on what the suffragettes offered mothers.

  10. Artfldgr Says:

    julie,
    you missed what she was trying to tell you. she was giving you the perspective of the child, not the privileged perspective of the adult who doesnt realize that the boundaries they think are setting dont exist. they cant be pushed against till the child explores.

    in order to push a boundarie one must have knowlege of a boundary. only you the parent has that knowlege. the baby does not, and so is not pushing anything.

    its exploring the world and suddenly something its doing makes you go wacko… they dont like wacko, and so they dont do that till they forget. then you go wacko.

    later when they know what the unpleasantry means and are more used to conceptualizing what consequences are they then can see or anticipate values for things and then avoid or push a boundary.

    what your describing is ebbs and flows to how much they will explore, and how hard they will fight you in doing so.

    its probably more like… explore a lot, contemplate, explore, contemplate… when they are thinking about what they have found, they are quiet and self absorbed, when they are bored with that, they get up suddenly and go look for more…

    just as FM said, they are not testing boundaries they are testing what behavior will set you wacko from normal.

    failure to understand this and the right kid, and you get a kid that seems to always be pushing the boundaries, but what they like is making you react different ways on command. they have trained you, and like pavlov ringing the bell its fun to make you hop.

    there are all kinds of variations on it and degrees. the child that will have no empathy will keep making you hop, the one that has more empathy (most), they will be concerned.

    before they talk they already have social skills to be helpful and other cool things, as well as sometimes not so cool things.

  11. Artfldgr Says:

    julie,
    you missed what she was trying to tell you. she was giving you the perspective of the child, not the privileged perspective of the adult who doesnt realize that the boundaries they think are setting dont exist. they cant be pushed against till the child explores.

    in order to push a boundarie one must have knowlege of a boundary. only you the parent has that knowlege. the baby does not, and so is not pushing anything.

    its exploring the world and suddenly something its doing makes you go wacko… they dont like wacko, and so they dont do that till they forget. then you go wacko.

    later when they know what the unpleasantry means and are more used to conceptualizing what consequences are they then can see or anticipate values for things and then avoid or push a boundary.

    what your describing is ebbs and flows to how much they will explore, and how hard they will fight you in doing so.

    its probably more like… explore a lot, contemplate, explore, contemplate… when they are thinking about what they have found, they are quiet and self absorbed, when they are bored with that, they get up suddenly and go look for more…

    just as FM said, they are not testing boundaries they are testing what behavior will set you wacko from normal.

    failure to understand this and the right kid, and you get a kid that seems to always be pushing the boundaries, but what they like is making you react different ways on command. they have trained you, and like pavlov ringing the bell its fun to make you hop.

    there are all kinds of variations on it and degrees. the child that will have no empathy will keep making you hop, the one that has more empathy (most), they will be concerned.

    before they talk they already have social skills to be helpful and other cool things, as well as sometimes not so cool things.

  12. Artfldgr Says:

    julie,
    you missed what she was trying to tell you. she was giving you the perspective of the child, not the privileged perspective of the adult who doesnt realize that the boundaries they think are setting dont exist. they cant be pushed against till the child explores.

    in order to push a boundarie one must have knowlege of a boundary. only you the parent has that knowlege. the baby does not, and so is not pushing anything.

    its exploring the world and suddenly something its doing makes you go wacko… they dont like wacko, and so they dont do that till they forget. then you go wacko.

    later when they know what the unpleasantry means and are more used to conceptualizing what consequences are they then can see or anticipate values for things and then avoid or push a boundary.

    what your describing is ebbs and flows to how much they will explore, and how hard they will fight you in doing so.

    its probably more like… explore a lot, contemplate, explore, contemplate… when they are thinking about what they have found, they are quiet and self absorbed, when they are bored with that, they get up suddenly and go look for more…

    just as FM said, they are not testing boundaries they are testing what behavior will set you wacko from normal.

    failure to understand this and the right kid, and you get a kid that seems to always be pushing the boundaries, but what they like is making you react different ways on command. they have trained you, and like pavlov ringing the bell its fun to make you hop.

    there are all kinds of variations on it and degrees. the child that will have no empathy will keep making you hop, the one that has more empathy (most), they will be concerned.

    before they talk they already have social skills to be helpful and other cool things, as well as sometimes not so cool things.

  13. Richard Ford Says:

    Feminism is rather like a collective 'shit test' for men and it can be delt with in the same way. Look at them sternly and tell them to stop- then reasure them you love them anyway.Do not talk to the feminist like an adult ever. It frustrates them.

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