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Mom explains the 'magic phrase' that works wonders with her kids when they're taught about boundaries

'It's hard for kids to understand what's within the limits of play and what isn't,' therefore, Kelsey has come up with a phrase to help the children.

Mom explains the 'magic phrase' that works wonders with her kids when they're taught about boundaries
Cover Image Source: Instagram/@kelsewhatelse

Children go through a fragile phase of development. They’re unaware of what's right and wrong and what boundaries they need to maintain during their childhood and formative years. It takes time for them to understand and resonate with such concepts. Therefore, when they are young, they need a more relatable or subtle way of understanding what behavior works and what doesn’t. Kelsey Pomeroy, who goes by @kelsewhatelse on Instagram, shared how one can induce an understanding of boundaries in kids with a simple phrase. She referred to the term “working.” Explaining in her video, Pomeroy said that she only puts the word “working” in front of terms and her kids will leave them alone.

Image Source: Instagram/@kelsewhoelse
Image Source: Instagram/@kelsewhatelse

“It’s like my parenting magic phrase so far,” she said. The mom then cited an example saying, “He loves to play with rocks but some rocks he really shouldn’t be playing with because they have a job to do. So, they’re ‘working rocks.’” Pomeroy was referring to rocks kept to align a path and so on. “I don’t want him taking those rocks and throwing them in the grass because people pay to lay those rocks there,” she said. Pomeroy then shared how she explains boundaries to her son.

Image Source: Instagram/@kelsewhatelse
Image Source: Instagram/@kelsewhatelse

She said, “Hey, buddy. These are ‘working rocks’ and are here so people can walk or drive cars on the path and we need to let them do their job.” The mom then expressed how convenient it is to apply “working” to any item to explain to kids that it’s off the hook. Sharing more examples, Pomeroy said, “Hands off, it’s a working sign so people don’t fall,” as she showed a wet floor sign. “That button isn’t a toy, it’s a ‘working button.’ It has a job to do,” the mom exclaimed as she showed a push-button-activated mechanism that is off-limits as well. “Working fence, working door, it can apply to so many things,” Pomeroy said. 

Image Source: Instagram/@kelsewhatelse
Image Source: Instagram/@kelsewhatelse

The mom also revealed that she loves using the term to teach her kids what things are off boundaries because she just has to say that it's “working ____” and her kids will understand that it has a job to do and mustn't be touched. Pomeroy added, “Kids are kids. They want to touch and experience things. Their toys look so much like real-life things that we don’t want them playing with, like buttons.” Concluding the video, the mom said, “Explaining to them that certain things have a job and aren’t to be touched helps and opens up a lot of great conversations.”

Image Source: Instagram/@kelsewhatelse
Image Source: Instagram/@kelsewhatelse

The simple term can easily and quickly help make children understand a lot about boundaries. Moreover, it is quite simple to grasp for their minds compared to terms like boundaries, off limits and so on. In her caption, she wrote, “It saves a lot of frustration on both ends because my son knows that I'm not saying no just to say no.” Pomeroy’s video received hundreds of thousands of views and several fellow parents were grateful for the simple hack. @steph.outdoors said, “We do this, but we use “tools” vs “toys”. Toys are for playing, tools have a special job and can only be used for their job!” @sparrowvoice said, “This is magic. I tried it with my 3-year-old and he just moved on with no tantrum about not keeping the rock.”

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A post shared by Kelsey Pomeroy (@kelsewhatelse)


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