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As a parent, you help your children understand the boundaries and social norms that you believe are appropriate.  Family & friends help reinforce these views.  Our children will inevitably be exposed to behaviours which we don’t favour but it is all part of the learning process.

To have a boundary you need to know what is on either side.

So what do you do when your 6 year old comes home from school with swear words that your 10 year old doesn’t even know yet?  We’re dealing with this right now…. 

Whose fault is it?  Not the children’s.  The teachers of course don’t ever permit swearing.  Each family has their own boundaries and acceptable behaviours.  TV & radio shows broadcast language I find inappropriate for children before the accepted watershed.  Blaming society is largely pointless.  At some stage they will inevitably learn a multitude of swear words and their application!

I can’t fully prevent them being exposed to bad language or behaviour.  In fact, perhaps they need to be aware of some bad language or behaviour so they can develop their own personal boundaries and ethics.  My role is to help them learn how to form and develop appropriate boundaries and ethics.

Who helps us form and develop appropriate boundaries and ethics in the workplace?

As adults, we largely assume that we have well developed personal boundaries and ethics.  We assume that these unspoken boundaries & ethics that we bring with us to work are fit for the job.

Unfortunately, experience shows that this is not the case… just look at those cases of insider trading, discrimination, harassment.  Yet most discussions with staff focus on performance of task rather than the most appropriate boundaries and ethics for their workplace.

What do you think?  Is there a place for more discussion at work regarding boundaries and ethics?  Would love to hear your thoughts, views and experiences.


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