Below are some simple helpful hints addressing common, every day issues that are addressed in the Safe Boundaries curriculum. You'll learn more on these helpful hints in our webinars. Webinars will take segments of material straight from the curriculum and elaborate how topics/conflicts are addressed through Safe Boundaries.
- It takes 8 Positive Affirmations to maintain positive self-esteem. Maintaining a positive sense of self, or self-esteem, is the foundation of facing and responding to all challenges in life. Positive Affirmations can be simple statements like the ones below:
"I deserve to be happy."
"I'm a good friend/brother/sister/father/mother/etc."
"I have beautiful eyes/hair/teeth/etc."
"I'm a great cook."
"I'm a confident person."
"I'm perfectly unique."
"I'm a great artist."
When was the last time YOU gave yourself a Positive Affirmation?
- Consistency is KEY. This is most important in how staff respond to people with special needs without losing their own personality and identity. Safe Boundaries encourages using the words "Appropriate" and "Inappropriate" in conversation. These words can be used in any situation in life such as chosing slang words, responding to the body, addressing others respectfully, and more.
- Professional Boundaries are vitally important when working with people with special needs. It's difficult not to become attached to people with special needs, but the fact remains, we are there to protect them as staff while role modeling qualities of a good person or friend. Using the words "Appropriate" and "Inappropriate" can help staff find their voice in order to maintain professional boundaries.
- Proper eye contact is important in many situations; asking someone out, dating, job interview, introduction, etc. Proper eye contact is to simply look at someone in the eyes and avoid scanning the other person's body or diverting to objects around you. These actions can send the message you may have other intentions or have no interest in the conversation.
- Maintaining good hygiene is very important for so many reasons. Hygiene includes a clean body and clothing. "We're all different; that's how we're all alike." There are no two body types the same, some of us sweat more or less than others, some of us have skin conditions, and medications can cause unpleasant effects on the body. Basically, poor hygiene can be misunderstood and offensive to others which in turn can be damaging to your self-esteem. In order to maintain good self-esteem, one must maintain good hygiene.
- Feelings are neither right nor wrong; they just are. Safe Boundaries teaches how to allow yourself to address and accept all feelings (mad, sad, glad, scared, sexual, and shame) responsibly without hurting others, other objects, or self. Safe Boundaries also teaches there are two kinds of Shame; Healthy Shame (blushing, "oops!" moments) and Unhealthy Shame (placing and accepting blame or guilt onto or from someone else).
- "No," means "NO!" Sometimes, it takes strong self-esteem to say, "No." In Safe Boundaries, reiterating positive affirmations increases self-esteem which empowers people to have the courage to say, "No," and not succumb to peer pressure.
- In like, accepting "No," as an answer takes the same integrity. In Safe Boundaries, we teach it is not necessary to ask "Why," when someone tells you, "No." You may not want to know the reasons as they may hurt your self-esteem. Therefore, accepting, "No," as an answer is just as important.
- "We are all different; that's how we're all alike!" This is a motto commonly used in Safe Boundaries. There is a film titled Wretches and Jabberers about two men with Autism who travel the world sharing their stories and finding common ground among others with Autism living in other countries. One of the men, Larry Bissonnette, states to an audience, "More like you than not." It's important to understand this concept but most importantly to BELIEVE it.
- People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities are more vulnerable to bullying. In Safe Boundaries, we teach bullies pick on people with low self-esteem who they think are different from them. Responding to a bully takes courage which again reiterates the importance of constantly stating positive affirmations to yourself in order to maintain a positive self-esteem. This sense of inner strength will give a person the courage to respond to a bully by simply walking away, pretending they're invisible, using respectful assertiveness, and standing up for others who are being bullied.
- Safe Boundaries teaches the progression of relationships in this order:
Friends > Dating > Long-term Committed > Intimacy
All levels of relationships have responsibilities and consequences. If not taken seriously, there are many negative effects. Maintaining relationships can be extra challenging if you are a person with special needs. This is why Safe Boundaries teaches it is important to be in a long-term committed relationship before becoming intimate.