LOL about Obama =)
I set boundaries that start with an explanation. My best examples come from working with 3–5 year-old kids right now, in an environment that has rules and regulations that feel counter-intuitive to me. The kids sometimes get herded around, sometimes when they’re very unwilling.
Other adults will raise their tone, speak a bit harshly, use “because I said so” to make things happen. It works for them, but I just don’t have it in me to speak to a young child who barely understands what “good” and “bad” mean.
Instead, I take the time to explain in simple terms. “Please pick up the toys since you played with them.” “C’mon kiddo, we’re going outside, now’s not the time to use the bathroom stalls as monkey bars.” They understand my ask. I give them space to hear me, move things forward on their own terms. If they choose to ignore the ask, I draw the line. They understand why and have clarity that I’m not asking “because I said so” but rather because there’s a valid reason that they understand. I become more firm, step into their space to reach for their hand, warn them that I’m going to pick them up, etc. But it’s done with respect and a reason that they grasp.