This myth has been a real struggle for me as a new mother. There is a fear that setting boundaries will hurt others. And this is especially true in the mother-child relationship.
Recently I was cooking dinner, and my 22 month old was wandering around the kitchen. She isn’t tall enough to reach the cooktop, but she can reach the oven dials. And she was grabbing me around the legs and throwing herself into the oven door. This was not safe, especially as I was boiling condensed milk and cheese on the stove top. So I crouched down at eye level, made eye contact, and told her that if she touched me or the oven, I would put her in her play room. (Her play room is the breakfast area of the kitchen, and is protected by baby gates). Then I released her. Immediately, she pounced on my legs and threw her weight against me. So I carried her to the play area and shut the gates. Whereupon she screamed, screeched, and wailed for 10 minutes straight (the time it took me to cook her dinner). It was agonizing. It was heartbreaking.
Did I hurt my child by setting a boundary?