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Welcome to Boundaries Books. Take the boundaries quiz, get helpful advice, and buy the bestselling books that teach you when to say yes and how to say no.


Boundaries Books

“As a licensed professional counselor, I encourage my clients to read Beyond Boundaries. Having read all the other Boundaries books, I still found light bulbs going off in my head when I began reading Beyond Boundaries. It is the sequel for those of us who have been injured in relationships and are fearful to put ourselves out there again. Dr. Townsend spells out in the most practical yet insightful manner how to go about forming new meaningful relationships with confidence.”
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What To Do When Your Teen Is Struggling At School


Make no mistake. Your kids are under more academic demands than you were. For better or for worse, the learning curve is steeper, and they have to study more than we did. Subject matters are more advanced. Projects, reports, and term papers require much more advance planning and steady work over time. If you don’t build boundaries with teens early, the situation can get out of control. I (Dr. Townsend) can remember how jarred I was when my kids started bringing back homework assignments from junior high and high school. We were in a whole new world, and a much harder one. When I saw how far ahead my kids had to be planning their reports, I called my mother and said, “What do you remember about my high school days, like how far in advance did I write reports?” She said, “You wrote them in the car on the way to school.” That is what I remembered too. Most kids can’t pull that off today. Ironically, this increase in responsibility comes at a time when an adolescent’s internal world is in chaos. Along with this increased responsibility comes an increase in pressure to do well. School matters more in... Continue Reading »

Your Next Hard Thing


You have never received a winner’s trophy before playing in the championship game. You have never been offered a promotion before you excelled in your job. Your parents never instructed you to make sure you ate your dessert first and not worry about the vegetables, since they would take care of themselves. Why did none of these things happen? Because that’s not how successful lives work. It makes no sense to earn trophies before you win games, get a promotion before you perform well, or eat sweets before you consume your dinner. An attitude of entitlement, though, tells us that it can and should be this way: “You can have it all. Do what is easy and comfortable first, and you’ll be rewarded with a lot of amazing things.” It’s a lie. The entitlement disease’s insistence that you leave the hard stuff till later (or never) results in disaster. Let’s find out why. Let’s say you asked me to coach you in how to find your dream career. You are forty-two years old and a pleasant person, and while your current position has paid the bills, it’s not exciting, it is not you, you have no passion for it. You... Continue Reading »

Are You the “Easy Mom?” How to Build Boundaries with Teens


I (Dr. Townsend) remember overhearing my kids and their friends making plans to go to a movie. It was one of those last-minute decisions that teens often make. None of them were of driving age yet, so they were trying to solve that first obstacle. One boy, Ted, said, “How are we going to get there? The movie starts in fifteen minutes.” His friend said, “Call your mom; she’s easy.” It was true. Ted’s mom, Andrea, is easy. She is a loving and easygoing person who also lets herself be taken advantage of by her teens. I have seen her interrupt plans that she has had in place for weeks in order to take her kids somewhere they decided to go at the last minute. When I told Andrea that she was known as the “easy mom,” she realized that her kids needed to learn to plan ahead. Now when they ask her to do something for them at the last minute, she tells them, “Sorry, I wish you had told me earlier, but I’m doing something else. Good luck.” Andrea does more than talk the talk; she walks the walk. She models the boundaries with teens that they need to... Continue Reading »