Boundaries Q&A with Dr. John Townsend: Handling Guilt Comments from a Parent

Question: Dr. Townsend, my mother makes snide comments that she will threaten to harm herself if I don’t come home for every major holiday and her birthday throughout the year. How am I supposed to respond to her comments? I’m sorry to hear about your situation. It’s not funny, and is actually troubling, for a mom to make these sort of comments, even if she says she is joking. A part of us will always wonder how serious this is. The great majority of the time, these “guiltifying” statements are actually indirect expressions of disappointment, sadness or frustration that the person does not feel safe admitting. The best approach is to wait until a pleasant time (not in the heat of battle or an argument) and say: “Mom, I know it’s sometimes hard that I can’t be home for some of our special family events. I miss you too, but my priorities are that I have to do other things. However, when we talk about it, you make jokes about hurting yourself. I know you mean well, but they come across confusing to me when you say them and they aren’t funny to me. I’d like to ask you if... Continue Reading »

Boundaries is now a New York Times Bestseller!

Big news!! Boundaries is now a New York Times bestseller! After 23 years in print, the book hit #7 on the March, 2015 “Religion, Spirituality, and Faith” bestseller list. Making this list is a rare achievement and a high honor. Boundaries was written in 1992 by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Over 2 million copies have sold. But, until now, the book had yet to achieve national recognition by a bestseller list as prestigious as the New York Times. We are so grateful to share this honor with our Boundaries online audience, including the 50,000 email subscribers. Your support has made a huge difference! We want to thank you for purchasing the book, giving it as a gift to friends, and spreading word of mouth. To celebrate, we’re giving away the new Boundaries Kickstart Guide 17-page e-book for FREE. Click here to download your copy. If you haven’t yet read Boundaries, take advantage of special discounted pricing at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook, and FaithGateway. Click here to get these deals. After 23 years, Boundaries continues to transform millions of lives. We are honored to see the book become a New York Times bestseller. All across America, people agree that boundaries make... Continue Reading »

Get Your FREE Boundaries Kickstart Guide

Does the idea of learning to set boundaries seem overwhelming? Do you feel too busy to read a 300-page book? Have you read Boundaries but need a quick refresher? Get the Boundaries Kickstart Guide! This FREE 17-page e-book boils down the concept of boundaries into 5 essential steps: Step 1 – Understanding Boundaries Step 2 – Setting Boundaries with Your Spouse Step 3 – Setting Boundaries with Your Children Step 4 – Dealing with Boundaries Resistance Step 5 – Measuring Your Success with Boundaries This guide covers special reading selections from Boundaries and offers insightful “Questions for Reflection” to walk you through five steps to build healthier relationships. After completing the Kickstart Guide, we think you’ll agree – boundaries make life better! NOTE: The Boundaries Kickstart Guide accompanies the Boundaries book. You will need a copy of Boundaries in order to use the Kickstart Guide. To purchase a copy of Boundaries, click here.