Boundaries Blog — Boundaries

Boundaries Q&A with Dr. John Townsend: Adult Child Who Refuses to Pay Back a Loan

Boundaries Q&A with Dr. John Townsend: Adult Child Who Refuses to Pay Back a Loan

Question: What kinds of consequences are appropriate for a 39-year-old daughter who refuses to take responsibility for paying a college loan that her father and I co-signed in good faith?

Answer: First, let me say that I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I know that it can feel uncomfortable to be at odds with your adult child.

In this situation, your first decision is to approach your daughter in a vulnerable way and describe how her behavior is impacting you. You could say something like ...

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Adults Without Boundaries Raise Kids Without Boundaries

Adults Without Boundaries Raise Kids Without Boundaries

Since writing Boundaries in 1992, we (Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend) have spoken to more than a million people about creating boundaries in their lives. Thousands have told us that creating boundaries has enabled them to love and to live better, some for the first time. Nothing is more exciting than to see people grow and change.

But from our own experience and that of our audiences and readers, one thing became obvious to us. Adults with boundary problems had not developed those problems as grown-ups. They had learned patterns early in life and then continued those out-of-control patterns in their adult lives, where the stakes were higher....

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Is Your Family Holding You Back?

Is Your Family Holding You Back?

When some individuals begin to develop boundaries, they say, "But my mother (or father, or sister, or brother) is my best friend." They often feel fortunate that, in times of family stress, their best friends are the family in which they were raised. They don't think they need an intimate circle of friends besides their own parents and siblings.

They misunderstand the biblical function of the family....

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How to Set Healthy Consequences for Your Child’s Boundary Breaches

How to Set Healthy Consequences for Your Child’s Boundary Breaches

As you navigate through life together, you’ll have ample opportunities to offer your child natural consequences when they cross a boundary or make a poor choice. For instance, you and your kid may agree that he can do his chores on the weekend, as long as they’re all done by bedtime on Sunday. If Sunday night comes and his chores aren’t done, the next weekend he’ll need to complete them before doing anything else on Friday night.

If you’ve mapped this out ahead of time, this won’t be a surprise because the two of you will have already agreed on consequences if he didn’t follow through....

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What to Do When Your Adult Children Move Home

What to Do When Your Adult Children Move Home

With college campuses closed and many jobs being lost due to the COVID-19 crisis, many adult children are moving back home with their parents. Now what? 

Dr. John Townsend helps parents to navigate expectations and responsibilities with their adult children, to set healthy boundaries, and show mutual respect. He addresses communication issues, and discusses formulating and implementing a plan for rules in your home that can work for everyone....

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