Boundaries Blog — communication

A Little Boundary Clarification Goes a Long Way

A Little Boundary Clarification Goes a Long Way

The parents of a twenty-five-year-old man came to see me (Dr. Townsend) with a common request: they wanted me to "fix" their son, Bill.

When I asked where Bill was, they answered, "Oh, he didn't want to come."

"Why?" I asked.

"Well, he doesn't think he has a problem," they replied.

"Maybe he's right," I said, to their surprise....

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Setting Boundaries with Your Ex-Spouse

Setting Boundaries with Your Ex-Spouse

Question: Dr. Townsend: I am divorced and having difficulty setting boundaries with my ex-husband. Our conversations are awkward around our children. He lavishes them with toys while I feel like the disciplinarian. What do good boundaries look like in this situation?

First, let me say that I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I'm sure it can feel uncomfortable to be at odds with your ex-spouse in front of your children. This issue is always a tough one.

First, appeal to your ex-spouse about the need for your kids to have an integrated set of parents, even though you aren't married to each other. Tell him ...

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How to Get Unstuck and Move Toward Success

How to Get Unstuck and Move Toward Success

By Dr. John Townsend (exclusive to BounariesBooks.com) All of us want to be a success in life. We want a career that is fulfilling and that creates a sustainable lifestyle. We want relationships and family connections that are warm and intimate. We want to give back in service to the world in some way. Yet so often we find ourselves stuck in getting from where we are to where we want to be. If you have found yourself stuck instead of successful in some area of life, it is likely that there is some sort of a problem in your...

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Boundaries Q&A with Dr. John Townsend: How to Handle Conflict with In-Laws

Boundaries Q&A with Dr. John Townsend: How to Handle Conflict with In-Laws

Question: I am experiencing conflict with my in-laws about the way I raise my children. They tend to nit-pick every decision that I make. Do you have any tips for setting boundaries with in-laws?

Answer: I know it's no fun to feel conflict with your in-laws. Here are some ways to address the sensitive issue. Begin with a positive and vulnerable conversation. Simply wait until there is a quiet moment, where there's not a lot going on....

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How to Set Holiday Boundaries with Family

How to Set Holiday Boundaries with Family

When you were born, God placed you into a family for a season of time to help you grow into a mature adult. At some point this season ends, and your relationship with your parents changes from child-to-parent to adult-to-adult. The roles change from dependency and authority to mutuality.

While you are to respect and care for your mother and father, you are no longer under their protection and tutelage. Children are to obey parents, while adult children are to love and honor them. Therefore ...

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