Boundaries Blog — conflict

Parenting Teens: 3 Tips for Building a Unified Approach with Your Spouse

Parenting Teens: 3 Tips for Building a Unified Approach with Your Spouse

Are you and your spouse united or divided in your parenting? Consider the following dialogue:

Dad: "You're letting our daughter do anything she wants."

Mom: "You're too strict with her."

Dad: "She needs more discipline and structure."

Mom: "She needs more love and encouragement."

Dad: "She's becoming irresponsible and out of control."

Mom: "She's becoming insecure and afraid."

And you thought kids and teenagers had conflicts! ...

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The Best Boundaries Words for Kids

The Best Boundaries Words for Kids

I (Dr. Cloud) can still remember what happened that day when I was eight years old. I made a big mistake, but I didn't know it at the moment. I thought I was getting back at my sister, who was sixteen at the time. Opportunities for revenge were few and far between, and I was not about to let this one slip by. Sharon and her friend were goofing around in the den when one of them threw a pillow and broke the overhead light. They quickly figured out a way to arrange the light in such a way that you could not tell it was broken. They thought that they were off the hook. Little did my sister know that she had a sociopathic little brother with a plan....

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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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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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Why Smart People Accept Unacceptable Relationships

Why Smart People Accept Unacceptable Relationships

When I (Dr. Townsend) guide people through a process of examining previous difficult relationships, the one question I have found most helpful is this: What was the "payoff" in your choice? In other words, what good things did you think you'd get when you began a relationship with that person?

We wind up with difficult people for a reason—there was something we valued, wanted, or hoped for. And because the need was strong, we may not have paid attention to something unacceptable in that person's character....

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