Boundaries Blog — conflict

How to Test the Quality of Any Relationship

How to Test the Quality of Any Relationship

Usually the quiet one in her group, Debbie spoke up. The topic of discussion was "conflict resolution," and she couldn't be silent another second. "I know how to present facts and arguments about my opinion in a caring way. But my husband will walk out on me if I start disagreeing! Now what do I do?"

Debbie's problem is shared by many. She genuinely believes in boundaries, but she is terrified of their consequences....

Read more →


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! ...

Read more →


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....

Read more →


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....

Read more →


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 ...

Read more →