Boundaries Blog — parenting

Hope for the Single Parent: How to Overcome Your Biggest Challenges

Hope for the Single Parent: How to Overcome Your Biggest Challenges

If you are a single parent, you may need to know something: you have the hardest job in the world. You have to meet all the needs of your kid, over many years, without the help of a spouse. Some of my closest friends are single parents, and my heart breaks with theirs when they encounter the rough years of parenting. Single parenting can sometimes be brutal and overwhelming. That's why it's important to discuss boundaries for single parents.

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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: 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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What to Do When Your Teen Is Struggling at School

What to Do When Your Teen Is Struggling at School

Make no mistake. Your kids are under more academic demands than you were. For better or for worse, the learning curve is steeper, and they have to study more than we did. Subject matters are more advanced. Projects, reports, and term papers require much more advance planning and steady work over time. If you don't build boundaries with teens early, the situation can get out of control.

I (Dr. Townsend) can remember how jarred I was when my kids started bringing back homework assignments from junior high and high school. We were in a whole new world, and a much harder one. When I saw how far ahead my kids had to be planning their reports, I called my mother and said, "What do you remember about my high school days, like how far in advance did I write reports?" She said, "You wrote them in the car on the way to school."...

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