Boundaries Blog — parenting

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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What to Do When Your Teen Pulls Away

What to Do When Your Teen Pulls Away

Some parents fear that if they set boundaries with teens, it will cause their son or daughter to detach themselves and withdraw their love from them. This fear can cause these parents to avoid boundaries at all costs, and to do their best to keep their kid connected.

When this happens, it teaches teens that they can get their way and avoid limits by cutting off the love supply. These adolescents often have difficulty experiencing healthy adult relationships ...

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How Loving Parents Can End Up with Selfish Kids

How Loving Parents Can End Up with Selfish Kids

Sometimes the most loving parents end up with the most selfish children. How can that be? We have all heard people say things like, “You know how Susan is. She only thinks of herself.” And many times, Susan comes from a nice family. But Susan’s parents did not set boundaries that required her to respect the feelings of others. This lack of boundaries led to egocentrism, which affected Susan’s ability to love. Having no boundaries in childhood can also lead to impulse problems, addictions, or irresponsibility, which is always unloving....

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How to Think about Your Thinking

How to Think about Your Thinking

So how can you become a wise, sober-minded person of good judgment—one who thinks rather than reacts and routinely utilizes internal as well as external data? Start by becoming an observer of how you think. It may sound strange to think about thinking, but it is important and helpful. You can begin to pay attention to your thinking by routinely observing your thoughts and by recognizing any cognitive distortions.

Life is chaotic, and sometimes too much information can cause confusion in an organization. As a result, leaders are under great pressure to think with focus and direction….

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Four Boundaries Principles to Apply in Difficult Situations

Four Boundaries Principles to Apply in Difficult Situations

"I don't know if this boundary stuff really works for me," Jill told me (Dr. Townsend). She was having problems with her 14-year-old daughter. Holly was skipping classes at school and had been caught drinking. Things were definitely headed in the wrong direction, and Jill wanted to act before it was too late.

"What happened?" I asked.

"Well, I sat down and told her, 'Things are going to have to change around here. I'm going to set some boundaries with you. This is for your own good. You need to stop the ditching and drinking.'"

"What happened then?"

"She got mad at me, yelled, and left the room….”

Jill had thought that simply being direct and honest was all that was needed to set boundaries. But it isn't. There are four necessary principles that must be used in order make boundaries succeed in difficult situations ...

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