Boundaries done well will make your life easier as a parent.

“Children learn to hold boundaries based on how we hold boundaries.” ~Brené Brown

Boundaries Myths:

I want to start off by dispelling some common myths when it comes to raising teens and setting boundaries.

  • MYTH:
    Boundaries are hard!
  • TRUTH:
    Boundaries don’t have to be hard or complex. In fact, the best boundaries are simple!
  • MYTH:
    Boundaries will control my teen.
  • TRUTH:
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but you can’t control your teen. BUT, you can control you! Boundaries are meant to help you be the parent you want to be.
  • MYTH:
    I have to have boundaries established ahead of time.
  • TRUTH:
    You can establish boundaries at any time. Sometimes it’s beneficial to have them established ahead of time, sometimes it’s beneficial to establish them in the moment, and sometimes it’s beneficial to establish them retroactively.
  • MYTH:
    Boundaries will push my need away.
  • TRUTH:
    Boundaries will actually help your teen better connect with you. It will help them see and understand how to connect with you. Your teen might not like your boundaries, but that’s not your job.
  • MYTH:
    Good parents make restrictive boundaries.
  • TRUTH:
    Your boundaries don’t have to be restrictive.

Common Mistakes When Setting Boundaries

I’m not trying to judge you or how you set boundaries. I’m just trying to share some of the common pitfalls that I’ve noticed parents often make when trying to set boundaries.

Usually, the only reason I would call it a “mistake” is that it doesn’t create the results that they are looking for.

  • MISTAKE:
    Setting boundaries to control your teen.
  • SECRET TIP:
    Shift your focus from your teen (something outside of your control) to what you can control, how you will respond.
  • MISTAKE:
    Setting boundaries to get your teen to change or do something different.
  • SECRET TIP:
    Again, this is focused on changing your teen or getting them to do something different, both outside of your control. It’s better to focus on what YOU CAN CONTROL, you and how you will think, feel, and act.
  • MISTAKE:
    Trying to be “COOL” and setting no boundaries.
  • SECRET TIP:
    Don’t worry about being cool. Sometimes your teen will not like your boundaries, and that’s okay!
  • MISTAKE:
    Making boundaries super complicated.
  • SECRET TIP:
    The best boundaries are simple and clear.
  • MISTAKE:
    Setting boundaries without even attempting to get your teen’s input or getting them on board.
  • SECRET TIP:
    When possible give your teen a voice. Give them the opportunity to chime in and help make the boundaries even better.
  • MISTAKE:
    Setting boundaries out of anger and/or fear.
  • SECRET TIP:
    Fear and anger rarely help you be the parent of your dreams. Love, curiosity, gratitude, and hope tend to help parents be more like that totally awesome version of themselves that they imagined back when they were teens. Try setting boundaries out of love, curiosity, gratitude, and hope.

Boundaries are Important for YOU and YOUR TEEN!

Sometimes boundaries aren’t fun. Brené Brown boundaries as a “parenting sacrifice, or is [the] the process by which we make family sacred?

Be willing to do this process.

How you set and hold boundaries will give your teens an example of how to set and hold boundaries.

Boundaries will give your teen structure, safety, and the power to exercise their own choices.

Boundaries will give you structure, safety, and a guide for how you want to parent in the face of your teen’s choices.

Boundaries will improve your relationship with your teen.

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