One of the things we focus on with the adolescents at Logan River is developing healthy boundaries with others. Many of them struggle with saying “no” to negative influences and peer pressure and with maintaining positive friendships. Having healthy boundaries is important in any relationship, whether that is between a parent and child, friends, or coworkers. Setting a boundary means communicating to another person what is good for you and what is not good for you. This can be hard as it requires being assertive and expressing your needs.
Parents may often find this difficult to do with their children. It can feel uncomfortable to say “no” to something that your child asks for and oftentimes guilt follows. This can also be met with strong emotions from your child and may seem like you are damaging the relationship instead of caring for it. However, the interesting thing with having clear boundaries with your child is that oftentimes it will help your child feel safe in the relationship and it sets an example for them of how they can set boundaries and be assertive with others.
Setting boundaries takes practice and if that has not been something happening often between you and your child it can feel unnatural. It is important to remember though that establishing healthy boundaries with others is the key to successful and fulfilling relationships. The following video clips offer more insight and ideas for setting healthy boundaries with others.
Kristjana Green, CSW