Setting clear boundaries can be an issue for parents.
As a parent, it’s natural to want to support your teen or adult child when they are facing challenges.
Yet, establishing clear boundaries can be helpful for parents of teens or young adults struggling with substance use. Consider setting limits on behavior, such as curfew and rules around substance use.
Here are a few things you can do to help:
Listen to them without judgment and offer emotional support.Please encourage them to seek professional help, such as treatment or counseling.Help them create a plan of action to address their challenges.Offer practical support, such as help with finding resources.Be patient and understanding as they work through their difficulties.When needed, set clear boundaries.Today we’re taking a closer look at #6, setting clear boundaries.
Your role as a parent is to offer guidance and support, but it’s up to your child to take action and make positive changes in their life.
Setting clear boundaries is essential to all healthy relationships, and it’s a valuable life skill you and your child can practice and master together. Boundaries help establish expectations and limits, ensuring that everyone involved feels respected and safe. Here’s why setting clear boundaries and learning to do it effectively is so important.
Why Setting Boundaries Is Important
Setting boundaries is crucial for maintaining healthy relationships because it helps avoid misunderstandings and conflicts. Without these clearly established limits and boundaries, your child may assume they have your permission to behave in ways that make you uncomfortable or disrespected. You establish a framework for respectful communication and behavior by setting clear limits.
Being confronted by their child’s substance use can be challenging for any parent. Even parents with otherwise rock-solid boundaries can find their children quickly pushing their buttons. Adjustments may need to be made to deal with the new challenges surrounding their child’s behavior, and families may need additional help and support.
Boundaries also help you prioritize your own needs and well-being. When you know your limits, you can communicate them to your child and other family members and avoid feeling overwhelmed or compromising your values. Developing strong boundaries is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced, and helping your children to master this important life skill at an early age helps reduce stress and promotes overall wellness for you and your family. During challenging and overwhelming times and to keep peace in the family, parents may feel their values have gone out the window.
When you have healthy boundaries, you can clearly and effectively communicate your values to your son or daughter. Often when parents are trying to cope with substance use, they come to the realization that they haven’t established strong boundaries with their children out of fear. This may not have been an issue in the past. But now, with the new challenge of substance use and their child’s efforts to challenge their limits, it should be a priority to understand the problem and establish clear boundaries moving forward.
What are boundaries?
The Compassion Antidote is my new book that answers so many of the questions that readers of this post may have – including those about how to help their child find recovery. Click on the book for the Amazon link. I hope it is helpful.
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/cathytaughinbaugh.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/the-compassion-antidote-mock-up.png?fit=223%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/cathytaughinbaugh.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/the-compassion-antidote-mock-up.png?fit=428%2C575&ssl=1″ decoding=”async” loading=”lazy” class=”wp-image-20570 size-medium” src=”https://i0.wp.com/cathytaughinbaugh.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/the-compassion-antidote-mock-up.png?resize=223%2C300&ssl=1″ alt=”The Compassion Antidote by Cathy Taughinbaugh” width=”223″ height=”300″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/cathytaughinbaugh.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/the-compassion-antidote-mock-up.png?resize=223%2C300&ssl=1 223w, https://i0.wp.com/cathytaughinbaugh.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/the-compassion-antidote-mock-up.png?w=428&ssl=1 428w” sizes=”(max-width: 223px) 100vw, 223px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />The Compassion Antidote is my new book that answers many of the questions that readers of this post may have – including those about how to help their child recover. Click on the book for the Amazon link. I hope it is helpful.Boundaries are a way to protect yourself in every facet of life. Dealing with your children pushing your established boundaries isn’t often an issue, except when problems like substance use arise. You set guidelines, rules, or limits as a parent. Growing up in your household, they learn to adhere to your value system. Boundaries also include the consequences if our children do not adhere to our limits. Boundaries are like a fence around you and other family members you want to protect as opposed to being a brick wall.
Brick walls keep people out. When setting boundaries, you want to continue to have a positive relationship with your child, and you can’t do that when you are on the opposite side of a brick wall. But you can maintain a relationship with someone when you’re on opposite sides of a fence. It also could be helpful to have the same boundaries for all children in the family, so your child struggling with substance use does not feel alienated or singled out.
Boundaries can be rigid or non-existent in general. In terms of boundaries within a family, there are four parenting styles, and most parents fit somewhere along the continuum of one type or they may be a mixture:
Controlling: The controlling parent demands that their child follows the marching orders issued by the mom or dad. The parent is rigid and puts a priority on conformity and compliance.Permissive: The permissive parent ranks low in terms of requiring accountability from their teen or young adult. They often rescue their children from experiencing natural consequences.Uninvolved: The uninvolved parent ranks low on demands and responsiveness to their child. They are emotionally and/or physically unavailable to their teen or young adult.Authoritative: The authoritative parent is fair but firm. They set realistic limits and insist that their child adheres to them. They are warm, affectionate, and respectful.Sometimes it’s hard to identify your own parenting style, especially during times when your family is in crisis or dealing with challenging issues. Asking for help and gaining an outside perspective on the situation can be really helpful. A trusted friend or family member or professional can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your parenting style and help you identify areas for improvement.
You may notice that you tend to change or adjust how you parent based on the challenges or circumstances, but you have a basic style that you fall back on most of the time.
The following steps can help you set clear boundaries in your relationship with your struggling child:
1. Identify your limits.
Reflect on what behaviors, actions, or situations make you feel uncomfortable or disrespected. The first place to start when choosing to set boundaries with your teen or young adult is to consider what behavior you find unacceptable. Take time to write down what patterns you see and what goes against your value system. Your child may be rude to you, inconsiderate of your schedule, or maybe emotionally or physically abusive. Sometimes the behavior falls into a gray area. Observe your child’s behavior and decide what is acceptable and what is not. It can also be helpful to discuss your concerns with your child. You can invite them to brainstorm boundaries and consequences you can agree on.
2. Communicate your needs.
Let your child know what you need from them to feel comfortable and respected. Use “I” statements to avoid sounding accusatory or confrontational. Decide what boundaries are essential for your situation. Communicate your thoughts early on so your child is clear about your limits. You’ll have the best chance of helping your child if your boundaries are clear, consistent, and communicated lovingly ahead of time. Communicate these boundaries clearly and consistently, and enforce consequences when expectations are unmet.
The best time to do this is when you feel calm and not in the heat of the moment. Communicate to your child what behavior you will not tolerate.
3. Be consistent
Stick to your boundaries and follow through consistently.
Consistency helps establish trust and respect in your relationship. One of the pitfalls parents face is an inability to follow through. Be sure when you are establishing your limits that you only impose those that you feel you will be able to enforce. It is better not to set a boundary at all than to set one and not enforce it. You will lose the respect of your child, and he will be motivated to see what other boundaries he can push. Make sure your consequences are logical and fit the “crime.”
We want to be role models for our kids. It’s frustrating for you when your child goes back on their word. It’s confusing for your child when you waver. Be their role model and demonstrate that you mean what you say.
4. Practice self-care.
Take care of yourself by setting aside time for self-care and prioritizing your needs. It helps you maintain a healthy balance in your relationships.
When overwhelmed and exhausted, it isn’t easy to maintain healthy boundaries, let alone set and establish new ones. The more often you can get plenty of rest and add time with people and activities into your life that help you stay calm and centered, the better. Another important way to prioritize self-care is to seek support from a therapist or support group to help navigate the challenges of parenting a teen or young adult struggling with substance use.
In conclusion, setting clear boundaries is an essential component of healthy relationships. Establishing expectations and limits can promote mutual respect, reduce conflict, and prioritize your well-being.
Remember to communicate your needs, be consistent, and practice self-care to maintain healthy boundaries in your relationships with your child with love and compassion.
Access research-based resources to help you support your child in a kind, compassionate way, which can lead to change.
By: Cathy Taughinbaugh
Title: Setting Clear Boundaries: Why It’s Important and How To Do It
Sourced From: cathytaughinbaugh.com/setting-clear-boundaries/
Published Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2023 20:26:26 +0000
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