Teach Your Teen to Set Emotional Boundaries

Teach Your Teen to Set Emotional Boundaries

by on March 6, 2021
Articles

Learning how to set and maintain emotional boundaries is an important part of growing up. It is also a key to developing relationships that are supportive, caring, and respectful. These kinds of positive relationships create the foundation for lifelong happiness.

Prioritizing mental health in the workplace can bring an array of positive outcomes. A mindful leader inspires a mindful team which, in return, develops better results. Here are some of the reasons why you should start making mental health a workplace priority:

What is an emotional boundary?

An emotional boundary is a limit we establish to protect ourselves from being hurt, manipulated, or used by others. It is an expression of self-worth that helps people understand who we are, what we think, and how we feel. Boundaries create needed emotional space between us and others.

Examples of healthy emotional boundaries for teenagers may include:

  • Moving slowly into friendships to establish trust
  • Stating personal values despite what others believe
  • Respecting others, despite their differences
  • Respecting oneself, even though someone may not like you
  • Clearly communicating needs and wants, even though you may be rejected
  • Noticing when your personal boundaries feel invaded
  • Understanding that others cannot anticipate your needs

Examples of unhealthy emotional boundaries for teenagers may include:

  • Trusting no one, or everyone
  • Going against personal values to please others or to be liked
  • Giving as much as you can for the sake of being liked
  • Allowing friends to direct your life, without questioning
  • Letting others define you
  • Falling apart or being a victim so others will take care of you
  • Believing that others can anticipate your needs

Four Tips That Will Increase Your Child’s Happiness

1. Talk with your teenager about emotional boundaries.

Help your children understand the concept of emotional boundaries, and how important this understanding is to happiness and well-being.

Share a story of a time when your personal boundaries were invaded by a friend and how you successfully or unsuccessfully reacted. Acknowledge how difficult it is to speak up for yourself and what you need. Ask if your teen has noticed being uncomfortable with friends who did not respect boundaries. Help children learn that setting emotional boundaries is not about blaming others for hurting them. It is about remaining calm and explaining what you need from others that is different from how they are behaving toward you.

2. Teach teens to be responsible for their emotional reactions.

Help children learn that setting emotional boundaries is not about blaming others for hurting them. It is about remaining calm and explaining what you need from others that is different from how they are behaving toward you.

3. Identify unacceptable actions and behaviors.

The first step to setting boundaries is to be able to notice when people around you are behaving in ways that are unacceptable. Start with a simple family exercise that parents and children can do together: 1) Think of a friend or friends with whom you sometimes or often feel uncomfortable. Perhaps you experience them as uncaring, or you feel put down or manipulated by them. You don’t need to share the names of these people. 2) Each person lists five things you’d like your friend(s) to stop doing or saying to you or around you.

When you have your lists, sit down together and brainstorm how an emotional boundary could be communicated for each item on the list.

4. Encourage action

There are many barriers to boundary- setting—fear of rejection, guilt, and fear of confrontation. Healthy boundaries allow teens to feel respected, valued, and empowered to build positive relationships in their lives.

Emotional boundaries also play a vital role in building healthy family relationships and are a crucial part of self-care. When parents model effective boundary-setting with children, children learn how to do the same. Younger children can learn the basics of boundary-setting through simple role-play situations. As they mature to adolescence, this foundation is an asset toward understanding and reacting to more complex human interactions.

If you would like to talk, feel free to reach out to us. An LifeWorks therapist would be able to help.

Uzma Sabeen Bangash
Uzma Sabeen Bangash
Clinical Psychologist - English, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Pashto
Ph.D. in Psychology Ain-Shams University - Experience: 14 Years
Lorena Santambrogio
Lorena Santambrogio
Clinical Psychologist - English
Ph.D. in Psychology Ain-Shams University - Experience: 16 Years
Maryam Ebrahimnezhad
Maryam Ebrahimnezhad
Social Worker - English, Dutch, Persian, German
Ph.D. in Psychology Ain-Shams University - Experience: 16 Years
Ritasha Varsani
Ritasha Varsani
Psychologist - English , Urdu (Hindi)
Ph.D. in Psychology Ain-Shams University - Experience: 16 Years
Safia Ali Malik
Safia Ali Malik
Clinical Psychologist - English , Urdu (Hindi)
Ph.D. in Psychology Ain-Shams University - Experience: 16 Years
Dr. Hana Al Geilani
Dr. Hana Al Geilani
Specialist Psychiatrist - Arabic and English
Ph.D. in Psychology Ain-Shams University - Experience: 16 Years
Corina Saramet
Corina Saramet
Psychologist - English,Romanian,Spanish
Master Degree in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Bucharest, Romania
Nashwa Tantawy
Nashwa Tantawy
Psychologist - Arabic, English
M.A. in Counseling Psychology from The American University in Cairo
Jyotika Aggarwal
Jyotika Aggarwal
Clinical Psychologist - English
M.A.(Clinical Psychology), RE-CBT - Experience: 7 Years
Sailaja Menon
Sailaja Menon
Counseling Psychologist - English
CAGS (Multicultural Counseling), Johns Hopkins University, USA - Experience: 25 Years
Salma Mahmoud
Salma Mahmoud
Psychologist - Arabic and English
Master's in Psychology, BA Psychology - Experience: 12 Years
Dr.Marwa Abd El Hamid
Dr.Marwa Abd El Hamid
Clinical Psychologist - Arabic and English
Ph.D. in Psychology Ain-Shams University - Experience: 16 Years
Dr. Sravani Behara
Dr. Sravani Behara
Specialist Psychiatrist - English, Hindi and Telugu
MBBS, MD - Experience: 12 Years
Dr.Bassem Badr
Dr.Bassem Badr
Consultant Psychiatrist,Holistic Approach - Arabic and English
Master of Science in Neuropsychiatry - Experience: 25 Years

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