A common struggle within any relationship is setting boundaries. Most people feel like their being too harsh or worry that they might hurt the other person’s feelings. If setting boundaries is difficult for you, I can assure you that you’re actually working on creating healthier relationship by respecting your limits. Think about boundaries as a fence surrounding you and this fence has an alert system that tells you when someone has crossed your fence. Feelings typically associated with someone crossing your boundaries are anger, agitation, annoyed, frustrated, overwhelmed, nervous, and more. These feelings are alerting YOU that something needs to be addressed.
One of the first steps is learning how to actually set a boundary. A good practice is thinking about how you say “no” to others. Saying “no” can be expressed by using a range from gentle to assertive responses. Imagine you’re asked by a coworker for a favor to complete a time-consuming task in addition to having your own responsibilities to complete. Here are a few examples of saying “no”:
“Unfortunately, I cant get to it today. How about I work on it tomorrow?”
“My schedule is really packed, I wont be able to work on it.”
“I can’t work on it”
Notice how the responses starts with a compromise response to a purposeful “no.” Many of us believe that there is only one way to reinforce your boundaries and if we’re not comfortable with the word “no,” then our only option is to please the other person. It’s important to practice your range to test your level of comfort when asserting your boundaries. Try it today and see what you discover.
I think it is time for you to hear this....you are the MOST influential figure in your teen’s life. Your superpower is providing your teen with a loving and nurturing environment. Even more, you are teaching your teen how to build a meaningful relationship. So, why does it feel like your teen is growing distant by the hour? It must be frustrating to see your teen’s face light up when they get a notification on their phone while you get a barely audible “hey.” Rest assure, you’re not going crazy! Your teen is just learning about who they are and with that comes the presentation of detachment and aloofness. One of the hardest experience for a teen is learning how to increase their self-esteem. Most teens build their self-esteem from their friends, academic, and/or sports. Their journey is made more difficult when parents use statements like:
You might be well-intentioned and want the best for your child. At the same time, these statements can feel crushing for your teen. Teens are constantly tuning in to how they are being compared, evaluated, and treated, which can have major consequences on their self-esteem. Moreover, teens are quite susceptible to chronic feelings of shame, low self-confidence, and the belief that they have to be someone else in order to get approval.
Parents, take a moment and reflect on what you needed to hear from your parents when you were a teenager. Use that as the vehicle to start conversations with your teen. To boost your teen’s self-esteem, try this:
You can learn more about helping your teen’s self-esteem with our teen group: Healing the SELF-Esteem