Creating healthy boundaries

Living with young adults and creating healthy boundaries that work for you as a family unit

 Creating healthy boundaries

Watching your children change overnight into young adults can be difficult, this is why creating healthy boundaries within the home is vital. Suddenly it can feel like we are losing control, not just of our beautiful off spring but of the way that our home functions. Our once accommodating children have now turned into someone that will fight against anything we try to put in place.

It is perfectly normal for young people to push the boundaries that we have set.  This is all part of become a mature adult. They push boundaries as a way of learning what they can do within the home and society and what they cannot do.  As disrespectful as it may seem, this is not the intention of young people because they do still love you deep down (even if they are unable to show it at the moment).

It is all about challenging themselves to emerge more educated about who they are and what society will condone and accept. As hard as it is for us as parents or care providers, pushing the boundaries it is all part of the transition from childhood to adulthood.

One of the main aspects of creating boundaries within the home is communication which I have already written an article on.

How do you create healthy boundaries?

Creating healthy boundaries

So how do you maintain the boundaries without distancing the young person from you even more than they already are? The trick is to change as they change. Produce a whole new set of rules for the young adults at home that work for you all.

Below are some tips that may help to create a healthy living environment for the family.

  • Firstly and most important is to remember young adults need to push boundaries in order to find their own way in life.  They do not mean to be disrespectful all the time, it is part of the learning process
  • Communicate effectively
  • Look at the boundaries that are already set within the home. What needs to be removed or adapted?  Things like time limits, eating meals together, mobile phones, computers, sleep overs, bedroom, clothes, homework, and their friends. These things are of the most importance to young people
  • Be assured that young people will let us know what they need adapting so they feel understand.  Allow them the space to voice their own opinions
  • Discuss with a partner the things that need to be addressed. Work together, be a strong unit. This will remove the opportunity for the young person to get their own way (they are masters at this, especially if parents are separated)
  • Arrange a family meeting that is convenient, include the young person in this decision
  • Do not forget effective communication throughout
  • Come up with a list of things that need to be discussed. Remember what works for one family will be irrelevant for another
  • Compromise and make agreements together
  • Make a contract of the new boundaries, write them down and stick them on the fridge. Revisit them every week to assess what is and is not working.
  • Do not let the young person dictate anything, but do not dictate either. Young adults will switch off the moment you start to lecture, they get it at school every day
  • The contract should be equal in proportion so everyone is happy. Aim for about five points or less each. To much compromise may be to much to abide by for everyone, not just the young adult
  • There has to be balance to the contract or someone will feel that they have lost out. Focus on making it a win/win contract so everyone is happy

Creating healthy boundaries does not need to be difficult.  Having a contract of agreement that suits everyone is vital to the reduction of conflict that can occur within these difficult years.

Always remember being a parent or care provider give you the power to be the best teacher they have, you provide lessons that are carried through their lifetimes. What is taught in these difficult years will be carried over to how they themselves parent their own children in years to come.

xx(110867)Credit: © James Hoagland | Dreamstime.comCredit: © James Hoagland | x(110868)Credit: © Tatsianama | Dreamstime.comCredit: © Tatsianama |