Learning to Establish Boundaries

It’s always a good feeling when you see your teenager make what can be a very grown up decision. This just recently happened with my 13-year-old daughter who finally decided she had had enough in a friendship. It wasn’t that she was going to be mean to the person or retaliate. She was finally going to establish boundaries.

Boundaries can be a difficult thing for anyone to put up, even for adults. So when I see my teenage daughter understanding the importance, it gives me great hope.

Friendships at this age can be very challenging. It sometimes feels like I am listening to a soap opera when my daughter shares some of the stuff going on. However there is one particular friend that she has known practically since infanthood. While I love her friend to death, she is very competitive and critical of my daughter.

My daughter has forgiven her time and time again. But what she has discovered is that it didn’t matter, her friend would go right back to doing the same thing. This past week she had finally had enough. She decided to take a step back from the friendship and even though she clearly stated to her friend why, her friend didn’t seem to get it.

This has been difficult for my daughter, for as I said, she has known this friend for many years. In fact, our families are very close. While I understand how difficult it can be, I commend her for making this decision. She has the right heart about it. She isn’t angry or bitter. She is just tired. Tired of the criticism and tired of the competition.

My hope is that her friend will recognize what she has done and what has caused their friendship to disintegrate. I also hope that in the end they will reconcile and their friendship will be better.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying this decision my daughter has made. She will face other times in her life when someone may not treat her right. If she can learn now to establish boundaries she may protect herself from real harm someday.

We need to demonstrate the importance of boundaries in our lives so that we can teach these to our children. What do you need to work on, as far as establishing some boundaries?

Related Articles:

Allowing Children to Speak Up for Themselves

We Can’t Always Rescue Our Children

Teaching Teens about Friendships

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About Stephanie Romero

Stephanie Romero is a professional blogger for Families and full-time web content writer. She is the author and instructor of an online course, "Recovery from Abuse," which is currently being used in a prison as part of a character-based program. She has been married to her husband Dan for 21 years and is the mother of two teenage children who live at home and one who is serving in the Air Force.

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