How to Set Healthy Boundaries with Parents in Adulthood

Many parents can be a little overprotective and controlling of their children when they’re growing up. This is a simple result of the deep care they have for their child and their desire for their child to grow into a productive, successful and independent person. However, when their child becomes an adult, the parent may have a hard time backing off and allowing them to live their own life. This can lead to tension within the family and resentment toward the parent. This is why it is so important for adults to set healthy boundaries with their parents and make it clear what they are and are not comfortable with.

Why Setting Boundaries With Parents is Appropriate

  • It allows the individual to have their own space that is respected
  • It will enable the individual to form and uphold their own beliefs and morals
  • It allows for privacy within the individual’s relationships or marriage
  • It can bring down stress and anxiety levels
  • It can improve the individual’s self-esteem 
  • It can allow the individual to learn how to be responsible, independent, and manage conflict on their own

Signs that Boundaries Need to Be Put in Place

Some people might not realize that there is something wrong with how they are going about their relationship with their parents as an adult and that they need to put some boundaries in place. Some examples of poor boundaries between a parent and their adult child include:

  • Parents stopping by their children’s house frequently without calling ahead of being invited
  • Parents sharing their opinion about their child’s partner without being asked for it
  • Parents interfering with their child’s personal life or occupation
  • Parents tearing down their children by commenting negatively on their weight, appearance, or social status
  • Parents using emotional blackmail to get their children to behave as they want
  • Parents comparing their child to the success of others
  • Parents attempting to control their child’s decisions
  • Parents calling or texting too often

Putting Boundaries into Place

#1. Plan out what you’re going to say. Before confronting your parents, it’s crucial to think about what problems exist within your relationship with them and what boundaries you can put into place to remedy the problem in a productive way. For example, if you have a parent who is constantly texting and calling you throughout the day, consider setting a time window when they should not expect a response from you. This time frame could include when you are at work or after a certain hour at night when you are resting or spending time with your partner. This will allow you to have a greater sense of privacy without feeling guilty for not responding right away.

#2. Be as clear and concise as possible about how you feel and what changes you want to see made. Instead of simply saying, “I wish you wouldn’t stop by my home unannounced,” consider saying, “I feel uncomfortable when you stop by my house unannounced. From now on, please call ahead or wait for an invitation.”

#3. Try to be compassionate but firm. You can explain to your parents that just because you’re putting these boundaries in place doesn’t mean that you care for them any less; you simply need these boundaries to have a more functional relationship moving forward. You can also emphasize that you understand where they are coming from and why they may be acting the way they are.

#4. Make it clear that you are serious about these boundaries being upheld and expect them to be respected. You may have to repeat yourself more than once to make sure the message is clear.

#5. Don’t back down. If your parent crosses one of the boundaries that you put into place, reiterate to them why it is so important to you that these boundaries are upheld. If you don’t acknowledge that a boundary has been broken, your parent won’t see the seriousness of what they did, and it will likely happen again.

#6. Express your appreciation when boundaries are respected. Make it clear to your parents that you are grateful that they value you enough to respect the limits you have put into place.

#7. Don’t feel guilty about putting boundaries in place. While it can feel a little awkward and scary at first, you’ll be grateful for setting them in the future. They can help protect your relationship with your parents by preventing arguments and tension. In fact, these boundaries may even cause you to develop a closer overall relationship with your parents.

Some parents have trouble accepting the fact that their child has become an adult. They may want to continue to try to control them and interfere in their lives. This can lead to tension and strained relationships. Some examples of situations in which poor boundaries exist between an adult child and their parent include parents stopping by unannounced, excessive calling or texting, emotional manipulation, or unwanted and unsolicited advice. When setting boundaries, be clear and concise about what changes you want to be made and why. Try to be firm but compassionate and emphasize that these boundaries exist in order to preserve the relationship and prevent arguments. Please don’t feel guilty for putting these boundaries into place, as they are part of maintaining a healthy relationship. Setting important boundaries in relationships can be stressful. If you’re struggling, our team at Achieve Concierge can help. Call (858) 221-0344 today to learn more


Setting Boundaries in Recovery

Healthy boundaries are essential to keeping your mental health in check. If you’re in recovery, it is especially important for you to learn to set healthy boundaries to help you understand your inherent value and the value of your healing process. This can present a challenge for people in recovery, as healthy boundaries tend to take a backseat to other priorities throughout your struggle with addiction. Learning to set healthy boundaries is a fundamental part of a balanced recovery. What does a healthy boundary look like?

What Are Healthy Boundaries?

Boundaries are physical, mental, and emotional limits that people set for themselves to protect their overall well-being. These limits can help you define who you are while also letting others know how you expect to be treated. Healthy boundaries keep us safe from being manipulated or exploited. They help us populate our lives with people who are supportive and respectful. Setting healthy boundaries can give your recovery the chance to progress and flourish.

Boundaries apply to more than just your romantic relationships. It’s important to have healthy boundaries with every person in your life: your children, friends, parents, colleagues, and most of all, yourself. In recovery, having healthy boundaries with yourself can help you regulate your relationship with the person you wish to become. For example, healthy boundaries can cultivate self-discipline, which allows you to practice appropriate behavior, mental and emotional regulation, and impulse control. Setting healthy boundaries for yourself can enable you to follow through on commitments that you make to your highest priorities.

What Makes for a Healthy Boundary?

The purpose of healthy boundaries is to create respect, both from yourself and others. Self-respect is key to a successful recovery. Setting boundaries that generate that respect can help you internalize your worth. You can learn to love and appreciate yourself and invest in your well-being. Some examples of healthy boundaries include:

  • Thoughtfully evaluating how your interpersonal relationships affect your recovery
  • Maintaining your own identity in a relationship
  • Clearly and respectfully expressing your needs
  • Maintaining personal beliefs and values despite what others may think
  • Treating yourself with respect
  • Building relationships that are built on trust and kindness
  • Loving and accepting yourself

Why Do We Create Unhealthy Boundaries?

Many people in recovery have had an especially hard time setting boundaries with themselves and others. This issue can go as far back as childhood. Children raised by neglectful parents who fail to model healthy emotional relationships are more likely to lack understanding of the value of healthy boundaries as an adult. On the other end of the spectrum, kids who grow up with strict parents are at risk of becoming overly dependent on others, leading to codependency issues. Examples of unhealthy boundaries can include:

  • Impulsive behavior, especially within relationships
  • Beginning relationships that are toxic for your recovery
  • Self-doubting or belittling yourself
  • Ignoring personal values to please or gain acceptance from other people
  • Belittling others
  • Lack of trust in others
  • Forcing personal beliefs on others
  • Allowing others to tell you who you should and shouldn’t be
  • Making excuses for others who treat you poorly.

Enforcing Healthy Boundaries

Many people set healthy boundaries for themselves and then fail to enforce them. It is equally important to enforce your boundaries as it is to set them; otherwise, they’ll amount to nothing more than a well-intentioned piece of paper. Follow these steps to begin establishing and enforcing healthy boundaries for yourself:

  1. Know Your Worth. You have the right to your own thoughts, emotions, values, and beliefs. You have the right to express yourself and to let others know how you would like to be treated.
  2. Identify Sobriety Risk Factors. Write down everything that can jeopardize your sobriety. This can include anything from people, places, and sensations to abstract memories. Be honest and thorough.
  3. Set Your Boundaries. Once you identify your risk factors, write down your boundaries. Use specific language, such as “I need to cut all ties with …” or “I will not go to this store because it triggers me to buy alcohol.”
  4. Enforce Your Boundaries. Enforcing your boundaries takes honesty, commitment, and patience. If you feel yourself slipping, take action.
  5. Remain Accountable. Reach out to your sponsor, family members, or support groups to hold yourself accountable. Your support groups are there for this purpose, so don’t ever think that you are bothering them or that they don’t have time for you. If your support groups start to make you feel this way, it’s time to find a new, healthier group of peers.
  6. Respect the Boundaries of Others. Just as your boundaries should be respected, make sure to respect other people’s boundaries.

Remember that setting healthy boundaries in recovery is not selfish. Healthy boundaries are vital to your emotional and mental health, your sense of self-worth, and your long-term recovery.

Setting healthy boundaries for yourself is vital to the success of your recovery. Although at times it may feel like you are being selfish for setting boundaries, it’s never your duty to sacrifice your self-worth or self-respect for the priorities of others. Setting healthy boundaries can let others know that your beliefs and needs are important to you. Investing in your self-esteem this way can help keep you on track to practice positive behaviors, combat impulsivity, and follow through on your commitments, all of which are beneficial to a balanced recovery. If you or a loved one are struggling with establishing healthy boundaries and overcoming addiction, reach out to Achieve Concierge today. Our dynamic team is dedicated to helping individuals with their recovery journey. Gain the irreplaceable value of self-respect and move forward in sobriety. Your success is our mission. Call Achieve Concierge today at (858) 221-0344 to make a real change.

Failure to Launch: Why It Happens and How to Fix It

Failure to Launch: Why It Happens and How to Fix It

Failure to launch refers to highly-dependent adult children who are still relying on their parents to care for them. Individuals with failure to launch syndrome have little desire to seek employment or contribute financially and tend to isolate themselves from the rest of the world. Many factors can contribute to a child’s failure to launch, including overparenting, family trauma, and mental health issues.

Setting Boundaries

Every home and family should have boundaries, especially for stay-at-home adult children. Have them set their own responsibilities and let the natural progression of consequences unfold. Services such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry should not be provided to an adult child living at home. Expect them to maintain a career, contribute to the bills (if applicable), and help out around the house.

Another potential cause for failure to launch syndrome is worshipping your child. This behavior can lead to failure to launch if the child is being consistently rewarded for their lack of contribution to the family or the financial burdens of the household. Parents don’t do their adult children any favors when they allow them to enjoy the benefits of living at home without having any responsibilities.

Mental Health Issues

Many mental health issues can have a correlation to failure to launch, such as a history of anxiety. This could cause a child leaving high school to struggle with maintaining friendships or being in crowded areas such as a college or workplace.

Anxiety in adult children often presents itself as social isolation, an inability to maintain a career or educational pursuits, and spending copious amounts of time sleeping or being in their room. There are other mental health disorders that can inhibit emotional maturity, such as ADHD or OCD.

An adult child with these conditions or who does not manage stress well might lack the necessary skills to achieve independence — financial or otherwise. They should be set up with an organizational coach and mental health services to create a long-term plan to help the child find their own living accommodations, career, money management goals, and independence.

Instant Gratification

Children who grew up in the age of technology are often taught to expect instant gratification — after all, they can search and buy anything they could possibly want on the internet. Being able to watch any video, learn anything, listen to music, watch movies, and work online with a simple click has been detrimental in many ways.

Instead of sitting with discomfort and learning resiliency, children have learned to find comfort in social media and technology rather than the real world. All of this has led to a lack of motivation for many young people, who struggle to pursue a long-term career or educational goals.

These cannot simply be attained whenever they want them — they must be earned and worked for, which some adult children don’t have the social maturity to handle. Parents should also be aware of signs of narcissism and an overall disregard for others.

If an adult child is often praised and told how smart and unique they are without being held accountable, they could develop entitlement or a narcissistic personality. A child who has failed to launch often feels entitled to what they want simply because they want it.

It is crucial to set boundaries with your child and not give in to any narcissistic requests. This can be addressed by having a frank discussion about their refusal to take responsibility for themselves. Let your child know what you will or will not do for them. It’s okay to comfort your child and affirm that their feelings of fear and discomfort are normal when leaving home.

Assure them that they can always come to visit or stop in if they need a break. But it is vital for them to take responsibility for their lives, as it will teach them who they are and who they can potentially grow to be.

Fortunately, some interventions can help a family with an adult child who has failed to launch syndrome. Achieve Concierge is committed to the concept that real healing involves treating all aspects of the individual, not just the label of a particular diagnosis. By engaging the patient on multiple levels of care, this collaborative approach guides and enhances successful treatment. Our specialists are prepared to create a plan that will help your child succeed. To get started, call us today at (858) 221-0344.