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Topic : Setting Boundaries

Number of Replies: 344
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Created on : Thursday, June 30, 2005, 01:21:13 pm
Author : dataimport
It's important to set healthy boundaries for and with your teen. Share your strategies.

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August 8, 2007, 12:48 pm CDT

Setting Boundaries

Quote From: threemckees

I am a 47 y/o mom of 2 boys 10 and 9.  They live primarily with their dad and spend the summers and every other christmas with me, as well as the visits I make to them during the year.  The majority of the year I live alone.  I started to date a wonderful man in March and it has progressed into a serious relationship.  When I was planning my son's visitaion for this summer I was excited as always and was looking forward to the 3 most important people in my life meeting.  My boyfriend is a very patient, understanding man but there was no way that either of us were prepared for the situation that we were confronted with.  My older son decided sight unseen that he did not like my bf and made every effort to make sure that my bf knew what his feelings were. 

 

Let me preface this by saying that my children saw him a total of 3 times the entire 5 weeks that they were with me so it was not a case of saturation by any means.  My son was disrespectful and purposfully ignored any attempts by my bf for any conversation from the get go.  He would interrupt my phone conversations wth numerous disruptions and make unkind comments that my bf would hear over the phone.  These are just a few of the many things that finally brought my bf to the point that he withdrew and stopped making any plans to spend time with the boys and me.

 

This is very distressing and I am very concerned about what is driving my son to this behavior.  I have had numerous discussions with him and he can not give me any specific reason for disliking my bf but will not change his attitude even though he knows that his bad behavior is unacceptable.  As patient and understanding as my bf is this situation has driven a wedge between the 2 of us and the future is unsure at this point.  I am addressing my sons behavior with his dad and we will work together to deal with whatever my sons issues are but in the meantime I also need to work on rebuilding my relationship with my bf and try to nurture a relationship between my son and my bf.  I would welcome any feedback from anyone who haas shared a similar situation since I am at a loss right now.

Quick question, you say that your son just up and starts hating your boyfriend? Now that my dear is impossible, everyone has a reason for something, even though it might not be clear to themselves or any other person. Maybe you should sit him down and ask him why he dislikes you boyfriend, It might sound corny but my mom did this with me. Now I actually had a reason to not like her boyfriend, he was a sneaky diabolical dog, who lied to my mom for three years straight, and from the beginning I told her I didn't like him because he was sneaking, and the same week I told her 20 dollars went missing and I was the person her boyfriend blamed, and my mom falsely accused me, but that devil was the one who snuck off that same night and spent all her money at the local dog track. But later my mom told me that she valued my opinion, but it wasn't me who would make the decision but her heart. And overall her heart picked him, and I at the same time. And some time later she found out my instincts were right and her heart released him from its captivity

 
August 8, 2007, 2:20 pm CDT

stuck between a rock and a hard place

Quote From: sarahjs26

I am 26 year old step mom of a normally sweet 11 year old girl.  I have been co-raising her since she was 4 years old, so it's not like I'm new to this.  but our custody arrangment basics are she stays with us for the school year, and spends more quality time with her mom during the summer months.  well every year she starts back to school with a bit of confusion, unfortunitlyher mom does not set any boundries, so when she comes home to our much more structured home, she fights us every step of the way.  refuses to wear her glasses, breaking school dress code, sneaking makeup (rule: off limits until she is 13), then lying about having brought the makeup here.and just basically her attitude has been mean and nasty to everyone in our home including her 5 and 3 year old brothers who adore her.  now I know these issues are more normal than extreme.  and I have talked to her mom about this stuff, I have been telling her for years she can't just let mandy run wild, so to speak, but it won't sink in.and in our home, I have taken unfavorable clothes (mostly skimpy shirts) and burned them, I have hidden the smuggled makeup. but that bad attitude just won't quit, my opinion, she waiting for me to cave in, let her do her thing cause it works on her mom.  but I am not giving in, but neither is she, so we butt heads every single day, how do I get some peace and happiness back into my home?

Hi!  I am a 21 year old and though I have no children of my own, I experienced almost the same thing when my parents split.  My parents divorced when I was 10 and I too wanted to wear make up and dress like the other (not as self respecting) girls wanted to dress.  My mom would not stand for it!  No makeup until I was older and skimpy clothing!?  ha!  yeah right!  My dad on the other hand would let it slide...If he asked me "does your mother let you wear that?"  I'd always tell him yes.  And he was a lot easier to cave in than my mom when it came to make up. 

 

Anyway, what I wanted to say was first of all kudos on talking to mom about this!  She definitely needs to know that in your home, there are rules that HAVE to be followed and that they are put in place for her daughters' protection!  Next, a question...are you the only one that talks to mom or does your husband talk to her too?  I know that when my stepdad tried to talk to my real dad...my real dad resented it and thought my stepdad was trying to be my dad and thats why my real dad let me get away with so much.  Because he wanted to be the cooler dad...so make sure your husband confronts his ex about this too...or maybe all three of you could get together for lunch or coffee to talk about it...do it in a public place so that things won't escalate to screaming...it will be a calm and civilized converstaion.

 

Finally, keep talking to your step-daughter..trust me, i know it's not easy...and she's going to get mad and throw fits...it's just part of being a teenager...or preteen...have your husband sit down with you and your stepdaughter...she needs to know that you two are in it together and it's not just the evil stepmother trying to take over and ruin her life!  Tell her that you're sorry for burning the clothes and hiding the make-up...that is a little wrong and is probably part of why she's resentful...I would've been!...but tell her that there are rules for her protection...talk to her about what kind of message she portrays to people when she wears skimpy clothes and makeup at too young of an age...it's not a good one!  and make sure she understands that just because celebreties and "everyone else" is doing it...doesn't mean it's right or cool...

 

Sorry it was so lengthy but I hope it helps!

 
August 13, 2007, 5:49 pm CDT

Where to begin

I have been divorced for two years. I met my boyfriend a little over a year ago. I am 33 and he is 24. Now I realize this isn't conventional, but his wisdom, love and knowledge take him to a higher age of maturity. I love him very much, more than I ever believed I could love a man. He lives 4 hours away and is working on his Masters. We have kept a long distance relationship until this summer. (He has summers off of school so he works near where I live.) I have three beautiful children. All well behaved, very loving children. I have joint custody of them and our family dynamics has never struggled until now. My oldest is 12. In the beginning she really liked my boyfriend (I waited 11 months before introducing him to the children). I wanted things to progress slowly so he agreed to stay at a family friends house while he got to know my children. After a month of eating with us each night and watching movies, etc. my oldest daughter told us "Why doesn't he just move in?" So we decided the children were comfortable with him after a family meeting. Everything went very well, better than we expected really. Now after almost three months my oldest has changed her mind and is threatening me to either break up with him or she is going to live with her dad. Of course I am hurt beyond belief. The thought of her doing that saddens me greatly. Yet at the same time I have a committed, loving, sincere man in my life for the first time. My younger children, ages 6 and 8, enjoy him tremendously and look forward to being with us. Looking back for any clues, I can't see that my boyfriend crossed any lines. My daughter's reason for not liking him is that she does not want me to date at all, and that she does not like me being affectionate with my boyfriend (very minimal affection is being displayed.) I am at a loss. What if she really does move into her father's house because I refuse to play by her rules? I can't do what she wants because first, my boyfriend is a good man and secondly, I am the adult. If I gave in, what would she want me to do next? My boyfriend is leaving the end of this week to finish off his last year of school. I am prepared for another year of long distance dating. I just need my family back to the loving point we used to be in order to feel better about this entire situation. I do not wish to speak for my daughter but she has turned into a very mean person over this siutation, so unlike her. If anyone has some advice, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 
August 19, 2007, 2:15 am CDT

18 yr. old daughter and job-hopping problem

I am very frustrated today because our 18-yr. old daughter has lost her job once again, due to a lack of self-discipline.  This might not seem like a big deal to some people, but my husband( her dad) and I are upset.  She moved out with her boyfriend to an apt. about 10-15 min. away from us in Nov. 06 just a month after turning 18.  They were all excited to get their own place and both working then, although each of them had been working at their present job a few months.

 

Yes, boyfriend seems to have this problem, too. He is a good person, but he also has never kept the same job longer than 4-6 mths. at a time.  He likes to sleep late and that causes a problem.  He even had a pizza delivery job he didn't have to be there til 5 p.m. and was late for it! 

 

She has (in 2 yrs.) worked for 2 fast-food restaurants, waited tables, worked at 2 convienence stores, a department store and now a small warehouse.  They both got temp jobs at the warehouse, Mon.-Fri. days, no weekends, making decent money, worked the same hours so they could drive together, and as of Monday this week they missed (from what she told us) their second day and have been late twice in the 4 weeks since they started.  They were both terminated, of course. 

 

As crazy as it sounds, I have had a tendency to feel sorry for them when something like this has happened before, and my husband has, too.  Back in May, boyfriend was laid off because the co. lost its contract (so not his fault that time)  But the times they have lost jobs have mostly been because they are late many times.  No excuse for that.  My husband and I go to work if we are tired, sick, both, whatever, and we are always on time. 

 

We have helped out financially when they have been between jobs for a week or two; meaning putting gas in a car, providing a few groceries, $40 here, $20 there.  We don't want to see them go hungry, not have gas to go to work, have utilities shut off, lose their apt. etc.  BUT we have decided that now literally "THE BUCK STOPS HERE".  Apparently, they have not suffered enough to be motivated to get up and go to work!  Or they have not suffered consequences.  Either me and Dad hand out a little and his Grandma hands or lends a little, his mother helps, etc.  Hopefully, we all cut them out.  We are to the point that we are tired of it.  We see it as if someone is trying to make it and doing whatever they can and still need a little help,then that's ok.  But they have no one to take care of but themselves and they aren't doing that. 

 

Our daughter's grandmother, my husband's mother, bought her a cheap car Dec. 2005 and told her to make payments sometime when she was able to pay her back and she hasn't sent her anything.  That is not right.  Now the car has broken down, as of 6 weeks ago.  We told her when she can get together half of what the repair costs, we will help with the other half.  But that hasn't happened either.  And now, she and boyfriend got a check Fri. for the last week worked and nothing will come in next week.  Her dad and I have decided we are not going to fix it until she comes up with half.  Unless, we fix it when she gets a job offer and insist that she pay us back right away, but I feel we can't trust her to do that.  

 

Anybody have any advice on how to proceed with this?  The lease is up on their apt. in Nov. and we would welcome her back home (with stipulations that she needs to help out financially and with chores)  but definately not let her boyfriend move in with us.  We need some strength to have some tough love right now.  Thanks. 

 
August 19, 2007, 10:47 am CDT

Setting Boundaries

Quote From: writeratlarge

I have been divorced for two years. I met my boyfriend a little over a year ago. I am 33 and he is 24. Now I realize this isn't conventional, but his wisdom, love and knowledge take him to a higher age of maturity. I love him very much, more than I ever believed I could love a man. He lives 4 hours away and is working on his Masters. We have kept a long distance relationship until this summer. (He has summers off of school so he works near where I live.) I have three beautiful children. All well behaved, very loving children. I have joint custody of them and our family dynamics has never struggled until now. My oldest is 12. In the beginning she really liked my boyfriend (I waited 11 months before introducing him to the children). I wanted things to progress slowly so he agreed to stay at a family friends house while he got to know my children. After a month of eating with us each night and watching movies, etc. my oldest daughter told us "Why doesn't he just move in?" So we decided the children were comfortable with him after a family meeting. Everything went very well, better than we expected really. Now after almost three months my oldest has changed her mind and is threatening me to either break up with him or she is going to live with her dad. Of course I am hurt beyond belief. The thought of her doing that saddens me greatly. Yet at the same time I have a committed, loving, sincere man in my life for the first time. My younger children, ages 6 and 8, enjoy him tremendously and look forward to being with us. Looking back for any clues, I can't see that my boyfriend crossed any lines. My daughter's reason for not liking him is that she does not want me to date at all, and that she does not like me being affectionate with my boyfriend (very minimal affection is being displayed.) I am at a loss. What if she really does move into her father's house because I refuse to play by her rules? I can't do what she wants because first, my boyfriend is a good man and secondly, I am the adult. If I gave in, what would she want me to do next? My boyfriend is leaving the end of this week to finish off his last year of school. I am prepared for another year of long distance dating. I just need my family back to the loving point we used to be in order to feel better about this entire situation. I do not wish to speak for my daughter but she has turned into a very mean person over this siutation, so unlike her. If anyone has some advice, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

you should discuss with her, why she doesn't want you to date anymore, or find out if there might be some other issues too. furthermore you should discuss with your ex, what you two are going to do when your daughter wants to live with her dad fulltime, maybe he can't take her fulltime, so she can't even go there? and i think you should think about if your daughter will really go live with her dad. is she the type of person that sticks to that kind of threats? or is she the type of person that will go away for one or two weeks, and that will come back when she sees that it has no effect and misses you?

 
August 19, 2007, 9:29 pm CDT

Re: Son vs. Boyfriend

Quote From: threemckees

I am a 47 y/o mom of 2 boys 10 and 9.  They live primarily with their dad and spend the summers and every other christmas with me, as well as the visits I make to them during the year.  The majority of the year I live alone.  I started to date a wonderful man in March and it has progressed into a serious relationship.  When I was planning my son's visitaion for this summer I was excited as always and was looking forward to the 3 most important people in my life meeting.  My boyfriend is a very patient, understanding man but there was no way that either of us were prepared for the situation that we were confronted with.  My older son decided sight unseen that he did not like my bf and made every effort to make sure that my bf knew what his feelings were. 

 

Let me preface this by saying that my children saw him a total of 3 times the entire 5 weeks that they were with me so it was not a case of saturation by any means.  My son was disrespectful and purposfully ignored any attempts by my bf for any conversation from the get go.  He would interrupt my phone conversations wth numerous disruptions and make unkind comments that my bf would hear over the phone.  These are just a few of the many things that finally brought my bf to the point that he withdrew and stopped making any plans to spend time with the boys and me.

 

This is very distressing and I am very concerned about what is driving my son to this behavior.  I have had numerous discussions with him and he can not give me any specific reason for disliking my bf but will not change his attitude even though he knows that his bad behavior is unacceptable.  As patient and understanding as my bf is this situation has driven a wedge between the 2 of us and the future is unsure at this point.  I am addressing my sons behavior with his dad and we will work together to deal with whatever my sons issues are but in the meantime I also need to work on rebuilding my relationship with my bf and try to nurture a relationship between my son and my bf.  I would welcome any feedback from anyone who haas shared a similar situation since I am at a loss right now.

I had a similar situation 19 years ago. I was 31, divorced and raising my two sons, who were 11 and 7 when I met and began dating the man who would become my 2nd and present husband.  Different from your situation, my boys lived with me and saw their father only occasionly; their father's choice, not mine.  It had been me and my kids without a dad figure around for 6 years. 

 

My oldest son, same as yours, was not happy when I started dating this man seriously, and made it clear he was not impressed.  My husband (then boyfriend) was kind, interested in both boys and friendly and tried his best to get to know both boys.  My younger son hit it off with my bf, but my oldest was just not having it. 

I think much of MY older son's problem was he felt that I was trying to replace his father, and some of it was jealousy that this man took some time from me that I could give to my son.  And, too, being 10, or 11 can be a tough time of transition for boys.  They aren't little kids but they're not teenagers yet.  They have alot going on starting to learn their way and who they are.  

 

I would suggest some family counseling or just for you and your oldest son.  He may tell someone else what he is concerned about; it could be fear of something, jealousy, etc. and he isn't able to verbalize what his concerns are.  Sometimes we are surprised that kids of divorced parents still think for years that their parents may get back together and the thoughts of that not happening (since there's a "new guy" on the scene) may really upset them. 

 

We did not handle our family blending the right way and it turned out badly for years.  We got married after just a few months, I got pregnant and we had a daughter in the first year.  (more stress and change on the boys, although they loved their baby sister).  And instead of taking it slow and easy when we first married, my husband made the mistake of coming in with all guns loaded and changed some rules and was kind of a tough disciplinarian.   To which my oldest son pretty much said "yeah, right".   He was never outrightly rude but he didn't like it and I shouldn't have allowed it to happen the way it did.  Over the next year, his biological dad (my ex) started calling more and coming to get him more and eventually asked my son to move in with him.  I was devastated.  After court hearing and paperwork, my son went to live with his dad at 12 yrs. old and our relationship was strained until he was 22.

After all that, I guess my suggestions are these:

1) Really listen to your son and find out what bothers him about this.  It may take help from a counselor, and if it does, please find one. 

2) Be clear with your boyfriend that your son's feelings are very important to you and you need to help him through this. 

3) Yes, yes, talk with his dad about all this.  Maybe he has some ideas to help and that' s wonderful.  Most people don't have that option of help.

4) Be patient and give it some time.  (this may be the most difficult thing to do)

5) Appreciate the fact that your boyfriend does not want to push himself on your son.  Hopefully, he is the wonderful man that you  think he is and if he is, he will understand that your son may need a little longer to try to warm up to him. 

 

I hope this helps.  I know this is frustrating but I think with some time and understanding on all sides, you can make it work.  Good luck! 

 
August 23, 2007, 6:26 pm CDT

Setting Boundaries

Quote From: crycrystal

I'm just waiting , for 2 months, 2 weeks , 1 day , 12 hours & 45 minutes, to finally get here.  

So, my 18 yr old step son, can go on to college. I Personally think it should be illegal,  

for them to live at home,,,, after age 18. 

I Hate Life , anyway,,, so wishing more time away, isn't anything new , for me. 

I'm seeing 4 yrs max, left for me , in this cruddy world. 

I have never fit in, anywhere , in this world, for 20 yrs, so 4 more, won't matter,  too much. 

I look forward to checking out. Till then, I will sit in a corner , twiddle my toes & sing a happy lil note  

and act like life is just peachy, while my stomach turns at the mere thought , of continuing on. 

I feel like that sometimes. But I only let myself feel like that for and instant.

 

Life isn't fair because we are living in a world that is controled by Satan. It isn't going to last forever. You may not have the power to change the world but you can change you.

 

Try starting off by looking outside of yourself. Look at other people. They don't all fit in. They arn't perfect. They aren't all happy. They have mega problems like everyone else.

 

Are you shy?If you are then it can be hard to talk to others that you barely know. Try to make friends and remember that things aren't always what they seem. You may come across many who only seem happy and go lucky, but inside they feel like you do.

 

If you just sit in a corner and twiddle your toes then nothing is going to change. It sounds like you are just feeling sorry for yourself. (I use to hate it when my mother would say that to me) But it is a waste of time and gets you nowhere.

 

Get up and start a new hobby or go to the library or simply go for a walk. Go to the grocerie store and act like you are a very special person and smile and greet everyone as if you are visiting old friends. And you will see a big change. No not everyone will seem to care but some will and it makes you feel good.

 

Try reading the Bible and or joining a Bible study.

 

And why do you seem so angry towards your step son?  Have you ever tried to see what it is like from his side of life? Does he dislike you or do you feel like he does? Would you like your step parent? If you start to give then you will start t recieve.

 
August 23, 2007, 6:37 pm CDT

Setting Boundaries

Quote From: crycrystal

Actually, I feel fitting in, is being something, in life, and having a goal. Rather it be a dancer, artist, mother, wife, or what have you. But, I have had 2 children and am Not a mother. Married twice and , am Not a wife. Since, age 15, my only goals have been the dishes, clothes, trash, cleanin', cookin', sweepin', moppin', shoppin', vaccumin' & dustin'. I ask myself ,every single day, WHY am I really going on. And, if you really knew how much I hate, for someone to say,,, Life is what ya make of it,,, ya really wouldn't had said that to me. For, I feel, even if life was a cherry pie,,, I was ment to choke on the cherry pit, inside.
You are really negative. It sounds like you have been that way for a long time. I am sure God doesn't look at what we are worth by what we become in life like a wife,dancer,or what ever. He looks at our heart. Have you ever heard of Cain and Able in the Bible? They were brothers and Cain was jealous of his brother Able? He let that jealousy eat at him and it turned his heart bad. He was driven to kill his brother. Don't do this to yourself. Get some help. Are you one of those people who really doesn't want to change? Or want people to like you? If so then no one can help you unless you truly want it.
 
August 28, 2007, 3:35 pm CDT

curfews are stupid.who has one?

who has a curfew,and if you do,how old r u? i'm 17 and i've never had a curfew before. i was just watching a show on tv where they talked about a curfew so i thought i'd ask here.
In my opinion,curfew's are stupid,because people come home when their finished doing what their doing,not when other people want them to come home.
Like when your parents go out at night,they don't come home when someone else wants them to come home,they come home when they've finished doing what their doing.
 
August 30, 2007, 8:28 am CDT

Setting Boundaries

Quote From: ryan14

who has a curfew,and if you do,how old r u? i'm 17 and i've never had a curfew before. i was just watching a show on tv where they talked about a curfew so i thought i'd ask here.
In my opinion,curfew's are stupid,because people come home when their finished doing what their doing,not when other people want them to come home.
Like when your parents go out at night,they don't come home when someone else wants them to come home,they come home when they've finished doing what their doing.
i personally don't hjave a curfew, and i'm pretty responsible, so i don't need one, but i hope you can understand, that a fourteen year old, or a twelve year old has to have a curfew, unless they are really responsible, or have some other kidn of system that works. because a lot of twelve and fourteen year olds own't come home at ten o'clock, but they will stay to midnight, or after midnight, and besides the fact that it is probably not so safe anymore on the street, it is also just unhealthy for them to stay awake so late. and a lot of kids don't have a real purpose when going out, they just hang around somewhere, and it's not really clear when you're 'finished' hanging around. so some people like you and me don't need a curfew, but other people, especially younger ones do.
 
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