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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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July 30, 2005, 6:15 am CDT

setting boundries

I am a 63 year old Grandmother raising 3 grandaughters. One who just graduated and is going to nursing school, and two left at home  ages 15 and 16. I don't have a solution, just want to know how you handle explaining trust and priviledges and how they are connected. I seem to have a problem getting this information to register. Can anyone help me?

 

 
August 1, 2005, 12:29 pm CDT

What a nightmare...

Dear Dr. Phil,

I am a 2yrs. divorced dad with 3 children, 15, 13, 11. I share custody with their mom 50/50. My fiancee is also divorced, approx 4yrs., but apart about 10yrs, and also shares custody with the dad 50/50. My fiancee's daughter is 18 yrs. old, and also hates me. My fiancee and I recently moved in together. The week before we moved in together, father's day weekend, the 18yr. old was kicked out of her dad's house for irreverant behavior. Well, after nearly 3yrs. of tension and the passed several weeks of living together all heck hit the fan one night. I was forcefully explaining to the young lady that my 11yr. old daughter was feeling intimidated by her. She blasted me with the following; " I don't like you because I have no respect for you, never have and never will. You're a f____ing a__hole and a f____ing d__k! " This was said to me in front of 2 of my children, the 13yr. old and the 11yr. old, as well as her 14yr. old brother and her mother, my fiancee. I blasted her back that she had a nerve not respecting me when she hasn't yet even accomplished anything in her young life, not even completing the 11th grade ( she had to repeat her junior year ). Moreover I hollered, how dare she use language like that towards me, and in front of my children. Even my fiancee was getting into it now, but directing her anger at me. My fiancee never said a disapproving word to her daughter. As the yelling continued I said to the daughter then just GO! Again, this was in front of everyone. It was not a pretty sight. Now my ex-wife doesn't want my kids around my fiancee and is threatening to file for full custody. Likewise, my fiancee's ex is threatening to do the same. My kids do still want to see the both of us, but my wife won't allow it, at least for now. Her daughter wants no part of me, while her son wants less contact with me and my family. Prior to the incident, he had a good relationship with my children and an excellent one with me. My fiancee and I owned up to our bad behavior and apologized to all, but the daughter said she wishes I was dead and she'd say the very same things all over again. How do we ever repair this? We love each other, built a new house for us and the kids, and we waited 2 yrs. for her daughter to graduate before moving in together. We don't want to split up, but don't want to lose our kids either.

Please respond. We desperately need your advice.

 
August 1, 2005, 7:58 pm CDT

Setting Boundaries

Quote From: pwilt65

Dear Dr. Phil,

I am a 2yrs. divorced dad with 3 children, 15, 13, 11. I share custody with their mom 50/50. My fiancee is also divorced, approx 4yrs., but apart about 10yrs, and also shares custody with the dad 50/50. My fiancee's daughter is 18 yrs. old, and also hates me. My fiancee and I recently moved in together. The week before we moved in together, father's day weekend, the 18yr. old was kicked out of her dad's house for irreverant behavior. Well, after nearly 3yrs. of tension and the passed several weeks of living together all heck hit the fan one night. I was forcefully explaining to the young lady that my 11yr. old daughter was feeling intimidated by her. She blasted me with the following; " I don't like you because I have no respect for you, never have and never will. You're a f____ing a__hole and a f____ing d__k! " This was said to me in front of 2 of my children, the 13yr. old and the 11yr. old, as well as her 14yr. old brother and her mother, my fiancee. I blasted her back that she had a nerve not respecting me when she hasn't yet even accomplished anything in her young life, not even completing the 11th grade ( she had to repeat her junior year ). Moreover I hollered, how dare she use language like that towards me, and in front of my children. Even my fiancee was getting into it now, but directing her anger at me. My fiancee never said a disapproving word to her daughter. As the yelling continued I said to the daughter then just GO! Again, this was in front of everyone. It was not a pretty sight. Now my ex-wife doesn't want my kids around my fiancee and is threatening to file for full custody. Likewise, my fiancee's ex is threatening to do the same. My kids do still want to see the both of us, but my wife won't allow it, at least for now. Her daughter wants no part of me, while her son wants less contact with me and my family. Prior to the incident, he had a good relationship with my children and an excellent one with me. My fiancee and I owned up to our bad behavior and apologized to all, but the daughter said she wishes I was dead and she'd say the very same things all over again. How do we ever repair this? We love each other, built a new house for us and the kids, and we waited 2 yrs. for her daughter to graduate before moving in together. We don't want to split up, but don't want to lose our kids either.

Please respond. We desperately need your advice.

I think you and your fiance need to sit down together and figuring out a plan for your home. Own up to your mistakes and then start working together. You need to set boundaries for your home and stick with them. Talk to all the kids and let them know that you and fiance are toghetehr and this is the way it is going to be and there are rules and boundaries and every one is expected to follow them, As far as the 18 year old, she is old enough to get a job and to get her own apartment, her parents need to figure out a way to get her to do this and that might mean getting out there and picking up some job applications for her and handing them to her and giving her a dead line to find a job, if she is going to live with some one then she needs to hold her own and start taking some responsibility and abiding by the rules. You can also encourage her to get a room mate. As adults, we do need to be careful on what we say to our children for they will remember those words, Maybe do some more apologizing and make it clear that on now ons, things are going to be differnt and no one will disrespect another in your home, it is just as easy to walk a way as it is to speak. Maybe you and your fiance can get some counseling on the issue and get some good advice on what the next step should be, let the family know what you are doing soi they will know that oyu are attempting to get things resolved, maybe they will see it as a positive or they may not, but you can only change your selves. I think you need to start with you and fix what you can, unless there is abuse or some other good reason for the courts to take away your family, that should not be happen here. Your kids can come out of this if they see you and your fiance working together, be positive and keep the lines of communication opened for every one and hold your tongue when things start getting heated up, walk away and go out for a bit, it does help some.
 
August 1, 2005, 8:06 pm CDT

Setting Boundaries

Quote From: nannasam

I am a 63 year old Grandmother raising 3 grandaughters. One who just graduated and is going to nursing school, and two left at home  ages 15 and 16. I don't have a solution, just want to know how you handle explaining trust and priviledges and how they are connected. I seem to have a problem getting this information to register. Can anyone help me?

 

One thing you need to do is set those boundaries and stick with them and tell the kids that when they obey the rules and respect you as their grandmother/gaurdian then they will get more priveleges. Praise them for doing good and when they have obeyed the rules for a certain period of time, then give them an extra privelege. Like maybe their curfew is 9 pm and they follow that rule, with home work done and getting up for school with no hassle, you up their curfew to 10 pm. Of course this is just an example but kids need to know that you can be trusted as well and they need to know that if they want to be trusted then they need to earn that trust. Actions speak louder then words and maybe if they see that you are sincere and true to your word then they too will do the same. Explain to them of course that you have rules and when they show that they can obey them, the priveleges will come, choose your battles but at the same time be firm with them and stick to your guns.
 
August 3, 2005, 10:48 pm CDT

Hello

Quote From: pwilt65

Dear Dr. Phil,

I am a 2yrs. divorced dad with 3 children, 15, 13, 11. I share custody with their mom 50/50. My fiancee is also divorced, approx 4yrs., but apart about 10yrs, and also shares custody with the dad 50/50. My fiancee's daughter is 18 yrs. old, and also hates me. My fiancee and I recently moved in together. The week before we moved in together, father's day weekend, the 18yr. old was kicked out of her dad's house for irreverant behavior. Well, after nearly 3yrs. of tension and the passed several weeks of living together all heck hit the fan one night. I was forcefully explaining to the young lady that my 11yr. old daughter was feeling intimidated by her. She blasted me with the following; " I don't like you because I have no respect for you, never have and never will. You're a f____ing a__hole and a f____ing d__k! " This was said to me in front of 2 of my children, the 13yr. old and the 11yr. old, as well as her 14yr. old brother and her mother, my fiancee. I blasted her back that she had a nerve not respecting me when she hasn't yet even accomplished anything in her young life, not even completing the 11th grade ( she had to repeat her junior year ). Moreover I hollered, how dare she use language like that towards me, and in front of my children. Even my fiancee was getting into it now, but directing her anger at me. My fiancee never said a disapproving word to her daughter. As the yelling continued I said to the daughter then just GO! Again, this was in front of everyone. It was not a pretty sight. Now my ex-wife doesn't want my kids around my fiancee and is threatening to file for full custody. Likewise, my fiancee's ex is threatening to do the same. My kids do still want to see the both of us, but my wife won't allow it, at least for now. Her daughter wants no part of me, while her son wants less contact with me and my family. Prior to the incident, he had a good relationship with my children and an excellent one with me. My fiancee and I owned up to our bad behavior and apologized to all, but the daughter said she wishes I was dead and she'd say the very same things all over again. How do we ever repair this? We love each other, built a new house for us and the kids, and we waited 2 yrs. for her daughter to graduate before moving in together. We don't want to split up, but don't want to lose our kids either.

Please respond. We desperately need your advice.

Hi, I am 16 yrs old. And though I am not an adult yet, I will give you my opinion, you dont need to take it, but I'm just putting it out there for you. I think that you and your fiancee need to sit down, and talk about what has been happening. I think you both need to talk to your ex's. I think that you should kick the 18 year old out. I think your fiancee has to realize that her daughter still has some problems accepting a new man in her life. I think that you guys should kick her out, and send her back with her dad, and not allow her into your home until, she gains some more respect for you. Because, it is your house too, and she should respect the both of you. I'm not saying that your fiancee shouldn't see her, but I think that you guys shouldn't allow her back into your house until she starts showing a little more respect and appreciation towards you. I think that your fiancee should sit down and talk to her. Because she is the one causing problems in your household.
 
September 28, 2005, 5:46 am CDT

what an I supposed to do?

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?
 
September 30, 2005, 12:17 pm CDT

Family Contract

Dr. Phil talks a lot about Family Contracts on his show.  Does anyone have a template or sample.  I would like to write one for my family. 

  

  

 
October 12, 2005, 6:10 pm CDT

not easy raising stepchildren or bio children

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?

All I can tell you is that it is difficult to know what a teen needs. All they want to do is find their place in the world. Your stepchild is way too young to be asking for skimpy clothes and make-up. Your guidance is important when it comes to this issue. If mom isn't doing it, it is good that your stepchild has you as a role model. I don't know anything about her real mom. All I know is that bio moms love their children with an innate sense of love.   Are their bio moms sometimes misguided? Yes. Do they have all the answers? No. Please do not consider yourself the expert when it comes to this child. You did not give birth to her. Like it or not, this is a bond that deserves the highest respect (unless there is major physical and mental abuse on the part of the bio mom)  Give your love to this child, but do not overstep your boundaries. 

  

You are not scoring any points by burning your stepchild's clothes. You are not scoring any points by putting your stepdaughter's mom down. Your stepdaughter will rebel if you continue to bash her mom. Basically, it only gets more difficult -- especially when you are in a divorce situation.  

  

My advice:  respect your daughter's mom, and understand the difficulty that your stepchild faces as she tries to deal with two moms.  

  

My prayers are with you and your stepchild.  

 
October 17, 2005, 5:48 am CDT

I am not sure what to think

Quote From: nalysse

All I can tell you is that it is difficult to know what a teen needs. All they want to do is find their place in the world. Your stepchild is way too young to be asking for skimpy clothes and make-up. Your guidance is important when it comes to this issue. If mom isn't doing it, it is good that your stepchild has you as a role model. I don't know anything about her real mom. All I know is that bio moms love their children with an innate sense of love.   Are their bio moms sometimes misguided? Yes. Do they have all the answers? No. Please do not consider yourself the expert when it comes to this child. You did not give birth to her. Like it or not, this is a bond that deserves the highest respect (unless there is major physical and mental abuse on the part of the bio mom)  Give your love to this child, but do not overstep your boundaries. 

  

You are not scoring any points by burning your stepchild's clothes. You are not scoring any points by putting your stepdaughter's mom down. Your stepdaughter will rebel if you continue to bash her mom. Basically, it only gets more difficult -- especially when you are in a divorce situation.  

  

My advice:  respect your daughter's mom, and understand the difficulty that your stepchild faces as she tries to deal with two moms.  

  

My prayers are with you and your stepchild.  

All I know is I have to clear up a few things, about some of your comments, I never bash the Bio mom, in fact I am her biggest advocate, defending her and her actions every time you turn around.  The clothes burning, there was never a teary goodbye, in fact kiddo just thinks she lost those pesky little shirts, and there is no divorce situation, my husband and I have been married for almost 7 years, and she has no memory of her bio- parents being together as a family, and I have been my step daughter primary care giver since she was 4 years old, and prior to that the bio-mom, more or less gave her to the neighbors. so no I am not overstepping any boundries, by loving that child as my own.
 
October 23, 2005, 8:31 pm CDT

Setting boundaries

Quote From: young_one

Hi, I am 16 yrs old. And though I am not an adult yet, I will give you my opinion, you dont need to take it, but I'm just putting it out there for you. I think that you and your fiancee need to sit down, and talk about what has been happening. I think you both need to talk to your ex's. I think that you should kick the 18 year old out. I think your fiancee has to realize that her daughter still has some problems accepting a new man in her life. I think that you guys should kick her out, and send her back with her dad, and not allow her into your home until, she gains some more respect for you. Because, it is your house too, and she should respect the both of you. I'm not saying that your fiancee shouldn't see her, but I think that you guys shouldn't allow her back into your house until she starts showing a little more respect and appreciation towards you. I think that your fiancee should sit down and talk to her. Because she is the one causing problems in your household.
Well I am in a weird situation also, engaged and trying to raise my boys and his.  I honestly believe that not raising your children with the two that made them is a punishment from God.  No I'm not a religious freak but I'm noticing that no matter how hard I try, the stepchildren will not respond to anyone but the biological parents.  Doing good for them is sweet but it's taken for granted and becomes very painful for the outsider (the stepparent).  I'm engaged and don't see us making it to the alter because he's not strong enough to raise his kids properly and support me.  Don't jump in and get married and get stuck because I am in your situation and know that you should resolve problems in your relationship before you totally commit your life to her.
 
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