Join Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend, authors of the New York Times bestseller Boundaries, as they share the research and guidance you need to raise your kids to take responsibility for their actions, attitudes, and emotions. What Boundaries has done for adult relationships, Boundaries with Kids will do for you and your family.
Using biblically backed principles, including respect, stewardship, and self-control, Drs. Cloud and Townsend share the lessons they've learned firsthand after decades of working with families across the country. The tools and support they provide in Boundaries with Kids will change the way you view healthy boundaries, no matter where you are in your parenting journey.
With wisdom and empathy, they take you through the ins and outs of instilling the kind of character in your children that will help them lead balanced, productive, and fulfilling adult lives. You'll learn how to:
- Define appropriate boundaries and consequences for your kids
- Set limits and still be a loving parent
- Bring balance to an out-of-control family life
- Apply the ten laws of boundaries to your parenting
- Understand the six steps to implementing boundaries in your home
Don't forget to check out the Boundaries family collection of books and workbooks dedicated to key areas of your life, including dating, marriage, raising teenagers, and leadership.
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|Edition description:||Supersaver ed.|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.63(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Dr. John Townsend is a nationally known leadership consultant, psychologist, and author, selling over 10 million books, including the New York Times bestselling Boundaries series. John founded the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling and the Townsend Leadership Program. Dr. Townsend travels extensively for corporate consulting, speaking events, and to help develop leaders, their teams, and their families. John and his family live in Southern California and Texas. Visit Dr Townsend.com.
Read an Excerpt
Boundaries with Kids
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The Future Is Now
It was a normal day, but one that would forever change my friend's parenting.
We had finished dinner, and I (Dr. Cloud) was visiting with my friend, Allison, and her husband, Bruce, when she left the dinner table to do some chores. Bruce and I continued to talk until a phone call took him away as well, so I went to see if I
could lend Allison a hand.
I could hear her in their fourteen-year-old son Cameron's room. I walked in to a scene that jolted me. She was cheerfully putting away clothes and sports equipment and making the bed. She struck up a conversation as if things were normal: 'I
can't wait for you to see the pictures from our trip. It was so much---'
'What are you doing?' I asked.
'I'm cleaning up Cameron's room,' she said. 'What does it look like I'm doing?'
'You are what?'
'I told you. I'm cleaning up his room. Why are you looking at me like that?'
All I could do was to share with her the vision in my head.
'I just feel sorry for Cameron's future wife.'
Allison straightened up, froze for a moment, and then hurried from the room. I walked into the hall to see her standing there motionless. Not knowing what to say, I said nothing. After a few moments, she looked at me and said, 'I've never thought about it that way.'
Nor have most of us. We parent in the present without thinking about the future. We usually deal with the problems at hand.
Making it through an afternoon without wanting to send our children to an eight-year camp in Alaska seems like a huge accomplishment!
But one goal of parenting is to keep an eye on the future. We are raising our children to be responsible adults.
Parents interact with their children in a way that comes naturally to them. For example, Allison was by nature a 'helper,'
and she gladly helped her son. Others have different parenting styles. Some, who are more laid back and uninvolved, leave their son's room alone. Those who are stricter inflict heavy punishment for a less than regulation-made bed.
Certainly, child rearing requires many different interventions.
There are times for helping, for not getting involved, or for being strict. But the real issue is this: Is what you are doing being done on purpose? Or are you doing it from reasons that you do not think about, such as your own personality, childhood, need of the moment, or fears?
Remember, parenting has to do with more than the present.
You are preparing your child for the future. A person's character is one's destiny.
A person's character largely determines how he will function in life. Whether he does well in love and in work depends on the abilities he possesses inside. In a world that has begun to explain away people's behavior with a variety of excuses, people are left wondering why their lives do not work. Most of our problems result from our own character weakness. Where we possess inner strength, we succeed, often in spite of tough circumstances.
But where we do not possess inner strength, we either get stuck or fail. If a relationship requires understanding and forgiveness and we do not have that character ability, the relationship will not make it. If a difficult time period in work requires patience and delay of gratification and we do not possess those traits, we will fail. Character is almost everything.
The word character means different things to different people.
Some people use character to mean moral functioning or integrity. We use the word to describe a person's entire makeup,
who he is. Character refers to a person's ability and inability, his moral makeup, his functioning in relationships, and how he does tasks. What does he do in certain situations, and how does he do it? When he needs to perform, how will he meet those demands?
Can he love? Can he be responsible? Can he have empathy for others? Can he develop his talents? Can he solve problems? Can he deal with failure? How does he reflect the image of God?
These are a few of the issues that define character.
If a person's character makeup determines his future, then child rearing is primarily about helping children to develop character that will take them through life safely, securely, productively,
and joyfully. Parents---and those who work with children---
would do well to keep this in mind. A major goal of raising children is to help them develop the character that will make their future go well.
It wasn't until Allison saw this future reality that her parenting changed. She loved helping Cameron. But in many ways her helping was not 'helping' Cameron. He had developed a pattern in which he felt entitled to everyone else's help, and this feeling of entitlement affected his relationships at school and at church. Allison had always been glad to help Cameron through the messes he was creating. Another undone project was another opportunity to love him.
Yet Allison was not only a mother, but also a grown woman and a wife. When she looked into the future and saw a time when
Cameron would be leaving responsibilities for others to do, she became concerned. What a mother doesn't mind doing, others deplore. She glimpsed the reality of character destiny. And she changed how she interacted with Cameron to help him develop a sense of responsibility, to help him think about how his behavior affected others and whether or not others would want to be a part of his future.
It is in this sense that we say the future is now. When you are a parent, you help create a child's future. The patterns children establish early in life (their character) they will live out later.
And character is always formed in relationship. We can't overestimate your role in developing this character. As Proverbs says,
'Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it' (Proverbs 22:6).
In 1992 we wrote Boundaries, a book about taking control of one's life. In Boundaries we talked about how to repair the brokenness in character caused by a lack of boundaries. Since that time, through workshops and on radio and television, we have spoken to more than a million people about creating boundaries in their lives. Thousands have told us that creating boundaries has enabled them to love and to live better, some for the first time. Nothing is more exciting than to see people grow and change.
But from our own experience and that of our audiences and readers, one thing became obvious to us. Adults with boundary problems had not developed those problems as grown-ups.
They had learned patterns early in life and then continued those out-of-control patterns in their adult lives, where the stakes were higher. They had learned the following boundary problems as youngsters:
* Inability to say no to hurtful people or set limits on hurtful behavior from others
* Inability to say no to their own destructive impulses
* Inability to hear no from others and respect their limits
* Inability to delay gratification and accomplish goals and tasks
* Tendency to be attracted to irresponsible or hurtful people and then try to 'fix' them
* Taking responsibility for other people's lives
* Ability to be easily manipulated or controlled
Table of Contents
Why Boundaries with Kids
Part 1: Why Kids Need Boundaries
1. The Future Is Now..... 13
2. What Does Character Look Like?..... 23
3. Kids Need Parents with Boundaries..... 38
Part 2: Ten Boundary Principles
Kids Need to Know
4. What Will Happen If I Do This?..... 57
The Law of Sowing and Reaping
5. Pulling My Own Wagon..... 73
The Law of Responsibility
6. I Can’t Do It All, But I’m Not Helpless, Either..... 87
The Law of Power
7. I’m Not the Only One Who Matters..... 103
The Law of Respect
8. Life Beyond “Because I’m the Mommy”..... 120
The Law of Motivation
9. Pain Can Be a Gift..... 134
The Law of Evaluation
10. Tantrums Needn’t Be Forever..... 147
The Law of Proactivity
11. I Am Happier When I Am Thankful..... 163
The Law of Envy
12. Jump-starting My Engine..... 177
The Law of Activity
13. Honesty Is the Best Policy..... 192
The Law of Exposure
Part 3: Implementing Boundaries with Kids
14. Roll Up Your Sleeves..... 207
The Six Steps to Implementing Boundaries with Your Kid