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Boundaries with Teens: When to Say Yes, How to Say No

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  554 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
The teen years--relationships, peer pressure, school, dating, character. To help teenagers grow into healthy adults, parents and youth workers need to teach them how to take responsibility for their behavior, their values, and their lives. The coauthor of the Gold Medallion Award-winning book Boundaries and the father of two teenage boys brings his biblically based princip ...more
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Published February 1st 2006 by Zondervan Publishing Company (first published January 20th 2006)
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Shawna Ridgley
I really love the Boundaries books. If you find yourself struggling in relationships, they are full of practical advice. This one on teens is no different. They give some really practical steps in making sure you are setting a good foundation for your teen's adult life. I highly recommend this book for parents of teens, especially if you are struggling with behavior shifts that are catching you off guard. It will make you feel less alone and help you gain insight into what is going on physically ...more
12/2/17 $2.99 for Kindle.
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me this was / is a good reminder book of the things I have read in other books. The big things are empathy, talking, and sticking to your word. Make the boundaries clear.
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Excellent advice, with specific examples and scenarios. Of course, much of it is easier said than done. I like the different sections of the book- dealing with changes that parents need to make themselves, understanding the teen brain/world with empathy, setting boundaries with the teen, and specific common problems that teens deal with. To me, the most helpful part is understanding what a teen is going through. Teens are frustrating and their behavior is often illogical, but understanding some ...more
Natalie Weber
Dr. Townsend gives a great deal of practical advice from his years of clinical experience with teens and their parents. I appreciated his emphasis on communication and building relationships with your children. He also speaks to the importance of establishing boundaries in our own lives so that we are better equipped emotionally to deal with the challenges our kids are facing.

I’m not sure what Dr. Townsend’s background is, but I thought it was interesting that he never addressed the whole premis
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Boundaries in Marriage many years ago, and loved it. It helped me to identify the abuse I was experiencing in my marriage and I will never forget some of the lessons it taught me. Maybe it's because of that that I found this book to be only so-so. I found that the advice was pretty common sense, and not really helpful in my situation. Unfortunately, my daughter has inherited a lot of her father's traits/disorders and so dealing with her is a lot trickier than I think this book expects mos ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Always good to read their books...

This may be my third boundaries book and each has been immensely helpful.

This is helpful - parenting teens is not easy...neither is it always fun (it can be tho!) is always welcome!
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Accept that your teen is being drawn toward something rather than away from you, and help her be as content as possible at home so that she wants to leave for the right reasons, not just to escape you.
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful! I need to read it again. I love the fact that it gave me the words to use when talking to my daughter.
The author advocates a very loving approach to parenting. That's the way it should be!
Elizabeth T
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent resource!
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I believe this book needs to be updated to deal with today's teens. The book has many unrealistic ways of dealing with teen issues.
Amy Koons
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will read this book again!
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great insight into how to navigate with teens and some of the challenges faced.
Peter Holford
Well worth reading, especially if you're living with and responsible for one or more teenagers! Despite spending years in the classroom with teenagers, I'm kind of new to having one in my home, so this book was very helpful. Yes, it was practical and quite specific at times, but the most helpful section for me was 'Understanding the Teenage World'.

You might think it odd, but my favourite sentence in the whole book is only five words long and appears on page 42: "Adolescents get angry a lot". As
Eileen Carter
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having already raised one son to adulthood and about to start again with another son and daughter I thought that this book was an important book that I should read. I had read the reviews about it and thought, " Man, I wish I had read this book the first time I had a teenager".

Throughout the book there are so many helpful ideas that you can take away with and use immediately. You don't need to study just read and use. The information is broken down into easy steps and worded so that you do not f
Apr 30, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: selfies
I decided to read this book because I wanted to understand my teenage experience better and prepare for when I have teenagers of my own to raise. It's never to early to start preparing right? Anyways, I have read Dr. Townsend's other book entitled "Boundaries" which I love! And other variations/spin offs. I believe that Dr. Townsend and Dr. Cloud (co-author of Boundaries) have a love of truth and understanding. However this book didn't have as big of an impact for me. This may have been due to a ...more
Michael Johnson
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Our Parenting Bible completed this book and found it very helpful. Our only major concern was that as we dug in to it, we began to see a lot of the information as repetitive. Towards the end of the book, we decided to choose a few of the special circumstances instead of doing them all. The group had difficulty doing this because we were all dealing with very different issues with our children. This book, more than any other has forced us to really think about how we go about our parenting.

Jul 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a teacher in the public schools, I see more and more how parents are fearful of being parents to their young, emerging teens. This book is most helpful.. you can select the topic of the chapter that is urgent at a specific time and receive wise counsel on handling those challenging situations with your teens. Whether it's driving, money, homework or a variety of other topics, they are discussed with kindness and practical suggestions on how and why to set boundaries. A word to parents of teen ...more
Cindi P.
Practical tool for building your family relationship and setting boundaries for teens. I was looking for something different. I was hoping this was how to teach teens to set boundaries. I went ahead and finished the book, even though it speaks mainly to parents of teens. I am not a parent of teens. That is probably why it took me so long to finish it. Helpful resource to understanding teens and our role in their lives.
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very helpful parenting book! If I'd read this 4 years ago, I would have set it aside and said it was just common sense that any parent knows. But now that my twins are nearly 17 and want complete freedom, this book was perfect for our situation. It helps answer the question, "Where should I loosen the reigns and in what areas should I stand firm?"
Sandy V
Nov 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it -"Your teen needs your help to become a person whose word means something for then he will be happier & his relationships will be healthier as well" "Provide your child/teen with as many experiences involving love, grace, safety, stucture & correction as you can. The involved parent can truly make a positive difference."
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very accurate descriptions of what we are experiencing with our 17 year old, who seems to have flipped a switch overnight and feels that we are too controlling. Sigh. Practical advice and scripts of how to set boundaries with ornery teens. Well worth a read.
Stephanie Haynes
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thbook has been very helpful to this mama of a 13 year old and an 18 year old. I love the short chapters and the practical strategies to use immediately. We have seen a lot of improvement in our relationship with our kids as a result.
Aug 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family
Great advice for public school parents of teens with a supportive, dedicated church, good schools with dedicated teachers, caring counselors, and - at least- a middle class income. For all those who don't have that framework...well, there are a still a few decent tips worth digging out.
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-version
Very helpful in helping parents draw clear boundaries, not only for a kid's behavior but for a parent's responsibility. Responsibility to the child, yes, but also in recognizing how to draw lines of what one should NOT do for their teenager.
Aug 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall good book, great to read and reread for perspective. I just walked away from it overwhelmed. There is so much I want to do to keep a strong relationship with my teen now and my other boys when they get to be teens.
Cyndi Lu
The book made a lot of good, useful points and I will follow a lot of them. I am not Christian. and this is aimed at a Christian audience, but at least it doesn't beat you over the head with religion.
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a therapist and this is my very favorite parenting book. I recommend it all the time.
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have kids this book is a must....
Aug 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helped me be a stronger mom.
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Dr. John Townsend is a psychologist, popular speaker, co-host of the nationally broadcast New Life Live! radio program, and a cofounder of the Cloud-Townsend Clinic and Cloud-Townsend Resources. He has written or co-written twenty-seven books, including the bestselling Boundaries, Safe People, and Hiding from Love. He and his wife, Barbi, live in southern California. They have two grown sons.
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“your teen needs a process of time in which to let go of parental dependence and move into adult independence. This cannot be done instantly.” 0 likes
“Teens are impulsive, self-centered, and irrational. They have outbursts of anger and disrespect, then in a few minutes, they swing back to love and compliance.” 0 likes
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